God Forsaken

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

Right now, many places in the world appear God forsaken. How do you feel about that statement? What do you think non-believers are thinking now? Do they, or we, see God’s hand? Is He asleep? How do we answer anyone’s doubts, even our own?

Stubborn faith is one answer. We choose to believe in love regardless of the current situation. How can this viral disaster occur, and hundreds of thousands lose their lives if God is love? Are we forsaken? Has God removed His grace or His protection?  We believe we are not forsaken because we choose to believe.  But can we know beyond our stubborn belief?

It is in times like these that we need to know God in our hearts, not just in our minds. We can say, “The Bible says . . .,” but in our hearts we need to know that Yahweh loves us and cares about us. I know God is present and listening because of the nudge upon me to pray. I’ve begun to develop prayer spots on my bike riding circuit where I stop, rest and pray. It’s turning into a thing where I am looking for good places to stop and pray for a few minutes. I am very aware this is not my thought or idea but something the Father is leading me into. He wants me to pray more because He wants more intercessors on the planet. Though I have never considered myself an intercessor, it is clear that Father wants me praying more than normal. This is one of the ways I know we are not forsaken. Our God is here and speaking.  He is leading us individually and collectively.

I have also seen blessing during this time. How can that be? How can there be any blessing in the midst of a world-wide viral outbreak? There is always blessing when God is near. His nature attracts blessing; it overflows from His presence. I am sure you have seen kindnesses that would have been uncommon previously. In those things, I see the goodness of God welling up in people and know that He is near.

When you look at the bad things that are happening around the world, it is hard to see the hand of God but when you look around your world, you may see indications of God’s love and grace. I hope you do. As you activate your faith, those things become more obvious and those are the things you may want to share with others. They are also the things which grow your faith. As we believe that God is present, we not only see Him better, but it becomes easier and more imperative for us to join with Him.

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. Prayer is the natural outcome of belief that our Father is on the scene and paying attention. We are not forsaken and we know it. We need not fear nor be dismayed. God is going before us as our forward guard and preparing our way. He will tell us, “This is the way walk in it,” and then our faith activates. We are all in this together, not just as human beings, but with our Father too. He will never leave nor forsake us and knowing that gives us confidence.

Not Forsaken

Psalm 22: 1

My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?

Many people recognize these words as having been spoken by Jesus from the cross. When the sin of the world hit him, he was isolated from his father. Did you realize, though, David penned the same words and that they are recorded in the 22nd Psalm? Appreciating that fact made me think that other people have likely felt the same way at some time in their lives. I know I have. Yet, if you read the rest of David’s psalm, you hear how his attitude changed. The end of the psalm is written in confidence and gratitude for God’s delivering power.

David went through some challenges in his life but he well knew that the Lord was his strength. No matter how bad things got; no matter how worried David became, in his depths he knew God would deliver him. From deep within him, the strength of the Lord would rise up. David’s trust and confidence in the Lord would overwhelm the greatest of problems. Before long, he would be writing a psalm of praise extolling the Lord’s delivering grace.

No matter how alone you feel and how desperate your situation appears, know for a fact that the Lord has not abandoned nor forsaken you. I know it feels like you are alone but just like David, when you take your eyes off of the enormity of the problems surrounding you and put them back on your Father, you will find that He was standing right beside you the whole time. He is well able and willing to deliver you from this present trouble. Trust his love and power.

Are You There God?

Psalm 31: 22

As for me, I said in my alarm, “I am cut off from before Thine eyes”; nevertheless Thou didst hear the voice of my supplications when I cried to Thee.

Here is a song of David which reflects a time of panic in his life. David said that it was a time of alarm. He was enduring a stressful and anxious period. His distress was so complete that he felt blocked off from anyone who could help him, even God. He did not even think that his prayers could get through to God because he felt so completely cut off. None the less, God heard all of his prayers and answered all of his petitions. God heard every tearful word. How did David know that God heard every supplication? It is because God answered David in this time of need.

God’s presence is much closer than you think. When we are really stressed and over wrought it becomes very difficult for us to feel God’s presence around us. He is there with us none the less. We cannot always go by our feelings because feelings are fickle. We have to know and say that our God is with us all of the time. Even when we cannot feel you, Lord, you are with us for you will never leave us nor forsake us.

Never Forsaken

Hebrews 13: 5 – 6                 Index Card 6

He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”

This verse speaks about confidence and I find myself thinking, “Yes, this is the kind of confidence I need.” I want to be unafraid. I want to abound in radical trust in the Lord. Life will certainly take on a different flavor when we trust the Lord that extensively. We will answer His call on our lives. We will believe we can do what he says we can do because he is our helper. We are not alone. He will not abandon us.

I used to often feel lonely. Now I almost never do. I have grown in my awareness of God with me, Jesus in me and the Holy Spirit leading me. I certainly am not in the full radical trust in the Lord Jesus that I would like to live but I have learned that he is always with us and thus, we never have to feel alone or lonely. His word is good and it is true. He will never leave us nor forsake us. You will never be abandoned or left to fend on your own. Amen.