Jesus’ Parting Shot

Matthew 28:18–20

I’d like us to linger just a little on this picture of God being with us, always. We’ve all been through those dark seasons of life where we are draped with despair. Fear stalks us, stealing our sleep and shrouding even the sunniest days with hopelessness. Faith seems like too much hard work, a vague wish upon a distant star.

In those days comes the promise of God’s presence: I will be with you. It’s a pledge God repeatedly makes to people throughout human history. Jesus warned His disciples of pain and persecution ahead, but His “parting shot” was to assure them that they’d never walk alone: He would be with them, always, forever. But what does that mean, that God is with us?

The assurance of God’s presence doesn’t mean we will feel or sense anything; answers will not be readily available to banish mystery. It doesn’t mean threats will be eliminated, all sicknesses will be sent packing, or every prayer, however faith-filled and desperate, will be answered. But it does mean that we are not forgotten, unwatched, or unaccompanied.

Strength is available; wisdom and direction can flow, and there can be a divine whisper of comfort in the night. We are not abandoned to meaninglessness, mere pawns in a game of chance. There is One who is able to bring hope and redeem even the most difficult circumstances. We do not cry out in the vacuum of a universe empty of God, but share our sobs with One who listens, knows, and cares. Sometimes we feel quite abandoned. But it is not true. We are not alone and never will be again.

Pray: It’s a stunning truth, one difficult to grasp: You will never leave me. Help me to live in the good of that truth today, faithful God. Amen.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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