Treasures in the Darkness: the Gift of God’s Presence

God promises to remain at our side, always – in good times and in bad. That He could betray us or abandon us is out of the question.

SONG

You will never leave me nor forsake me

You will never leave me

Nor forsake me

My times are in your hands

Though my friends may hurt me

And desert me

You’ll always understand

Though Satan come against me

You’ll defend me

Your power none can withstand

You will never leave me

Nor forsake me

My times are in your hands

*********************************************************************************

Bible reading

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT)

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.” (Joshua 1:5, NLT)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Heb 13:5-6,NIV)

“My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. ” (Psalm 31:15, NIV) 

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;with your right hand you save me. “(Psalm 138:7, NIV)

 

I wrote this song about 12 years ago. Yet last year, I had a dream in which I saw my father, mother and siblings singing this song. The dream came at a particularly difficult time, when I was battling doubts and fears that everyone’s faith  – mine included- would flicker, fade and die like a candle in the wind. God used the dream and this song to show me that the knowledge of Him would always be real to us and our faith would survive. 

He will not leave (fail) us nor forsake (abandon) us

God promises to remain at our side, always – in good times and in bad times. That He could betray or abandon us is out of the question.

When the Lord first revealed this to His people, He was preparing them to begin to fight for the Promised Land. They were facing armies far greater and far more powerful than theirs.  As a matter of fact, they were ex-slaves, they were not trained soldiers! Centuries later, God uses the writer of the letter to the Hebrews to bring this same promise to them – converts from Judaism to Christianity.  They were facing persecution (including the loss of everything they owned). He urges them not to trade their faith in Him with trust in (or love for) material things because He would never leave them and would always provide for them.

Our times are in His hands

David wrote Psalm 31 as a fugitive, running for his life! Yet as he cries out for help from God, he reminds himself that God is his refuge and fortress and that his times are in His hands.

Corrie ten Boom, who spent years in a Nazi concentration camp once said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”  I have this quotation on my dresser in my bedroom so that I do not forget this truth.  I discovered Corrie ten Boom’s books as a little girl. My mother had come to love her books and had purchased several titles. I can recall three:

  • A Prisoner and Yet – about her experience of God’s faithfulness in the concentration camp;
  • Not Good if Detached – on the fact that Jesus is the Vine and we are the Branches and to live the Christian life we have to draw life from Him (John 15:5);
  • A Tramp for the Lord – testimonies of lives touched by God,  on account of her ministry travels around the world.

I guess you can tell that the books had a big impact on me. I was drawn to Corrie’s God because He was so real to her. Despite everything that her family suffered in the hands of the Nazis, she was willing to travel the globe to share about God’s love –  be a “tramp” for Him even in her old age – living out of suitcases most of the time.  Her family’s only crime was providing a hiding place for Jews facing persecution in Holland during World War 2. Although all, except Corrie, died in the hands of the Nazi soldiers, this tragedy could not extinguish Corrie’s faith – His presence in the midst of dark times was that real!

The God who created us didn’t leave us to fend for ourselves! No, He also sustains us.    He holds our lives in His hands. And He promises to fulfill His purpose for us. He will never abandon us to the devices of our enemy (Psalm 138:7-8). One of my favorite songs on this very theme is “My Life Is in Your Hands” by Kathy Troccolli. You can find it on you-tube.  A key message of the song is that although life brings unexpected things, God’s love does amazing things in us and for us!

Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of Your Preserving Presence. Thank You for being the Friend that will never leave me – the Friend that “sticks closer than a brother.”  Neither will you misunderstand or betray me.  Thank you too, that none of the things that threaten me can withstand your power. You will fulfill Your purpose for creating me as I continue to trust and obey You. Thank You that You are REAL and You are REALLY HERE, with me, sustaining me and adding meaning and purpose to my life, now and for always!

 

Acknowledgement: Photo from Pexels.com

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