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Pointers along the way #152

Will the Lord leave us?
- Jacob Ninan

One of the greatest promises of God is that He will never leave or forsake us (He.13:5). Yet most Christians go through times in their lives where they wonder if God has indeed left them. When calamities fall upon us, when we can't get any answers from God, or when the guilt of some sin haunts us, it is natural that such doubts come into our mind. Look at what happened to Job when he lost all his children and his wealth in the same day. See how David was perplexed with God when his enemies seemed to have got him under their power. Jesus Himself, who was tempted in all points like us, cried out, "My God, why have Your forsaken Me?" (Mt.27:46).

But in none of these examples had God forsaken them. But it surely appeared to them as if He had. The nearest that God came to forsaking someone was in the case of Jesus, when the sin of the whole world was placed upon Him on the cross. But even here, it was communication and fellowship that were broken between the Father and the Son, and that too temporarily. Almost immediately after Jesus felt like this, He was able to commit His spirit into the Father's hands (Lk.23:46).

We may also feel at times as if God is not with us, and our reason also may come to the same conclusion. But can God leave us or forsake us after having promised clearly that He would never do it? Certainly not. This is the certainty that we must hold on to, when we go through such times of doubt.

We know that our feelings do not always reflect reality but only how we perceive things to be. Our reason also can be misled due to misunderstanding or lack of sufficient information. It is safer for us to trust in God than in ourselves or other people. Of course what God has said He will do, and He never says anything carelessly.

When we can't understand what is going on in our lives, we must believe that our Heavenly Father knows every detail (Job.23:10LB). If we place our lives in His hands we will be safe. He knows what is best for us, He is almighty to do whatever He pleases, and no man can stop Him. After a period which God determines, He will reveal Himself to us again and help us to understand what He was doing all the time (1Pe.5:10).

If it is guilt that is troubling us we must remember that Jesus will not refuse anyone who goes to Him (Jn.6:37). Even if we have fallen again and again, we can believe that His blood is sufficient to wash all our sins. All we need to do is to confess them to Him in repentance (1Jn.1:9;2:1,2). God may discipline us when we need to become serious in our life (He.12:6). But He will never forsake us. There is always an open door for us to go back to Him.

At the same time we must not forget that it is possible for us to go away from God, if we choose. We can choose to go after our desires and pleasures and leave God behind. But even then God waits for us to come to our senses and return to Him (Lk.15:20).