Here is your Word of Encouragement for this week. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Thank you for your prayers during our vacation. A HUGE Shoutout to our Elders for sending out the Words of Encouragement the past two weeks and for taking care of Lord’s Day Worship and our online prayer meeting!

Anyways, how are you? How has your week been? Some of you are enjoying your weeks tremendously. Others of you have really struggled with various circumstances and/or relationships.
I may not know how you’re doing or what you’re going through. But as I was praying for all of you this morning, I want to let you know that God is with you in Christ. He loves you, and He is with you. And that is the greatest source of strength and comfort.
We talked about that this past Sunday. We saw in Psalm 84 that the author delights in and longs for the presence of the Lord. He finds his comfort, shelter, refuge, and home there in God’s presence. Is that where you find your comfort and refuge? Is that where you find your home?
He says that even in the driest and hardest of times, God’s presence not only makes the circumstances bearable. But God’s presence allows the author to worship and to grow. That’s how he can say that he would rather be in the lowest position with God than be in the highest position without God. Do we have this kind of perspective and outlook? Does God’s presence allow us to view even our hardships differently?
The truth is that in our sin, we should not delight in God’s presence. We should absolutely fear it and run away from it. In God’s holy presence, sinners are judged and exiled.
However, the hope and fulfillment of this psalm is Jesus. Jesus is God the Son who left the perfect courts of heaven to come to earth. He came to save us and bring us back into God’s presence. That’s what Christmas is all about.
Christ is the ultimate God-with-us. And He brings us into His presence because of the cross. The cross is where He received the absence of God so that we can receive the presence of God. The cross is where He received all the curses and wrath for sin so that we may be blessed in His presence. The cross is where He took on the lowest position without God so that we may receive the highest position in God.
You may not feel the joy of His presence today. You may have forgotten about it. Or maybe you’ve been enjoying it since we met on Sunday. Take some time to dwell in the cross. Make your home there. Talk and walk with Christ. And by His grace, may we together delight in the presence of the Lord.
We have practice tonight at church for Christmas Presentation at 7:30pm if you’re interested. Don’t forget to sign up for the retreat! Either way, see you on Sunday for Lord’s Day Worship. I thank God for all of you!
In Christ,
Pastor Tim
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