I Will Be With You

 One of the most precious promises in God’s Word, and one that is given repeatedly, is “I will be with you.”  For example, when God spoke to the nation of Israel through the prophet Isaiah, He promised: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched. Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isa. 43:2,3a).  When Moses gave a charge to his people, preparing them to enter the land God had promised  them, He said: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (Dt. 31:6 cf v. 8). Since Moses didn’t actually get to lead the people in, God, in His  commission to Moses’ successor, Joshua, said: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous!  for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9).

     Before His ascension back to heaven, Jesus commissioned His disciples, saying: “Go therefore and make disciples to all the nations…and Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:19,20). We have an example of this in the life of the Apostle Paul. He had visited the wicked city of Corinth to evangelize but they resisted and blasphemed (Acts 18:6). But God had a word for him: “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you…” (Acts 18:9,10).  The writer to the Hebrews, quoted from Moses’ charge to the Israelites as well as from the Psalmist, saying: “…for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we may confidently say, ‘The LORD is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?'” (Heb. 13:5,6). Verse five could be literally translated: “I’ll never, never, never, abandon you in a hopeless state.” 
     God never promised that we wouldn’t pass through some deep waters and fiery trials, but He did promise to always be with us and see us through them. The prophet Habakkuk who was commissioned by God to announce His intention to punish Judah by the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar and the deportation to Babylon, made an amazing statement that is recorded for us in Hab. 3:17-19.  Though Babylonian invasion would strip the land, Habakkuk would rejoice in the Lord, knowing He would be there with him through it all: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.
      Whatever happens to you, whatever else may fail, God “Will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). We can always rejoice in the God of our salvation. It is one thing to thank God for delivering us from trials–and we should. It’s another thing to thank Him while they’re going on, but this has always been one of the greatest testimonies a Christian can give to an unbeliever–the testimony of a life of rejoicing in God’s salvation and in His presence in the midst of great difficulty. God is, as King David testified–and he should know!–“Our refuge and strength, and a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride” (Psa. 46:1-3). 
     Thirty years ago this month, we were in a car accident on our way home from a Wednesday night Bible study. There were patches of ice on the road and a car approaching us hit one of those icy patches and lost control and came at us broadside. Our car was totaled and each of us sustained some injuries. My wife still suffers problems with a shoulder as a result.  Could God have prevented that from happening? Obviously He could, He is omnipotent. But He had other plans for us. He was, though, as He has promised, with us through it. It was amazing how He had set up a support team for us that night, from ling fishermen at the river who came rushing up to assist and set out flares to a young missionary gal who “happened” to come by and had sleeping bags in her car to keep the kids warm until the ambulances arrived.
     Three weeks ago, on our daily walk, Kathy slipped on some ice hidden by a fresh dusting of snow and fell hard, jamming that same shoulder, breaking the radius bone in her lower arm, and bruising her tail bone. Her arm required surgery with a plate and twelve screws!  We had walked that route just the day before and thought we knew where the ice patches were. Could God have prevented that fall?  Sure He could. But what He did do–because He is with us and never leaves or deserts us–is provide help. It just so “happened” that the fall took place right in front of two police cars that had parked along the road. They, of course, came rushing right over to assist. 
     No matter what happens in our lives, as believers, God is always with us to see us through and provide all the support and comfort we need. Paul, who experienced way more difficulty than any of us ever will, wrote this great promise: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (II Cor. 1:3,4).  So, whatever happens in our lives, whatever happens in your life today, “For this we have Jesus!,” who promised, “I will be with you.”
                                        In His Care,
                                                        Pastor Dave

About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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