Have you ever felt forsaken? Perhaps you are going through a very difficult time in your life right now where you are tempted to feel like God has let you down? Like He can’t be bothered with your heartache or your pain? I think at some point in time, we’ve all been there. We’ve all dragged that heavy load around. This world can be a heavy place to navigate most days.
But, beloved, going through the desert of feeling forsaken is perhaps the most difficult trial God will ever allow us to be put through, and yet the most beneficial in light of eternity. “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)
In the book of Job, you will find similar feelings. Job felt betrayed by God. He felt like God couldn’t be or wasn’t concerned with his suffering. He felt he was being made to suffer unjustly. He wasn’t aware that God was allowing him to be a human football for the forces of evil to kick around.
Oh my goodness, how Job suffered. He lost everything. His children, every single one of them! And, there were 10! He lost his fortune and every possession he had. He lost all of his family members and friends. His body was covered with boils. BOILS! Covered with them! Head to feet! Now, I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t handle one boil nevertheless be covered in them! What pain that must have been. And, what mental anguish he endured. But, that doesn’t mean that our mental anguish is any less than Job’s was.
I’ve heard it said that “God won’t put on us more than we can handle” but I don’t believe that for one second, and here is why… If God wouldn’t put more on us than we can handle, then what use would we have of Him? Now, I’m not saying that when we go through hard, tough, or scary times that God is the one who brought these things upon us. No way! Hard, tough, and scary times come to everyone at some point. That is what sin does. We’re not immune from it. I wish we were, but sadly, we’re not. But, these are the times in our lives that satan loves most. This is his playground. It is in these times that he is fueling our pain, and whispering his lies. What satan wants is for us to not trust in God or His promises. BUT, what God wants is for us to hold onto the mindset that Job held on to… “Even if you allow me to be slain, Lord, I will not quit serving you, nor will I turn my back on you. Not by my strength, Lord, but by your grace, I will not.” (Job 13).
What you must remember is that God is as close to you in your times of suffering as He is in your good times. And, what He wants from us in these times of feeling forsaken is for us to put our trust and our faith in Him. No matter how painful the trial, what He desires from us is total surrender of it. Lay it at His feet and walk away from it. Nail it to the cross. And, then do just that… leave it there!
We’re not the only ones who have ever felt forsaken. Jesus also felt forsaken. As He hung on the cross, He said these words: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46) Not even Jesus was exempt from feeling forsaken. God didn’t cause this feeling, but He allowed it. He allowed it because Jesus had to be tempted in every manner that we have or ever will be tempted. He knows what it’s like because He’s been there. Jesus has walked through every trial and temptation that we will ever face. He’s been there. He knows what it’s like.
In Hebrews 13:5b God promises: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So, there you have it. He WILL NOT forsake you. You may be in a hard, tough, or scary season right now, but you can know with full assurance that you are NOT forsaken by God. He sees you. He knows your pain. He knows where you are. And, He loves you. He hasn’t left you. In fact, it is in these seasons that His presence is the strongest. Don’t give up on Him. Don’t give in to satan’s lies. Hang on to God and His promises. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Praise Him in your storm, no matter what! No matter how your season unfolds, make the choice to praise Him anyway. Pray and ask Him to use you and your current situation to bring Him glory. Talk about a mighty weapon of grace!
Oh, and as for Job… he got back twice as much as he had lost! The Bible tells us in Job 42:12a; “So the Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life more than the first.” And, he got to watch four generations of his children grow up. Four generations!
Hang on to God and His promises to you! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!