Monday, December 28, 2009

A Divine Promise for the New Year

Reading in my private devotions today, I was reminded of the beautiful and tenderly scripted passage in Hebrews 13:5-6, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you, so that we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?' " This statement in found in the context of the exhortation to extricate ourselves from the love of money. The real issue here is "security." Security is not found in money, power, prestige, or one's station in life. Security has always been, and forever will remain, an issue related to one's relationship to God. The Christian has the greatest of confidences, because the Christian has the Lord. I think this is the essential meaning of point in Hebrews 13. The writer reminds us that we need not fear because we belong to God. I hear in the Bible passage the clear and distinct ringing of divine providence applied by divine wisdom and love. Nothing can touch the Christian except what passes through the hands of the Christian's all-powerful God. Nothing occurs to the Christian except what God, in His all-wise providence, determines is best for the Christian. In addition, God will never withhold from the Christian all that would be desirable, beautiful, and favorable for the Christian in this life and in eternity. Psalm 84:11 states this truth emphatically.

But, though God gives many good and perfect gifts to the Christian (James 1:17), there is something more tender, personal, and intimate that gives the Christian hope and comfort. Hebrews 13:5 says that God Himself will never desert or forsake us! There are five negatives utilized in the Greek to EMPHASIZE the fact that God will never, ever, without question or doubt, desert or forsake us. The Christian must say, "I have God; what else do I need?" "What else" indeed! If one has the Lord, then one has all. As John Wesley once wrote, "One who has no money is poor, but one who has nothing but money is poorer still."

May this confidence of heart, which is God's gift to you in Christ, be your comfort this day and in the new year. Christian friend, God will never cast you out, never throw you over, and He will never walk away from you. Though none of us know what the future will bring, we do know that God will never forsake us at any step in the journey to the glorious celestial city. Hallelujah!