We thank You, Lord, that we have Your wonderful promise – “The Lord your God is with you” – as well as Your clear command – “Be strong” (Joshua 1:9). Without Your promise, the command is no use. Again and again, we fail to keep Your commands. Again and again, we need to be reassured. You are still with us. This is what we need to hear. This is where our strength comes from. It comes from Your promise. It comes from knowing that You never fail us. You have never failed us. You never will fail us.
Help us, Lord, to “give a friendly welcome” (Hebrews 11:31). What a difference the friendly welcome makes! It’s the word of encouragement that makes us feel loved. It’s the act of kindness that lets us know that love is more than words. Lord, You are our Father. Help us to be like You – “when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). What amazing grace! Before the confession of sin – “Father, I have sinned… ” (Luke 15:21), there is the friendly welcome. It’s Your grace that inspires our confession of sin. It’s Your grace that leads us into the joy of Your forgiveness. It’s not only joy for us. It’s joy for You – “my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:24).
Help us, Lord, to be active for You – “the people who know their God will be strong and take action” (Daniel 11:32) – and to wait upon You – “those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). We need both – prayer and action, seeking Your will and doing Your will. Give us wisdom to know Your will, and courage to do Your will.
Lord, You have blessed us so much. Help us never to forget this. We look at the world You have made for us – and we say, “Thank You, Lord.” We look at the Saviour You have sent to us – and we say, “Thank You, Lord.” Why must we keep on remembering You? – We “remember” so that we might learn to fear You (Joshua 4:23-24). We remember so that we may have hope for the future – “times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19).