[Do you sometimes feel that life is a bit of a slog? A hell of a slog? We were not told it would be easy, and in the valley it probably seems worse. Jesus said: “I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” [John 16:33] The Bible is full of people who at some time or another felt the same. The Bible is full of everyday people like you and me: Thomas wanting evidence; Peter denying; David full of praise one moment, crying out in anguish the next.

A very dear friend often says, “I pray that the suffering/pain is not wasted.” Although I sometimes don’t like to admit it, human suffering can create space for Grace. That Grace can translate into power.]

VS 36  C121    7 January 2007
[Moody Blues: Nights in white Satin]

Struggle’s the pattern, never seeming to end,
Crises unbidden disaster portend
I call on my Lover: I need you, my Friend
I long to discover what comfort you’ll send
‘Cause I need you, yes I need you
Oh how I need you!

My loving is soul-deep, and it’s your soul I see
You are forgiven and now you’re set free
Grace without limits – and it’s my power to give
Grace means no distance between you and me
‘Cause I love you, yes I love you
Oh how I love you!

Knights in white armour, taking on all the world,
May you go boldly, with banners unfurled
This is your moment, the truth is revealed
I am your helmet, and I am your shield
‘Cause I love you, yes I love you
Oh how I love you!

Then when it’s over, when your task is complete
You’ll come and sit with me, and join in my feast
Your armour unharnessed, my arms open wide
I’ll hold and embrace you to my wounded side
‘Cause I love you, yes I love you
Oh how I love you!

Psa 130:1-4 From the depths of my despair I call to you, LORD. Hear my cry, O Lord; listen to my call for help! If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned?  But you forgive us . . .I wait eagerly for the LORD’s help, and in his word I trust.
Psa 36:7  How precious, O God, is your constant love!
Psa 51:1  Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins!
Psa 69:13  But as for me, I will pray to you, LORD; answer me, God, at a time you choose. Answer me because of your great love, because you keep your promise to save.
Rom 8:37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!

1Jo 4:8, 10  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.
Joh 1:16  Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.
Act 14:3  The apostles stayed there for a long time, speaking boldly about the Lord, who proved that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to perform miracles and wonders.
Act 20:24 … I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God.
Rom 3:24  But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.

Eph 1:6  Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son!

Eph 6:13ff  So put on God’s armour now!. . . At all times carry faith as a shield;… And accept salvation as a helmet,
2Ti 2:1  As for you, my son, be strong through the grace that is ours in union with Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:35, 38  Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? …  For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love.
Mar 15:38; Mt 27:51; Lk 23:44  The curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
Heb 6:19  We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary.
Heb 9:3  Behind the second curtain was the tent called the Most Holy Place
Heb 10:20  He opened for us a new way,…, through the curtain—that is, through his own body.
Rev 3:5  Those who win the victory will be clothed like this in white,… In the presence of my Father and of his angels I will declare openly that they belong to me.
Mat 8:11  I assure you that many will come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of heaven.
Joh 19:34  One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesus’ side, and at once blood and water poured out.
Joh 20:20  After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side.