Hold tightly!

But God keeps his promises

Hebrews 10:23, 34 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. … There are better things waiting for you that will last forever.

Matthew 28:20 “Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

One thing I enjoyed about having breakfast with our friends Mary and Bill was the “promise of the day” they read from a small card extracted from their “promise box.” I imagine Bill continues this practice even though Mary is not there to enjoy it with him.

The promise I most depend on is this one, the last words recorded by Matthew: “I am with you always.” Since Jesus is with me, I’m not ever alone. Everything I care about is under his care and sovereignty. And he himself is the fulfillment of all the other promises.

I want to tell you a “But God” story from last week that relates to this promise. The Karis book in Portuguese will finally be launched by Editora Betânia in Brazil on May 2, 11:00 Eastern time, through an Instagram “Live” @editorabetania. The book has been delayed by Covid, by scheduling issues, and by lack of paper for printing. Finally, though, it’s all coming together. You’re welcome to join us, though it will be in Portuguese!

With its own Brazilian-style cover and color photos inside!

Along with this exciting news, Betânia’s marketing director, Egleson, gave me a long list of tasks to complete. Since I’m not in Brazil, my part of the promotion of the book must be done virtually. It’s not intuitive for me! I had to learn to use Instagram and invite my Brazilian Facebook friends to follow me and Betânia on that site so they can attend the launch. I had to make videos and other posts that fit within Instagram’s parameters. (I know, it’s probably simple for you.)

I struggled one whole morning without much success with understanding a series of procedures new to me. In frustration I cried out to the Lord, “I need help! I need someone who can show me what I’m doing wrong!

Within seconds of my prayer, a message flashed onto my Instagram screen from a Brazilian friend I haven’t seen or talked to for at least twenty years. “Debra, do you need any help with online advertising for the Karis book? I’m trained in that.”

Yeah. I was (am!) stunned. But wait—there’s more!

When I told Vanessa her offer was a direct answer from God, she said, “Well, your need is a direct answer to my prayer. Last week I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. I asked God to give me something to do to divert my focus from myself, my fear and worry about this health struggle. Then I saw your announcement on Facebook. I want to do all I can to help you let people know about this book. I’ve been reading other things I’ve found written about Karis, and her faith is helping to stabilize mine as I face a huge battle with cancer.”

My need is small. Vanessa’s is huge, literally life-threatening. That God could use us (and the internet!) to help each other is so creative and generous of our Lord. Could there be any greater confirmation that God is with me, even though this work is hard for me? That it is worth what it cost me and my family to write the book? At this moment, for me, I can’t imagine anything that would more effectively shout God’s promise, I am with you. And with Vanessa, facing the assault of cancer.

Many times, I have not felt God’s presence with me. I have cried out to him and have not seen such an immediate response. You too?

Yet our feelings don’t change the trustworthiness of God’s promise, for God cannot lie. He is with us, in our need, whether enormous like Vanessa’s or small like mine. Hold tightly, the author of Hebrews encourages us!

As if to put this word from God to me in bold and italics, yesterday in church we sang a song new to me. I hope it will encourage you as it does me.

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