Give your worries to God, for he cares for you
The unforgettable responsive reading
It was midnight on Thursday, February 8, A.D. 356, and Athanasius, a leader in the early Christian church and passionate defender of the deity of Jesus Christ, was leading a worship service. Suddenly loud shouts and clashing armor could be heard outside the church. Soldiers had come to arrest him.
But Athanasius said, “I didn’t think it right, at such a time, to leave my people,” so he continued the service. He asked a deacon to read Psalm 136 and then requested the congregation to respond with the refrain, “His faithful love endures forever,” which they did twenty-six times over the din of the soldiers outside.
Just as the final verse was completed, the soldiers rushed into the church, brandishing their swords and spears and crowding forward up the nave toward Anthanasius. The people yelled for Athanasius to run, but he refused to go until he had given a benediction. Then some of his assistants gathered tightly around him, and, as he recounts it, “I passed through the crowd of people unseen and escaped, giving thanks to God that I had not betrayed my people, but had seen to their safety before I thought of my own.”
Athanasius was portraying to his people God’s love, which endures forever. He was willing to lay down his life for his flock — just as Jesus had laid down his life for his flock a few centuries earlier.
Since God’s “faithful love endures forever,” why is they ever any need to worry?
Adapted From The One Year Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for November 8.
Author’s Note: I’m sitting here praying for a financial blessing as things are so tight for my family I don’t see in the natural how rent, car payment, and general bills will be paid the 1st of January, 2014. Doubts beget negative thoughts and they lead a believer to doubt the Word of the Lord. But, then the Holy Spirit comes on the scene and reminds me of God’s Word and His Promises!! The Lord as my witness the above scripture/email popped up on my screen as I was sitting in my chair in prayer with the Father. Praise God!!!! The Holy Spirit reminded me that what I see in the natural “does not” reflect what’s going on in the supernatural by the Hand of the Lord! He knows my family’s needs before I do and already has the provisions we require for simple living. He also reminded me of my family’s “total” dependency is to be on Him and not the governance of the land. Amen. ladyinwaiting2012 Dec. 15, 2013