Never, no never, no never forsake

Psalm 118--5-6

The Verse of the Day for January 11, 2015 found in Psalm 118:5-6 (New Living Translation):

In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?

Psalm 56:11 (NLT) also offers similar expressions as to why there should be no fear when it comes to our relationship with God.

I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

I recall the lyrics to the song “I Must Tell Jesus”: “In my distress he promised to help me.” God offers assurance that when His people call on Him that He will answer. The Bible is full of examples of individuals who called upon the Lord in distress, and He came to their rescue. Jacob, for example, learned the truth regarding God’s response to his praying to God when he was in great distress because his brother, Esau, was pursuing him in order to kill him. Genesis 35:3 records what Jacob said as he is returning to Bethel years after his first encounter with God in that sacred place:

We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”

Recall the encouraging words spoken to the Children of Israel in Deuteronomy 31:6:

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

A most remarkable illustration is Peter for whom a company of believers prayed for when he was in prison, a place of great distress. That account in Acts 12 inspired this poetic expression whereby we can apply the Word of God to our own lives:

Like Peter in Prison

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made

without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Acts 12:3

Like Peter in prison we wait for the new day.

In dark times the ray of hope has never been more dim,

But we see that God Almighty always makes a way:

He sent an angel of the Lord to rescue him,

And the same God that rescued Peter cares for you and me.

The mighty warrior who has never known defeat

Always triumphs and moves from victory to victory,

For the good work that He began He will complete.

Prison gates opened; Peter walked into the street

And returned to find the saints praying for relief

From the yoke of bondage that imprisoned the man.

Though they prayed fervently, they were prayed in unbelief.

Rhoda said, “He’s here,” but they ridiculed the woman.

When Peter arrived, they could not believe their eyes.

Surrounded by fear and doubt they did not realize

Not even prisons can deter God’s perfect plan.

God is faithful to each promise—His Word is true.

Be assured that He will also come to our rescue.

The Scriptures reinforce the truth that God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake those who trust in Him and call upon His name. This message is especially well expressed in Hebrews 13:5-6 in the Amplified Bible:

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

The last verse of “How Firm a Foundation” rings in my ears as I read this passage from Hebrews 13:5-6:

“The soul that on Jesus hath lean’d for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”

The ever-popular hymn is offered by Sovereign Grace Music to remind us of God’s ever abiding presence.

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