27 Led by the Spirit, (Simeon) went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law. 28 Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said, 29 “Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word, 30 because my eyes have seen your salvation. 31 You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples. 32 It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles and a glory for your people Israel.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, who belonged to the tribe of Asher. She was very old. After she married, she lived with her husband for seven years. 37 She was now an 84-year-old widow. She never left the temple area but worshipped God with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 She approached at that very moment and began to praise God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Note: This week’s devotions are a series called “Faith Forward” written by Brian Harriett. If you’d like to write for us, please contact Pastor Joe.
Do you remember the declaration that we read Monday? “I am building my life on the promises of God. Because God’s promises are unbreakable, my world is unshakable. I do not stand on the problems of life or the pain in life. I stand on the great and precious promises of God.” (Lucado, Unshakable Hope, 2019) We are only able to do this by moving from fear to faith.
One sustaining example for me to hope and claim peace for the future is “The Song of Simeon,” a piece that we regularly sang at my church in Jacksonville, Florida. Simeon, a devout and righteous man, pinned his hopes on the promises of a coming Messiah who would bring peace and salvation to ALL peoples before he would die. His faith forward was realized when he held the infant Jesus in his arms, crying out, “my eyes have seen your salvation!”
From the elders Simeon and Anna came profound words of witness to God’s promised future. They shared their personal praises and then began “to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Staying in the Word, dwelling on the promises, allows us to live a life without fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
By Brian Harriett
For Pondering & Prayer
Whenever fear comes my way – and it will come – I have a choice. My faith can fight fear. I don’t have to panic and get myself worked up over frightening situations. If I stay focused on God’s promise and allow faith to fight fear, the Lord will keep me in perfect peace. (Jentezen Franklin, Fear Fighters, 2014)
Prayer: God, when we are fearful, reassure us by reminding us of your promises. Keep us turning again and again to your Word and to your Spirit as our guides and supports. Help us to know the peace of Jesus our Savior walking beside us through all life’s circumstances. Amen.