Text- Deut. 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“O Lord, where is your face?”… Have you ever said this in prayer before? Or have you heard it in someone else’s prayer? This prayer shows the reality of the petitioner’s despair, and longing for God’s intervention. Sadly, it may seem as if God was nowhere to be found.
The Psalmist said in Psalm 10:1, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Certainly, he felt God was nowhere to found, and that he has been abandoned in the time of trouble, but in the end He came to realize that it is not so.
In verses 14 and 17 of the same Psalm, he said “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless… You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry”
In Psalm 44, the psalmist talks much about how frustrated he was at God, verse 24 sums up the entire psalm, “Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?” But again, by the time we read Psalm 46, the psalmist declares
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling”
That reminds me of that great poem “Footprints in the sand” by Margaret Fishback Powers:
“One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.
When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.
"Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don't understand why, when I need You most, You leave me.
"He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
You see, one of the weapons that the devil uses to defeat Christians is deception. If the devil can succeed in deceiving you, he will succeed in defeating you. Among many other things, the devil often deceives believers to think God has forsaken them, and they are left to figure out things all on their own.
But when you inspect deeply, you realize that God never leaves you all to yourself. He has said he will never leave you nor forsake you, trust Him and be assured of His ever abiding presence and support today and always.
Lord, you are my very present help at all times. Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me. Help me to be evermore assured of your ever abiding presence in Jesus Name.