Links Daily Devotional

Never Alone

…God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV)

Feeling left out? By the time the day is over, 30 more PGA Tour players will be. They will have “gone fishing,” that proverbial (and sometimes literal) resting place for athletes eliminated from playoff contention, whatever their sport.

We could find some added painful irony in this circumstance in that this is, in the United States, Labor Day—set aside to honor the contribution of workers to the American culture. But professional golf is something more like seasonal work, so eventually a span of “unemployment” comes for them all.

We may not see God in the physical sense, but we can see him in his provision, in the way things are worked out in our lives.Whether you are out of work, away from home, missing the party, or sick in bed, it’s easy for loneliness to kick in. It takes longer for some personalities than others, but sooner or later, we all fall into a funk. We need people.

Into such situations, you may hear from a well-meaning brother or sister in Christ that you are never really alone, that Jesus is with you.

So, is he?

In a physical sense, we know this is not true. You cannot look across the room and see Jesus as you see your husband or wife. He will not take up room in the rider’s seat of the golf cart. He won’t snag fries off your plate at the diner.

But God told the Israelites through Moses and the author of Hebrews restated it: God won’t leave us. He won’t forsake us. That is, he doesn’t require us to go it on our own. (As an interesting aside, the context of this passage has to do with contentedness in God’s supply. When tough times come—particularly when money isn’t coming our way as we wish it would—this does not mean God has gone away, leaving us alone.)

Jesus told Nicodemus that the wind is recognized by its sound. You hear it, though you do not see it. Wind shows itself by its effects. In this same way, God does not leave us alone. We may not see him in the physical sense, but we can see him in his provision, in the way things are worked out in our lives. His storehouse is full and his hand is caring. He will be there for you.

There is also the critical spiritual sense in which Christ by his Spirit attends to our deepest needs. Even the dearest of friends, physically present in the moment, cannot “set you free from the law of sin and death” or offer you “life and peace” as the Spirit of God can (Romans 8:2, 8:6). These are only two examples of the spiritual presence of God, keeping you from the loneliness that leads to despair.

And thus, Jesus is with you. You may not see him with your own two eyes, but your heart knows he is there and can lean on all that he gives you.

Jeff Hopper
September 4, 2017
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