In His Presence

This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Horacio Herrera (Cuban, because of his leading role in the Cuban Church, he writes using a pseudonym), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:

You will fill me with joy in your presence. (Psalm 16:11b)

One of the members of my church had been in prison for his faith for more than 15 years.  I had not seen him since his release.  But one day we met.  He told me, "Pastor, only the presence of Christ kept me alive; in the nights of shadow and fear He was at my side."

I knew this was true, because He had been that near to me also when I was in prison.

"In His presence" is not just a theological and theoretical truth.  No, it may be experienced.  Or should I say:  "I speak from experience."

Those painful experiences, horror, bitterness, doubts (yes, doubts too!) are forgotten when the presence of God comes and fills us with joy and peace--even under the most horrible circumstances.

Do we need to be in prison to experience His presence?  No, we have the privilege to enter the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus...let us draw near to God... (Hebrews 10:19-22).

The darker the place (prison) the clearer the light of His presence will shine.  Let us draw near to God always--in times of hardship and in times of prosperity--in times of sorrow and in times of joy.

"You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

A moment of introspection:
  From the mouths of the persecuted Christians in Cuba: "the presence of Christ kept me alive," "He was at my side," "He had been that near to me also," "the presence of God comes," and "'in His presence'...may be experienced."  Christ is both real and present, beside us, near to us, always and in any circumstance.  In our need, "the presence of God comes"; in our praises to God, we "draw near to God."  It works both ways--Christ bringing fullness of joy and incomprehensible peace - in our hour of need.  In turn, we bring the sacrifice of praise to lay at God's feet.  We draw near to God in need, but also in adoration and praise--responding to Who God is.  Pastor Herrera boldly states, "'In His presence' is not just a theological and theoretical truth.  No, it may be experienced."  We can experience this, too.  For when Christ becomes real in our lives--in times of hardship and in times of prosperity--in times of sorrow and in times of joy, the clearer the light of His presence will shine.  For Pastor Herrera and his friend, Christ was indeed real and present.  To move beyond theological and theoretical truth, let us develop and maintain a lifelong walk with Him so that we recognize and know His presence.  Let Him fill us with joy, and shine within us and through us to the world without!

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