– Ronald Reagan
As Moses was about to die, he tried to encourage Joshua, who would be Israel’s next leader, by telling him “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut 31:8). Part of the reason was that “the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it” (Deut 31:7), and God is always faithful to His promises. Always!
Jesus was forsaken by all on the cross. Only a few of His followers remained…very few, like Mary, Jesus’ mother (also called Mary), and the Apostle John, who Jesus commanded to take care of His mother. How often have we forsaken God only to see that He has not forsaken us? Take encouragement from that won’t you.
The psalmist’s words are just as encouraging to us as they were to ancient Israel as he wrote about the righteous, “though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand” (Psalm 37:24). Even the Apostle Paul said he was “persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2nd Cor 4:9). It might feel like we’re struck down and fallen so hard we can’t get up, but God is not going to quit on us, even if we do for a time.
Want to see how great God’s love is for us, besides the obvious display of His love on the cross (John 3:16)? The Apostle Paul says that “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom5:10), so “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom5:8). Not anyone in history that I know of was willing to die for an enemy. Only a God-type of love does that.
We can be our own worst enemy when we give up on ourselves, even when God has not. We know God won’t ever leave us or forsake us, even when we do Him, and when we fall, He helps us up because His love is so great for us that was willing to die for us while still ungodly, wicked sinners, who were, at one time His enemy (Rom 5:6-10).