The Promise of God’s Presence

by Sharon Betters

 

TODAY’S TREASURE

God, Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake you, nor let you down, relax My hold on you. Assuredly not!

Hebrews 13:5 Amplified

 

Paul and Silas sang at midnight because they believed the promises of God. They believed His promises because God cannot lie. They believed God’s promises because God kept the mother of all promises when He sent Jesus to live as a man, to experience every temptation known to man, to die on a cross for our sins and then to conquer death by rising again. Their hearts intertwined with the heart of Jesus and everything they thought and ultimately did was pushed through the grid of knowing Jesus. Paul declared his ultimate purpose when he wrote:

For me to live is Christ. To die is gain.

Philippians 1:21

God’s truth, His Word, fuels such purpose and love. The reaction of Paul and Silas to false imprisonment and severe beatings flowed from their choice to trust in God’s promises. Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not in that fiery furnace by themselves, Paul and Silas knew they were not in that jail cell by themselves.

I will never forget the moment God reminded me of the promise of His presence through a friend’s note. Changing seasons for bereaved parents, and perhaps for anyone missing a loved one can be excruciating. That first autumn after Mark’s death plunged us deeper into the abyss of grief. School buses and soccer practices on high school fields reminded us that our son would not finish high school. The pictures of him on our walls would never change. He would always be sixteen. One fall day Chuck and I tried to outrun the grief by driving to a mall and browsing around a furniture store. Finally, Chuck took my hand and said, “Let’s just go home. This isn’t helping.”

We agreed to try working in the yard so as he cut the grass, I weeded a flower bed. Like something out of a movie, I started repeatedly slamming the shovel into the dirt, once more crying out, “I cannot do this. Please, give me back my son.”  At that moment, Chuck tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a pink envelope. Inside was a handwritten card with this message:

God, Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake you, nor let you down, relax My hold on you. Assuredly not!

Hebrews 13:5 Amplified

Something supernatural happened as I read these words. I imagined God holding my face as I had often held the faces of our children, commanding me to look Him in the eyes and to listen carefully. He said, “Sharon, no matter how much you wrestle with me - because of my Son, Jesus Christ - you are safely in My grip. I will never leave you without hope. I am here.”

The 24/7 physical ache in my chest disappeared and for a few hours, I felt almost normal. Why? I did not realize it then, but now I know that these words are pregnant with power because they are rooted in the promise of God’s Covenant. Years earlier God promised that He would create a family from one man, Abraham and that He would never leave the members of that family. Galatians 3:29 explains that if we belong to Christ, then the same promises God made to Abraham are ours as well:

And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 3:29

If a lawyer informed you that a relative had left you a sizeable inheritance, no doubt you would want to know every detail about that inheritance. Sadly, many of God’s children miss the treasure of God’s promises because they neglect to unpack the treasure chest of their spiritual inheritance. My friend’s note and handwritten Scripture reminded me of God’s covenantal promise to Abraham.  God chose Abraham to be His child. In Genesis 12 and 15, God outlined what Abraham could expect from Him. God would never leave Abraham, He would build a great family out of Abraham’s seed, God would bless that family and each of those family members would bless others. When Abraham feared the unknown, God reassured him:

Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward.

Genesis 15:1

From generation to generation, God has made that same promise to His people when they have been frightened by the pathway He has marked out for them. Rarely does God explain His plans or even His reasons. He simply commands us to trust that His presence is enough. God used my friend’s note to remind me of the promise of His presence. In those moments He gave me the faith to believe that His presence was enough.

PRAYER

Lord, give us a hunger for Your Word, a drive to unpack the treasures of our spiritual inheritance and recognition that in the promises of the Covenant is a description in a nutshell of how to live a life that is a broken hallelujah when midnight falls.

 
1.png
 

Subscribe to Daily Treasure and have devotionals like this one delivered to your inbox.

Contact Sharon with comments or questions at dailytreasure@gmail.com.