“You didn’t earn [God’s] faithful presence by your obedience, and your disobedience won’t take it away. The central message of Scripture is that God is with us forever because of one thing and one thing only: his grace!”- Paul David Tripp
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”- Joshua 1:5 (NIV)
As Paul David Tripp concludes Chapter 10 of Suffering, he discusses the second right here, right now promise of God’s presence.
2. I will not leave you or forsake you. Found many times in Scripture, God greeted one of His children or the whole community of God’s children with these words when they faced something new, hard, difficult, or overwhelming. Thus, this promise serves as a significant reminder and protection for all who suffer.
First, these words provide a humbling reminder that God always remains faithful to us, no matter what. Because of what’s in Him, not what’s in us.
During moments of travail, we often fall way below God’s standard. In addition, Pastor Tripp notes, difficulty exposes weak joy, weak love, and fickle worship. As a result, we realize we’re not as righteous as we think, nor as faithful as we’ve confessed to be.
Furthermore, this promise also supplies significant spiritual protection. It exposes Satan for the liar that he is. Therefore, Satan’s lies have the power to:
- deepen your desperation and weaken your resolve
- make you feel you’ve been taken advantage of and duped
- make you wonder why you followed God in the first place and believed things you couldn’t prove
Most noteworthy, Satan’s central lie to God’s suffering children comes in the form of this question: “Where is your God now?”
Implicit in Satan’s question is that our suffering provides clear evidence that God’s forsaken us. So, more than mocking us for our belief, Satan attacks the character of God. But this doesn’t expose God’s untrustworthiness. Rather, it exposes the utter hatred of the Father of lies.
Finally, God’s promise warns us of the temptation every sufferer faces. He spoke them to ease our pain and erase our fears.
Today’s question: How do you experience God’s faithful presence? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Suffering’s paradox – pain ushers in blessing”