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Seek God’s Presence

Devotions for the storms of life

Today’s Bible study from the Standing on Faith in the Storms of Life series is all about how to seek God’s presence to find strength and praise Him for the strength He gives us. While I encourage you to grab a Bible and a notebook and pen for the Journaling and Reflection section, you may prefer to just think about the prompts or skip them entirely.

Today’s Passage of Scripture

1 Chronicles 16: 7-36

Key Verse: 1 Chronicles 16: 11

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

What Does It Mean?

Giving thanks when things are going well is never a problem – but singing praises to God when things are not going so well, or we are facing downright difficult circumstances is much more complicated. Certainly, people who do not have a personal relationship with God may look at us as if we’re mad if they see us thanking God even in the midst of the most tumultuous situations.

Society teaches us to think of gratitude in terms of gain, so it is incongruous to have an attitude of gratitude in dire circumstances. Our reasons for expressing gratitude or praise to God, however, are not necessarily linked to our outward circumstances.

We can have an attitude of gratitude when we are mindful (v15) of the wondrous (v9) and marvelous (v12) things that God has done – not just in our own lives but over the course of history.

Seek God's presence in the storms of life

The word translated wondrous and marvelous is a verb meaning to do something wonderful, to do something extraordinary, or difficult. It frequently signifies the wondrous works of God, especially His deliverance and judgments. Because God’s extraordinary deeds inspire thanksgiving and praise, this Hebrew word often occurs in the hymnic literature of the Bible.

Focusing on what we know about God, seeking His presence, and depending upon Him for our strength (v11), can help us to put our problems into perspective. It reminds us of how great our God is, and keeps us mindful of the eternal truth of the victory won on the cross at Calvary. We can praise God in any storm when we understand how much we already have to be grateful for.

Bottom Line

When we have faith in God, we always have a reason to give Him praise, no matter what trouble we’re facing, or how difficult our circumstances are.

We must be mindful to remember that He is the source of our strength (v11) when we feel that we are at the end of our strength, and it is always encouraging to remind ourselves of God’s qualities and the things that He has done for us in the past – His wonders, miracles and judgements (v15).

Journaling and Reflection on How to Seek God’s Presence

  • Spend some time listing things in your own life that you can thank God for. How easy is it to bring these things to mind?
  • We are reminded of our need to seek God continually (v11). In what ways can you be more intentional about seeking God in your daily life?
  • We can have an attitude of gratitude no matter how fierce the storm we are in. How does this statement make you feel. Is it something that you struggle with?

Prayer Pointers

Look at verses 9, 12, 23, 24 and 29 as examples of things that David was thankful for. Use these verses as a template for your own prayer of thanks today.

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