You can almost hear the pain in His voice as Jesus speaks to His disciples regarding the impending trials He will soon endure. It is considered by many to be the darkest hour in the life of Christ and a prelude to humanity’s darkest hour. The religious leaders of Christ’s day will soon be so moved with envy that they will sanction and even demand the death of the innocent, precious, sinless Son of God. In the hours surrounding those events, His most outspoken disciple will deny Him vehemently and openly. One of the chosen twelve will trade Christ in for a small amount of material wealth. In shame, He will hang on the cross between two common criminals – one who will berate Him before those who are mocking below. Alone, alone, alone might be how we would describe the situation if we were in it. However, Christ made a very powerful statement as He attempted to help His disciples understand what was about to happen. He stated, “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32).
So, too, do we have that comfort of knowing that God will be with us. Scripture promises that God will never leave or forsake His children (Heb. 13:7). Such a promise needs to be remembered when we feel all alone. Certainly, we have all felt forsaken and forgotten because of various trials we have to face. However, we can rest assured that God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), will forever be with us so long as we walk with Him. Briefly, let us consider sometimes in our lives when we feel alone, yet we are not.
In Times of Grief
Sadly, everyone reading this article has, at one time or another, lost a family member or close friend to death. We have all stood beside a coffin wiping the tears from our cheeks. Wives have buried husbands and husbands have buried wives. Parents have wept around the grave of their children and vice versa. Alone and forsaken might be words that rush to our minds in times like this, but we can know with confidence that God is with us! We, too, can claim His as our Helper (Heb. 13:6). On Him can we cast our every burden and He will sustain us (I Pet. 5:7; Psa. 55:22).
In Times Of Temptation Temptation is common to all men and consequently, so is sin. Every man is tempted, and every man is tempted on a regular basis (James 1:13-15). While God is not the source or cause of that temptation, He is there for us when we go through it. Some feel ashamed and even tainted when faced with temptation. They are some who act as if being tempted is sinful. Lest we believe such, consider that Christ was perfectly sinless, yet He was tempted (Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:21-23).
The reason that Christ was perfect in the face of temptation is because He carried His Father (or His Father’s Word) with Him into every spiritual battle. “It is written” was His defense and God was His Ally. Thankfully, you and I have that same Ally and that same defense in our battle against the fiery darts of Satan. We may feel alone on the front lines of battle, yet we are not alone!
Death is indeed a time marked by separation. James describes death as a separation of spirit and body (James 2:26). Furthermore, death is a time when spouses are separated. Death also separates siblings, grandparents from grandchildren, friends, neighbors, church members, etc. However, if we are faithful to God, there is no separation from Him at death: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on…that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (Rev. 14:13). A Christian does not die from the Lord, but with the Lord. It is in that fact that all our hopes rest. David, in the 23rd Psalm, expresses the same sentiment with these very familiar words: “Yea, 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.” (Psa. 23:4). Do you not hear the same words in David’s psalm that you hear in Christ’s teachings of John 16:33? Both informed those listening that despite their circumstances or their plight, God would be with them. Praise the Lord that you and I have that same comfort!
On the other hand, those out of step with God do not have such hope or comfort. Because they have not leaned on Him in times of temptation, they cannot count on Him when facing death’s chilly waters. Where are you right now? Where is God in relationship to your life? Will you not turn to Him and walk with Him that you might today?