Oh Blessed Assurance!

Posted on July 19, 2019

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By David Ettinger

Unhinged World
The world is becoming more and more unhinged, especially for Christians. For decades in the West, our deeply held values have been mocked, assaulted, and dismissed. We have grown accustomed to the ridicule, but the stakes are getting higher as the secular world looks to criminalize our ethics.

As each day brings new attacks on our value-system, it sometimes seems as if God is aloof. We want to ask Him, “God, are You seeing what is happening here? Do You notice? Do You care?” Of course we know the answers to these questions, but are frustrated nonetheless.

God does indeed care. In fact, He knew what was coming, warned us about it, and told us He would be in the midst of our trials. Jesus said: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

So yes, there will be tribulation, but God is bigger than our tribulations. Happily, this is not God’s only word of encouragement. He knows that when we are in the midst of our trials, we need Him desperately. It is for this reason He gives His children this marvelous assurance: “I will not leave you nor forsake you.”  

The Biblical Record
In the New King James Version of the Bible, this phrase, in various forms, appears six times in the Old Testament (italic added):

  • Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  • Deuteronomy 31:8: “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
  • Joshua 1:5: “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  • 1 Kings 8:57: “May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us.”
  • 1 Chronicles 28:20: “And David said to his son Solomon, “‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God – my God – will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.’”
  • Psalm 27:9: “Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.”

A Marvelous Assurance to Cling To
The New Testament echoes this powerful pledge of assurance. We read: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5). In writing this, the author makes clear that the same assurance affirmed to Israel is also the same assurance given to believers in Jesus Christ.

It is as if God is saying: “The promise that I will never leave you or forsake you includes everything you will ever require for this life. The assurance of My constant presence in your life should satisfy your every need and desire, calm your every fear, soothe your every frayed emotion, and bolster any lack of confidence you may have. I am all you need.”

God is all we need, and to make sure we know this, He gives us a wondrous assurance we must cling to for the rest of our lives: “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” As we move closer to the end of the age and experience increased persecution, Christians must cling to this assurance at all costs. We must never forget it. Some of us will lose our jobs. Some will be outcast by close family members and friends. Some will be sued. Some will be called all sorts of vile names. Some will be the target of hatred and revilement.

But through all this, our God gives us this marvelous assurance: “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” A marvelous assurance indeed!

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