“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So, we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:5b-6
Going it alone. It’s an awful experience when you’re in trouble. If you have a friend with you, there’s comfort, even if your friend is as helpless as you are. At least you can rehearse your current dilemma and how it all unfolded. You can explore your options, if any, and process your thoughts and feelings in a fellowship of suffering.
The next time you’re in a bad place and you’re wringing your hands, picture Jesus walking in. He says, “You’re not alone anymore. I’m here. I will go through this with you.” Would that not be the best news? He is the perfect companion on so many levels. First, He understands suffering. He’s no novice and the thought of that gives you the freedom to pour out your fears and complaints. He also understands you. He knows what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. He’s ahead of you in how you are connecting the dots. He knows the limits of your stamina and what kinds of things will cause you to lose hope. With such knowledge, He can speak a kind of customized set of encouragements that are specific to your own needs.
Oh, but that’s not all. He’s no mere friend. He’s God, first and foremost. He sees the bigger picture of the trial. He knows the joy of the ultimate deliverance, whether on earth or in heaven, and He knows what needs to unfold to coincide with His Father’s redemptive plan. He will give you mental, emotional, and spiritual resources. He will equip you with instruction. He will tell you when to harness your thoughts but also when to lay back and rest. He keeps watch while you sleep.
With these realities, surely you and I can say that the Lord is our helper; we will not be afraid. Indeed, what can mere mortals do? God is our companion. God holds evil on a leash. God has already marched into the future to redeem this present suffering. God can multi-task; He is celebrating the final victory while sharing tears with us in our valleys. For the Jews who were hated and enduring unspeakable persecution, this reassurance of God’s presence filled their spirits with iron.
Fainting is only momentary until I remember You’re right here. Amen