Pastoral Perspectives

God Is With Me!

Have you ever felt as though God has left you? Whenever you call on Him in prayer, you feel that your prayer does not seem to reach him or get heard by Him. Each one of us has our ups and downs moment. We do at times feel that way, don’t we? Sometimes, we do feel that God is far away from us. When that happens, it is good to ask ourselves whether we have distanced ourselves from Him. Will God leave us? No, God will not leave us if we have trusted Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We can learn from the Bible that God is with us.

Recently, I was encouraged by this assurance: “God is with me!” It was when I thought that I was alone or felt lonely, where I really sensed the presence of God with me. The Word of God has brought me much assurance, comfort and encouragement. I really resort to it, study it and treasure it. Let us resort to the invincible Word of God.

The assurance that “God will never leave us nor forsake us” is the promise which I cling to. This enables me to constantly know that “God is with me”. In Hebrews 13:5-6, I learn this truth and am still learning. God will take care of me and provide for me. I am contented with what I have. I am encouraged by these words: “The Lord is my helper”. He will help me not to be afraid or be fearful. I do not need to compare myself with others. I do not need to depend on others. I do not need to be envious of others. I recognise my own weaknesses and my own strengths. I only need to hold on to this truth: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). I always anchor my hope on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my living, everlasting hope. Life is not about what you possess but about who you pursue. I pursue Christ Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Is the Lord God Almighty your God? When the Lord God Almighty is your God, you will be strong and courageous. You will trust in the great faithfulness of God. You will not be intimidated by others. I recall this truth: “As God was with Moses, God was also with Joshua.” In Joshua 1:5, the Word of God mentions this: “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” This really comforts us, knowing that God will not leave us or forsake us. We need to stay close of God, no matter what comes. As for me, God is with me to embrace me, to empower me and to encourage me. God is with me also to sanctify me, to strengthen me and to sustain me to do His work for His glory.

I recall that I was baptised on 23 December 1979. My baptism verse is Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” This verse assured me of the presence of God with me when I was walking through tough and difficult times. When the surroundings looked so frightening and fearful, I can only assuredly rest in the faithfulness and the goodness of God. To me, “The valley of the shadow of death” refers to “the path of uncertainties and uncleared circumstances of the future.” I can only rely on God to lead and direct me step by step along the way. Knowing that He is with me brings me great comfort and peace. The Lord is my Shepherd, my Salvation, my Shelter, my Strength and my Sustainer. His rod and His staff comfort me. His rod disciplines me so that my faith in Him will be further stretched and strengthened. His staff protects me so that I will not distance myself from Him and so that I will be kept safe under His tender-loving care. His staff also prevents me from falling into deceptive teachings and ways. For me, His rod and His staff refer to the Word of God. In Hebrews 12:5-6, the Word of God states: “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’”

When God is with me, I will fear no evil. When we are doing the works of the Lord, God assures us that He is with us. When our Lord Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, He also assured them this truth: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” His disciples were commissioned to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” The Lord Jesus did not leave them to do the works of God by themselves but assured them that He was with them always.

Let us, therefore, be mindful of the presence of God with us wherever we are as we do the works of God. We just need to be faithfully and fervently carrying out His works for His glory. God is with us to embrace us, to empower us and to encourage us. Remember that the Lord is our Shepherd and we are sufficiently supplied for His works which He has entrusted to us. God is with me! Thank God. Amen.