Unabandoned By God
Have you ever felt as though everyone has let you down? Have you ever felt abandoned or forgotten or forsaken, maybe even like this apostle who said:
As a child, when I would look at the little forget-me-nots, I sometimes felt a little like that flower—small and insignificant. I wondered if I would be forgotten by my family or by my Heavenly Father.
Years later I can look back on that young boy with tenderness and compassion. And I do know now—I was never forgotten.
And I know something else—neither are you!
You are not forgotten.
Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, no matter how dark your days seem, how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love. (Dieter Uchtdorf)
I hope you’ll stick with me through this cast as God reinforces this message in your heart today—even if you have doubted that God Himself exists before listening in today.
Remember, Paul the apostle also felt very alone. Imprisoned at Jerusalem, I imagine Paul was feeling really discouraged. Look how the Lord responded so personally, as we read in Acts 23:11, “The following night the Lord actually stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer, Paul.’ “
God reminded him that he was not alone; Jesus stood right by him! I love that. Is He not standing by you, spiritually?
God’s presence assures us over and over that we are not alone. It’s especially true when our emotions are flat, and when we don’t even feel Him near, we need to remember and hang our hats on the truth that He is still with us. He still sees us and is caring for us.
The British preacher C. H. Spurgeon put it this way:
If all else forsook Paul, Jesus was company enough; if all despised him, Jesus’ smile was patronage enough; if the good cause seemed in danger, in the presence of His Master, victory was sure. The Lord who had stood for him at the cross, now stood by him in prison. . . . It was a dungeon, but the Lord was there; it was dark, but the glory of the Lord lit it up with heaven’s own splendor. (His Loving Presence, November 5, 2013).
The Lord was saying to Paul, as to us: “You are not alone.”
God reassures us in Isaiah,
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV).
He is with us in the good times, and He is also with us in the bad times. And as someone wisely said, “He can compensate by His loving presence for every earthly loss.”
What applies to Paul, applies to you and to me.
God Is Near; He Has Not Abandoned You
So, if you were feeling or thinking before this cast that God is far away and indifferent, I hope your heart is changing through His word.
It also helps to just ponder what He’s done. From the foundation of the world, God knew your sufferings and declared that Jesus himself would take upon him our feelings and pains and participate in them.
God is not a distant Father, nor is Jesus a distant, indifferent Savior. If you’ve endured something awful alone, or have been abandoned by your earthly parents or isolated from your peers, God is on the scene working out a new thing, a new future that you might not yet see. He is attentive to your pain and cries. He paid the price for your healing. He has a plan and a future for you. I promise. Hang on.
The First Buds on the Almond Tree
I love the scripture in Jeremiah that says that God is aware of the first buds to pop out on the almond tree—the first tree to bloom in late January (Jeremiah 1:11-12). It means He never stops watching nature for even a second. Likewise, He never stops paying attention, close attention, to us, even when we don’t pay close attention to Him. He stands ever ready to help us bloom at the second we awaken to His awareness. He never forgets a single person or a single promise for a single second. God is watching over you. He knows where you are in your season of growth and development, or season of hurt and cold. He has plans for you to bear great fruit.
When You Feel Detached or Isolated from God or Jesus
As a living witness of the Savior well-said:
There may be times when you feel detached—even isolated—from the Giver of every good gift. You worry that you walk alone. Fear replaces faith.
When you find yourself in such circumstances, I plead with you to remember prayer.
God’s children were not placed on this earth to walk alone. What an amazing source of power, of strength and of comfort is available to each of us. He who knows us better than we know ourselves, he who sees the larger picture and who knows the end from the beginning, has assured us that he will be there for us to provide help if we but ask. (Thomas S. Monson, “We Never Walk Alone,” 2013).
Let’s not miss His presence but ask to see it. Kindle it through prayer.
We were never meant to walk alone.
And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed (Deut. 31:8).
It took Jacob looking back and realizing “God was in this place and we knew it not.” We don’t have to wait to know He is with us.
God bless you in your journey. Please share your thoughts or questions about how you can come to know Him and His full gospel plan for your life, or submit a prayer request at ibelievepodcast.com, or via Facebook, Google+, or YouTube pages.
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Living out a great season of my life, thanks to Jesus Christ, and two wonderful daughters, a great life's work. Loving this opportunity to share faith online... I'm a single Mom, convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, second-gen Italian, from the East coast originally. Love the fine arts, dance, frozen yogurt, temples, scriptures, writing, jazz, helping others reach their potential, king salmon, ....and not in that order. God is good. I feel it deeply when people have a misconception of Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ, His Son, that lessens or cheapens Them and blinds one's ability to feel His presence or to trust in an ultimately good eternal end to life's circumstances.