How can we believers face the difficulties and uncertainties of our lives? Join me as I reflect on Oswald Chamber’s devotional “The Never-Forsaking God”. All quotes are from this devotional or the King James Version. The first passage is Hebrews 13:5-6 KJV:
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
The author of Hebrews is concluding his letter with final instructions on moral Christian living. The recipients of this letter were facing trials and tribulations for their faith. Some had lost property because they confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Hebrews 10:35-39). We are encouraged to be content not seeking wealth and possessions. What a wonderful promise! God will never forsake you! We can focus on our Heavenly Helper instead of those who persecute us or the difficulties that come upon us in life!
In our times of stress and difficulty to whom do we turn?
Chambers asks us this vital question about our thoughts:
“What line of thinking do my thoughts take? Do I turn to what God says or to my own fears? Am I simply repeating what God says, or am I learning to truly hear Him and then to respond after I have heard what He says? “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ ”
Are we letting our thoughts focus on our fears instead of listening to God’s Truths? Anyone who lives with anxiety understands this vicious cycle of thinking and feeling. God never promises us an easy or safe journey in this life. Evil, violent people harm and destroy innocent others. After watching or reading the news who wants to ever leave home?
What do we focus on? It’s easy to focus on all the bad and tragic happenings instead of remembering and considering God and His Truths as found in His Living Word. Recalling God’s Promises and praying in the moments of our lives provides peace in the storms. God gives us grace for the present moment. The past is over and the future uncertain, but praise God for He is with us in the now!
Truth 1: God’s going to make things right in His Time
God’s Truth tells us that He will always be with us and is coming back to make all things anew. Even in our deepest grief, God walks with us. God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who have a contrite heart. Paraphrased from Psalm 34:18; for exposition read:
Ultimately, He will wipe away every tear and make all things anew. Here’s a scriptural passage that tells us what awaits us! Revelations 21:1-5 KJV: emphasis mine
- Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
The great promise of these verses is that God is going to dwell with us. No more death or separation due to sin and rebellion. No more sorrow, no death. Also there will be no need for the sun because God’s presence will radiate light for all to see (Revelations 21:23).
We can comfort ourselves and others with this promise. Life on this earth isn’t the end. Evil and death aren’t the end. God has the final, ultimate victory!
Truth 2: God Doesn’t Give up on us!
Chambers (emphasis mine):
“I will never leave you…”— not for any reason; not my sin, selfishness, stubbornness, nor waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never leave me? If I have not truly heard this assurance of God, then let me listen again. ‘I will never…forsake you.'”
God’s love is perfect. He doesn’t love us because we are worthy of His love. He loves us because He is love. This article explains this wonderful truth:
We are His children and His grace is sufficient. This isn’t a license to sin, but an invitation to desire Him more! To know and experience God’s love is to become more loving as He is. Jesus sets the example for us and calls us to follow Him in loving others (1 John).
Truth 3: The drudgery of life can distract us from God
Are we getting stagnate in our journey? Sometimes the quiet times can be disquieting too! God doesn’t always make His presence felt. Remember Daniel who persevered in prayer and received visions. God sent the angel Gabriel to explain and encourage him. Things were going on all around him (spiritual warfare) that he wasn’t even aware! See Daniel 10:20-21
“When there is no major difficulty to overcome, no vision from God, nothing wonderful or beautiful— just the everyday activities of life— do I hear God’s assurance even in these?”
Remember that God is present with us at all times. Every moment of each day is an opportunity to walk with God! Jesus is our Good Shepherd!
Truth 4: The journey of faith requires that we live with an awareness of God’s work in the present moment
“We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing— that He is preparing and equipping us for some extraordinary work in the future.” We focus too much on the future and not the present! We overlook the good that we can do in the moment chasing something we might do in the future.
God works in us to glorify Himself. He graciously gives us moments of inspiration and discernment to apply His Word to our lives and encourage others.
Every day we grow in His grace and find strength in Him. God shines through us via the ordinary things of life. Often we are so focused on the extraordinary things that we forget about the simple, daily things of life. Here’s some examples:
a kind word to a stranger while shopping,
asking someone how they are doing and making time to listen and engage,
noticing the needs of those around you and praying with the person, or
helping someone that you see in need.
May God’s truths and presence deepen your desire for Christ and to love others as Christ loves you!
I write these words for His glory and to encourage God’s people, In Christ Alone I stand,
Helpful sermon commentary from Ruth 1