Tag Archives: death

Throwback Thursday: Never Forsaken

 

 

 

NEVER FORSAKEN

By Carolyn Dale Newell

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice,

saying…”My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Mark 15:34 (NKJV)

One of the greatest comforts I know is that God never leaves me, nor forsakes me (Heb. 13:5). He has been right there by my side as I have gone through many difficulties, and He will be with me to the end. Christians have the peace of knowing that God will be with us when we die. Even though there may be pain, He will comfort us and our loved ones when they leave this world to enter heaven.

As Jesus hung on the cross, He did not feel the comfort that God will give believers at death. He received God’s wrath and punishment without His grace. He received exactly what we deserve, and He bore the weight of our sin. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21).

After God’s wrath had been unleashed on Christ, He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” This is the only time that Christ did not refer to God as His Father. God had forsaken Him, and He was not comforting Him. Could this be a picture of what hell is like? Those who never repent and remain unsaved will receive eternal punishment from God without His comfort and grace.

As we consider death, let us be comforted by the fact that we will not have to face it alone. God will comfort His children and give us the grace that He always gives us through everything that we endure on this earth. We should also lift up thanksgiving to Christ for taking our judgment. Truly the songwriter got it right – “O what a Savior”!

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for never forsaking us. Thank You for comforting us and giving us grace no matter what trial we are facing. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Mark 15:33-41.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Whatever you are going through today, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. God will never leave you, nor forsake you, even in death.

 

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.

Advertisements

Incense Rising Online Study 9

Are you in a storm? Are you coming out of one? Can you recall a trial where you saw the hand of God? Trials serve to strengthen our faith.

There was a widow in Zarephath who needed greater faith. When we meet her in 1 Kings 17:10, she has given up. The famine that Elijah had prayed for was in the land, and she was out of food. This distressed widow is preparing her son’s last meal before they die.

Read 1 Kings 17. What were the two requests Elijah made of the widow?

How did Elijah try to sooth the widow’s fears?

What was the first miracle the widow witnessed?

Do you ever feel like you come out of one storm and head right into another? This widow can sympathize with you. God miraculously provided food for her and her son as long as Elijah resided with them. Their lives were spared from starvation only to have her son become deathly ill. How do you think she felt?

What emotion does she display in verse 18?

Do you think Elijah shared in the frustration of the widow (v. 20)?

Here is Elijah, a prophet, but a man, just like us as James has pointed out (James 5:17). Never feel ashamed when your burdens begin to overwhelm your faith. It happened to Elijah. Like the widow, Elijah was wondering what God was doing and why was God allowing it.

Elijah prayed fervently three times for the boy to be revived before God answered. In 1 Kings 18:42-44, Elijah prayed for rain, but he prayed seven times before seeing a tiny cloud. That is almost double the prayer time when compared to the time spent in prayer for the widow’s son. This is a great example for us to understand how God stretches our faith.

According to 1 Kings 17:24, how did this second storm affect the widow’s faith?

God enlarged the faith of Elijah and the widow both. Elijah sounded confident when he declared to the widow that her flour and oil would never run out. God had already provided for Elijah using a babbling brook and the ravens. God had told Elijah a widow would provide food for him in Zarephath, but Scripture never tells us that Elijah was warned about the boy’s illness and death.

Storms catch us off-guard. That is the nature of a storm. Have you ever been out on a summer’s day and suddenly the sky grows black and thunder rumbles? Elijah was caught off-guard with this boy’s sickness.

Whenever God made a promise to Elijah, Elijah was confident. God made no promise concerning the widow’s son.

Do you think Elijah lacked some confidence as he prayed for the boy?

God has promised us many things throughout His Word. Which promises comfort you most? Which ones do you need to cling to more?

Man is a promise-breaker. God is a promise-keeper. We may not know to what extent God will provide for us, but we know He will provide (Phil. 4:19) We may not know when the peace will arrive, but we know it comes (Phil. 4:6-7). We may feel alone, but we know we are never alone (Heb. 13:5). Life may be horrible, but we know some way, God will work it all out for good (Rom. 8:28). Rest on His promises today.

Lord, help us discover Your promises as we read Your Word. Thank You for always keeping the promises You have made. Help us trust You to always come through. Amen.