Devotion for December 30
By byFaith Staff

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6).

A generation ago, the captivity of some American hostages in Iran had stretched into the Christmas season. Bowing to political pressures, the terrorists allowed the hostages to celebrate Christmas together with TV cameras rolling. That’s when hostage Kathryn Koob, an American embassy worker, softly sang “Away in a Manger.”  

The last verse, sung in the terrorists’ presence, was the most poignant: “Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever and love me, I pray.”

 The words conveyed the hope and courage that is available to Christians in all generations and circumstances. It is the strength that comes from knowing that our God is always with us. 

Jesus came to this earth to be with us despite our sin, and he sent the Holy Spirit to abide with us until our Savior comes again. He will never leave us or forsake us. We can face the greatest of trials or terrors with assurance that nothing separates us from his love. 

Circumstance will change, his love will not. Trials will vary, his presence will not. Problems will pass, his purposes will endure. He is near. So, take courage.

Lord, you are with me through hardships. With you I can face anything. You will never leave or forsake me! So, give me the strength and courage that come from trusting your constant presence.

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