Life is scary. There is reason to be afraid when we look at the world around us, when we contemplate the future. Even when we consider our own limitations, there is reason to be afraid. I was fourteen when I started to think about my life and my future. For the first time I had an awareness that my life and my world was out of my control. My parents were going through a difficult phase in their marriage, they were continually arguing and so were my brothers and I, there was continual strife in the house.
I became aware of being afraid.
Around about this time a teacher (Mrs Lewis) started telling us about Jesus at school. She said that Jesus promised to stay with us, no matter what and we could count on Him.
I wrote to Mrs. Lewis and asked if she was telling the truth about Jesus. When we met, she patiently explained to me the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross, what it meant for me personally in dealing with my sin. I was interested, but I had always been a good girl, and my sin did not seem so serious to me at that time. I was not convinced Jesus was for me, until she showed me one particular verse, Hebrews 13:5b:
“…be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
This promise spoke volumes to me. It was a guarantee that throughout my life, no matter what, Almighty God promised to be with me personally. Knowing my own fear and based on that assurance, I committed my life to Jesus, deciding to stick with Him because He promised to stick with me.
Later, at a time when I started to doubt God’s presence with me, the same verse adamantly (five times) confirmed the promise again, this time in the Amplified Version:
“…be satisfied with your present circumstances and with what you have; 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!]”
Looking back as an older woman, I know this promise to be true.
I have come to understand that because God loves me, His commitment to me: is to be with me always.
He has indeed never left me nor forsaken me, not through disaster; danger; times of being totally lost; financial trouble; foolishness; blatant sinfulness; loss of assets; loneliness; confusion; parenting mishaps; marital trouble; mistakes; anger; without friends; seasons of fear; ill health; challenges; betrayal; working towards goals; ministry; tears; giving birth; grieving the loss of loved ones…the list goes on, but never has He left me nor forsaken me.
“Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening 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 which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39 (AMP)
I am indeed persuaded of His love and His presence.
It is one of the benefits of being a believer, Emmanuel (God with us), is indeed with us, for life. No one can promise to be with us like He can. Even our enemy cannot be with us always. Only God is omnipresent.
His presence with us does not guarantee that nothing scary will happen to us, but it does assure us that no matter what happens, God’s constant presence with us, will quieten our fears.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:2-3)
Finally, Psalm 139:8-10 promises us that even when we think we are as far as possible from God and that there is no way that He can reach us, still nothing can separate us from Him. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
Father, thank you that I can count on Your constant presence in my life, particularly when I am afraid. It is comforting to know that no matter what I face, You, Almighty God, are present with me. You walk alongside me, giving me wisdom and strength. I am comforted by Your Presence and Your love. Thank you for loving me so much that You commit to stay with me forever. No person on earth would ever be able to do this for me, but You can, and do, stay with me forever.