Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
By: Patricia Lake, seedsofthekingdom.org
It’s something of wonder that the Almighty who threw the stars in space, and created the universe and everything in it, has promised always to be with us, and to never, never leave us. The Amplified version expresses it like this: “for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]”. No other god does this.
He, who never sleeps or slumbers, and watches over us day and night, won’t relax His hold on us. He knows the way ahead, and the pitfalls of life, and He knows exactly where we are at this moment in time. Nothing takes Him by surprise.
It is comforting and reassuring to know that our Heavenly Father is watching over us, and once we’re assured in our hearts with the knowledge that “He knows” – then we can rest in Him. We don’t have to go through life, facing life’s challenges on our own. He guards our footsteps as we trust Him.
At the beginning of time God walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, and even when they were deceived by the enemy, and, as a result, chose to disobey God, He still looked out for man’s welfare. Up till then they hadn’t known what it was like to be separated from God. But He swung into action with His wonderful plan of redemption, to restore and cover man, and to teach him that he wouldn’t have to fend for himself. Adam and Eve learnt what a huge mistake it was to listen to the deceiving voice of the enemy instead of trusting and obeying God. Man wasn’t meant to walk through life’s journey alone. God has always wanted to walk with the man whom He created – and still does.
God reassured Joshua that He’d be with him as He was with Moses, so he could face Israel’s enemies. From his own experiences with God, David was able to reassure his son Solomon that God would be with him in the building of the Temple, and through life, if he chose to obey God. Before He ascended back into Heaven, when He gave the great commission to ‘Go into all the world … and make disciples’, Jesus reassured His disciples, saying “I will be with you always, even to the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). And God sent His Holy Spirit to be with all Jesus’s disciples, when Jesus went back into heaven, so that they’d know that God was with them through the highs and lows of life, and would equip them for the task ahead. Those same promises are for us today in our generation, for God is always faithful to His promises, and ‘He watches over His Word to perform it’ (Jeremiah 1:12).
So whatever lies ahead, we can rest in the knowledge that God is true to His Word. Know this – we’ll never walk alone, for God will never abandon us. All He asks is that we trust and obey Him.
You are Never Alone
JUNE 24, 2014
“Now he had to go through Samaria … and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?'” John 4:4, 6-7 (NIV)
Maybe it was better that way. Being alone was easier than hearing the condemning words and seeing the scornful looks of others. But she wasn’t alone for long. She didn’t know who He was and couldn’t help but wonder why He was talking to her, a Samaritan woman.
When He spoke, she heard gentleness in His voice. Kindness and humility in His simple request for a drink. In His eyes she saw acceptance, not judgment. Love, not hate.
Many of us know her as the Samaritan woman, but I like to call her Sam. It makes her feel more like the real woman she was. A woman who struggled with hurt, rejection and loneliness.
Today’s key verse says Jesus “had to go through Samaria” (John 4:4). Yet theologians would tell us Jews considered Samaritans to be the scum of the earth and would do everything to avoid them. In fact, usually they would travel around Samaria — but not Jesus.
He had to go through Samaria. Could it be because He knew Sam would be there?
Typically women traveled together to the well in the cool of the day, escaping the heat of the sun since they carried heavy jars filled with water back to their homes. But Sam walked by herself during the hottest part of the day.
Instead of avoiding the scorching sun, many believe she went to the well at noon to avoid the scorching pain of others’ rejection and judgment. Sam had been married five times, and now she was living with a man who wasn’t her husband.
The weight of the water-filled jar in the heat must have been almost unbearable, but the weight of her neighbors’ words, reminding her of her failed marriages, was more than she could take.
When Jesus met her, Sam was running an errand and running from those who knew of her failures, shame and imperfections. Pursuing her with His perfect love, Jesus timed it so she would run into Him.
He initiated conversation and asked her for the one thing she had to offer: water. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
Sam stopped and listened. She let Him speak words of assurance and acceptance into the broken, insecure, empty places of her heart.
In the same way Jesus intentionally pursued Sam in one of the loneliest parts of her day, He is there in the midst of your sometimes lonely, imperfect life. He is there when your disappointments and failures leave you empty and make you doubt your worth and purpose.
He is there when you’re going through the motions, aware of what needs to be done but unaware of how you’re going to do it all.
He is there during endless days filled with projects, diapers or laundry when you’re wondering if you’ll ever find meaning in the monotony.
He is there when you’re criticizing yourself and questioning whether you have what it takes to be a godly woman.
He sees you. He notices all you do, and He knows what you long for. In fact, Jesus is the only One who can meet your deepest need to be known, accepted and pursued simply because of who you are.
Today He is pursuing you with His gift of perfect love — love that is patient and kind, love that keeps no record of your wrongs, love that won’t give up on you or me.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, He is there. Will you take time to stop and talk to Him and then quiet your thoughts so you can listen to His voice?
Do you ever feel lonely?
Recently, I was at an event full of people. Everyone else seemed gabby and was effortlessly making easy connections with others. I just felt out of sorts. Someone had said something to me earlier that day that hurt my feelings and knocked me off kilter. It was one of those “I would really like to be at home alone, in a bubble bath, eating something chocolate” kind of nights. But I had to go to this outing, so here I was — lonely.
I politely smiled my way through the evening and finally got to go home. As I crawled into bed that night, I asked Jesus, “Why am I letting some thoughtless comment someone made affect me like this?”
There was no deep explanation. There was no Bible verse that instantly popped into my head. There was no sudden rush of peace through my heart. There was only a very gentle reminder in the depths of my soul that Jesus loves me — insecurities and all.
Jesus loves me.
Simple but so powerfully profound, that one statement grounds me in the truth of who God says I am. Friends can’t make you feel accepted all the time. Accomplishments will never truly make you feel secure. Having lots of people around you does not mean you won’t ever feel lonely. And chocolate, while it is deliciously distracting, is just a little too temporary.
So I turn to the One who is Everlasting, Prince of Peace, and Immanuel — God with us.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel. — Isaiah 7:14
And I’m reminded by the writer of the book of Hebrews that God says,
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. — Hebrews 13:5