God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
When I was 13, my mother died of cancer. I was scared and lost without her, yet it was through that time of grief and pain that God became real to me. This verse helped me cope with overwhelming feelings of loss. God spoke this truth into my heart: “You may feel lonely, but you are never alone.” I held onto that promise — and still do.
God first spoke these same words 1500 years prior to the writing of Hebrews, when Joshua and the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land. Hearing God’s pledge gave Joshua confidence to lead the people. God’s promises don’t expire or wear out, but remain in effect for all time. His promise to never leave us or forsake us was good for Joshua, it was good for the believers in the early church, and it’s still good for us.
Similar to the passage we read last week from John 10:28-29, there are five negatives in the original language in this verse. It could be rendered: “I will never, never desert you, and I will never, never, never abandon you.” In the Greek language, when a word or phrase is repeated, each one grows in intensity. This is a promise God does not want us to forget.
We all need assurance from time to time. We need to know we aren’t alone. In an uncertain world, where friends move away, promises are broken, and loved ones die, we can be certain of the Father’s steady presence. Then we will be able to say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.”
Dear God, help me to remember that my feelings aren’t reliable and that I can’t always trust them. But Your promises are solid and sure, so I will lean on Your words. No matter how lonely I may feel, I am never alone. Thank You for Your faithful presence. I love you, Lord.