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So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deut. 31:6 (NLT)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right handIsa. 41:10 (ESV)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Rom. 12:12 (ESV)

Heavenly Father, instead of counting sheep last night, I was counting the difficulties, crises, and heartaches of your children. Right now, I bring them to your throne of grace. The trio of your sons who penned these Scriptures--Moses, Isaiah, and Paul, sing the same song of hope--a song I pray will fill the heart-chambers of good friends with real challenges.

When fear and panic, shock and dismay are close by, you are even closer, Father. You go ahead of us into the fray, uphold us when we lose our grip, and guarantee the fulfillment of a hope that seems improbable. You will never abandon or fail us. Thank you.

Great, glorious, and grace-full Father, have mercy upon friends reeling under the weight of heavy and hard news. The Day of no more cancers or church messes cannot come too soon; the forever of no more vehicular murders or pornography addictions; no more over-stressed marriages or memory loss diseases; no more kids walking away from the faith or bosses walking up with pink slips; no more emotional illnesses or unexpected losses--the Day of never having to ask again, "Why, Lord?" or "How long, O Lord?"

We will "rejoice in hope" because of Jesus’ empty tomb; we will be "patient in tribulation" because Jesus has overcome for us; we will be "constant in prayer," because Jesus is always praying for us. We praise, bless, and adore you, Father. What would we do, where would we go, who would we trust, if you were not our loving God and faithful Father? So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ trustworthy and worship-worthy name.


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Scotty Smith


Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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