Seeing Jesus Standing, When Circumstances Are Challenging

Written by: Scotty Smith

     But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, this chapter from Stephen’s story underscores that, when life is really hard, you are really near and really caring. Just before he was stoned for proclaiming your glory and grace, Stephen saw you standing at the Father’s right hand--rising for the occasion of his greatest need. What a merciful and mighty Savior you are.

Though few of us will be stoned to death as your martyrs, all of us are called to love and serve you, in all kinds of disruptive moments and difficult stories. We too need to see you standing at the Father’s right hand for us--praying, loving, and advocating for us. On this Thursday in October, I’m thinking of friends waking up to hard news, painful providences, and unexpected changes.

I pray for friends in workplace crises. So much of life is impacted by "what's going on at work." One day things seem quite normal, and then a major disruption occurs. Our default mode is often confusion, fear, or anger. Jesus, we want our default mode to become running to your throne of grace, and fixing our gaze on you. Bring your peace into our storms.

I pray for couples in seasons of marital mess. Lord of resurrection and hope, I ask you to do exceedingly beyond all we can ask or imagine. Rise for the occasion, with healing in your wings and grace in your hands. Humble one, then both spouses. Restore them to the joy of your salvation, and then to tenderness in their marriages.

I pray for those of us who have failed, or have been failed; for those of us in a faith, family, or financial crisis; for those of us who see the finger of evil more clearly than the hand of your sovereignty... Lord Jesus, open the eyes of our hearts today, and let us see you standing and reigning--working in all things for your glory, loving in all things for our good. So very Amen I pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.


from Heavenward by Scotty Smith


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