Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Week Three - You're Not Alone

Immanuel, God with us, is one of my favorite meditations, especially at Christmas. As I was reading the book of John, I noticed Jesus building more on this truth and using it as a source of strength on His road to the cross.

In John 14, Jesus begins by saying, "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me." You might know that passage. 

Then, in verse 17, He speaks of the Spirit of truth that would indwell the hearts of believers, saying the Spirit "dwelleth with you and shall be in you." Isn't that a blessed promise? 

Then, 16:32 reads, "I am not alone, because the Father is with me." And there is it - God with us. God with Jesus. He was not alone in the things He was about to face, and neither are we!

I had to go back and pick up John 15:27, where Jesus says, "he hath been with me from the beginning." Jesus drew strength from the promise of God's presence. An excruciating road lay before Him and would end in death, but He looked beyond that to the promise of reunion with the Father. That reunion was on the other side of His obedience. 

Facing the cross was a heavy calling, yet He knew God would remain with Him through the trial. Maybe that's why His comment on the cross, "My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me, " is so poignant. 

In order to make the ultimate sacrifice - which was not only death but separation from God, Jesus had to "taste death," He had to experience the meaning of separation (Hebrews 2:9). He was made perfect - the perfect sacrifice - through suffering (Hebrews 2:10). It was by this death, this separation, that He destroyed the power of death, delivering us from bondage (Hebrews 2:14, 15), and becoming our merciful and faithful Saviour (Hebrews 2:1,7,18). 

He suffered the feeling of separation, or might I even say, the fact of separation to complete His calling - to be made like us, to suffer as we do, so that "he is able to help them that are tempted (Hebrews 2:18) and to confidently say, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5).

We, too, can rest in God's promise and use it, as Jesus did, to give us strength to carry on, face difficult times, and yet look forward with hope when we remember that the blessing is on the other side of obedience and God is beside us with every step.

Friend, you are not alone in your trials or needs; God is with you. He sees you, and He cares. Allow the presence of God to be the comfort and strength for your heart today. You are never alone.

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