Editor’s note: Thank you to Pastor Paul, for sharing the following devotion:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. –-Romans 15: 13
In my late teens I had a great struggle with the Christian faith in which I had been raised. After rejecting Christianity as both irrelevant and untrue, I found myself in a terrible disquiet of heart. How could I live in a world without God; a world with neither moral nor spiritual guideposts?
After many turns and twists of mind and heart, I came back to a faith which for the first time was mine. In was at this time I memorized this hymn, “Praise the Savior,” which remains for me forever associated with my new-found joy in knowing the Savior:
Jesus is the name that charms us,
He for conflict fits and arms us,
Nothing moves and nothing harms us,
While we trust in Him.
Trust in Him, ye saints, forever,
He is faithful, changing never,
Neither force nor guile can sever,
Those he loves from him.
Keep us Lord, O keep us cleaving,
To thyself and still believing,
Till the hour of our receiving,
Promised joys in heaven.
Then we shall be what we should be,
Then we will be what we would be,
Things that are not, nor now could be,
Then shall be our own.
(Words: Thomas Kelly, traditional German melody)
be with us in the times when it seems that we are alone in a dark world.
Give us light for our paths and hope for our journeys.
May your Holy Spirit give us the gifts of unquenchable hope and joy.
As we pray with whatever faith there is in us,
give us courage to believe and the strength to follow you
whether we see you or not.
Pastor Paul Harris has been serving at Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota since 2000. His special emphasis is adult education, and he is also known for his dedicated ministry to the people of Tanzania.