The Longing

Day 281

Prayer for the day

May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of his countenance and come to us.

Scripture for the day

Isaiah 30-31, Philippians 4

What is it that you truly pine for? Is there anything you greatly desire, something that you believe you can’t live without? What is the true desire and longing of your heart?

Some people long for wealth. Some long for companionship. Some long for a single touch from the one they love. Some long for a lifetime of joy and happiness.

Isaiah tells us that God actually longs for things. Well, not things. God doesn’t need any thing. Instead, God’s longing is for God’s people. Isaiah says that God longs to be gracious to people. It is God’s greatest wish to be gracious, to extend His grace and see people accept and respond to it. It is God’s greatest joy to work in this longing, to see it through, and to bless His people through His grace.

Paul discusses this blessing and gracious longing of God when he discusses the lack of fear he wishes for the Christians in Philippi. He encourages them by saying that they should not be afraid and that they should take courage. Why? Because the Lord is near.

Paul tells the Philippians that this nearness of the Lord is the reason they can take confidence in their situation. This is the longing of God expressed to the people of God. God longs to be gracious to them through his nearness to them. Their reliance on God results in God’s peace being with them, guarding their hearts and their minds. This is God’s default, the action God so desperately wants to take, and will take, when we rely on Him.

What a joy to think that simple reliance can invoke the protection of the peace of God!

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