Life is hard. God never promised it would be any other way. In fact, as the time of Christ’s returns draws closer, life is going to get harder. Sorry, but that’s the reality.
(We hate to admit it, but we all kind of know that time is getting closer, don’t we?)
God gave us a powerful tool to help with the hardness of life. “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. … The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:13, 16).
I began my regular prayer time yesterday morning as I always do. However, only a short time into it, as I started praying for those in my life who are hurting and you know, dealing with stuff, my heart grew heavy.
I started only saying each person’s name. Sometimes I said an individual, sometimes a couple, sometimes whole families. Honestly, although I whispered each name aloud, in my head it sounded like a list of names read at a memorial event after a tragedy. One name…two…ten…twenty…thirty; I don’t know how long my list continued. Eventually, though, I came to the end. The Spirit didn’t prompt me with anymore names.
Then I thought, “Those are the people; how do I pray for such a list?”
I almost immediately had my answer, “Pray for the hand of God in their life.”
Yes, I thought, that’s it. That covers all of it. A hand offers provision for those in need yet still offers discipline for those needing correction. A hand can protect, communicate, and guide. How much more can these things be done when the might of the hand is the power of the one True God?
How does the hand of God cover it all?
After praying similarly this morning, I decided to look up verses about the hand of God. I wanted to see just how many ways the hand of God may work in our lives.
The hand of God…
- Delivers us from slavery (Exodus 32:11).
- Performs miracles (Deuteronomy 4:34).
- Guides us where we need to go (Deuteronomy 5:15).
- Disciplines us (Deuteronomy 11:2; 1 Chronicles 21:17; Job 19:21; Acts 13:11).
- Offers impenetrable protection (Deuteronomy 32:39; John 10:28-29).
- Brings judgment and vengeance upon His enemies (Deuteronomy 32:40-41, Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17).
- Is powerful (Joshua 4:24).
- Causes the panic of His enemies (1 Samuel 5:11).
- Brings about the fulfillment of His promises (1Kings 8:15).
- Keeps us free from harm and pain (1 Chronicles 4:10).
- Provides us with all we have, even what we return to Him (1 Chronicles 29:16).
- Rules over the nations (2 Chronicles 20:6).
- Gives us unity of mind (2 Chronicles 30:12).
- Covers us in favor (Ezra 7:6; Nehemiah 2:8; Acts 11:21; et al).
- Offers us protection (Job 12:6).
- Helps the helpless (Psalm 10:12).
- Is filled with righteousness (Psalm 48:10).
- Provides us with work to do (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
- Upholds us and guides us (Isaiah 41:10, 13).
- Holds our reward (Isaiah 49:4, Isaiah 62:3).
- Extends healing (Matthew 8:3, 15, 9:18, 25, et al).
- Catches us when we fall (Matthew 14:31).
- Protects us from our enemies (Luke 1:71, 74).
- Created all things (Acts 7:50).
- Brings us to a point of humility (1 Peter 5:6).
As we approach Passover season and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, I’m reminded of a final act of the hand of God… it was pierced for you.