For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Technology now exists that allows us to track the location of a particular smartphone. Let’s say parents are concerned about their daughter driving alone back to college, in stormy weather, after a visit. Via their phone, the parents can track their daughter’s journey until she arrives safely. In case of car trouble, they know her exact location. “I’ll be there with you all the way” takes on new meaning in the digital age.
In the Old Testament, that security was expressed another way: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” That was God’s promise to the Israelites as they prepared to cross the Jordan River and move into Canaan—and face the Canaanite tribes that occupied their land (Deuteronomy 31:6). God’s presence was one of protection. But in the New Testament, the same promise of God was applied to provision. The writer of Hebrews told his readers not to be covetous but to be content with what they had. Why? Because God would be their provision. He would be with them and never leave them.
Whether you need protection, provision, or something else—you have it in the God who has promised to always be with you.
The best of all is God is with us. John Wesley
[Jesus] gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” Acts 1:4
Police charged a woman with reckless driving after she drove off the street and onto the sidewalk and back because she didn’t want to wait for a school bus dropping off students!
While it’s true that waiting can make us impatient, there are also good things to do and learn in the waiting. Jesus knew this when He told His disciples to “not leave Jerusalem” (Acts 1:4). They were waiting to “be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (v. 5).
As they gathered in an upper room, likely in a state of excitement and anticipation, the disciples seemed to understand that when Jesus told them to wait, He didn’t say for them to do nothing. They spent time praying (v. 14); and informed by Scripture, they also chose a new disciple to replace Judas (v. 26). When they were joined together in worship and prayer, the Holy Spirit descended upon them (2:1–4).
The disciples hadn’t simply been waiting—they’d also been preparing. As we wait on God, it doesn’t mean doing nothing or impatiently rushing forward. Instead we can pray, worship, and enjoy fellowship as we anticipate what He’ll do. The waiting prepares our hearts, minds, and bodies for what’s to come.
Yes, when God asks us to wait, we can be excited—knowing that we can trust Him and the plans He has for us!
Reflect & Pray
Do you find yourself in a season of waiting? How can you see this as a season of preparation instead?
God, when I’m struggling, remind me that the seasons of waiting aren’t for nothing but help to reveal Your loving handiwork in my life.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Our heavenly Father has been generous to us in every way. He formed us in our mother’s womb with tender, loving care and gave us physical life (Psalm 139:13). He created the world in which we live and provided air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and all other essentials. He’s offered these gifts to every generation and has not withheld any because of unrighteousness (Matt. 5:45).
At salvation, we received additional gifts—the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, adoption into God’s family, and a heavenly home. We did not deserve these, nor could we earn them. They have been freely given to all who believe in Jesus as their personal Savior. Another important gift is the Holy Spirit, who indwells us and provides wisdom and guidance.
We’ve been given so much at no cost, yet we struggle to give liberally. Our selfish nature wants to keep what we have. The following truths can help us overcome selfishness and become generous givers: We are …
• Imitating Jesus when we give sacrificially.
• Honoring our heavenly Father when we obey His commands to give.
• Providing God with opportunities to bless us as we share with others.
• Extending His work through our support of the local church.
Being a generous person requires a heart that loves the Lord above all else, a will that is submitted to Him, and a mind that desires to obey His commands. The Holy Spirit, who helps us have victory over self, will also transform us into someone who finds pleasure in giving. The Lord loves a cheerful giver.
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” (Jude 1:14)
There are two Enochs in the First Age of the world. One is a son of Cain (Genesis 4:17), and the other is a seventh-generation descendant of Adam through his son Seth (Genesis 5). Jude makes very clear which one he means. Luke references Enoch in his genealogy of the Lord Jesus (Luke 3:37), also indicating that this Enoch is important to remember.
Enoch was the father of Methuselah, who was the grandfather of Noah. Although the Bible does not mention it, several of the early church scholars allude to a Book of Enoch and cite passages from it about the awful days before the world was destroyed by the great Flood.
Perhaps the most startling fact recorded about Enoch is that he “was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). There is not much biblical data to study about Enoch. The Genesis record simply notes, “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:23-24).
Enoch’s “walk with God” and the lifestyle that “pleased God” are the apparent motives for Jude’s short reference. Jude announces (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) that Enoch preached about the second coming of Christ! That is remarkable. Before the Bible was written, before the first world was destroyed for its universal evil, before the promise of “the seed” to Abraham and the centuries of God’s preparation for the Messiah, Enoch was proclaiming that Jesus would come—again! HMM III
So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
—1 Thessalonians 2:8
Let me shock you at this point. A naturally bright person can carry on religious activity without a special gift from God. Filling church pulpits every week are some who are using only natural abilities and special training. Some are known as Bible expositors, for it is possible to read and study commentaries and then repeat what has been learned about the Scriptures. Yes, it may shock you, but it is true that anyone able to talk fluently can learn to use religious phrases and can become recognized as a preacher.
But if any person is determined to preach so that his work and ministry will abide in the day of the judgment fire, then he must preach, teach and exhort with the kind of love and concern that comes only through a genuine gift of the Holy Spirit—something beyond his own capabilities. TRA021-022
Lord, grant me that gift as I wait before You. I want to preach with eternal benefit, help me to recognize that only in the power—and love—of the Holy Spirit will that happen. Amen.
Nothing shall by any means hurt you.—Luke 10:19.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.—Isaiah 43:2.
Just as soon as we turn toward Him with loving confidence, and say, “Thy will be done,” whatever chills or cripples or enslaves our spirits, clogs their powers, or hinders their development, melts away in the sunshine of His sympathy. He does not free us from the pain, but from its power to dull the sensibilities; not from poverty and care, but from their tendency to narrow and harden; not from calumny, but from the maddening poison in its sting; not from disappointment, but from the hopelessness and bitterness of thought which it so often engenders. We attain unto this perfect liberty when we rise superior to untoward circumstances, triumph over the pain and weakness of disease, over unjust criticism, the wreck of earthly hopes, over promptings to envy, every sordid and selfish desire, every unhallowed longing, every doubt of God’s wisdom and love and kindly care, when we rise into an atmosphere of undaunted moral courage, of restful content, of child-like trust, of holy, all-conquering calm.
William W. Kinsley.
“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” Micah 7:8
This may express the feeling of a man or woman down-trodden and oppressed. Our enemy may put out our light for a season. There is sure hope for us in the Lord; and if we are trusting in Him, and holding fast our integrity, our season of down-casting and darkness will soon be over. The insults of the foe are only for a moment. The Lord will soon turn their laughter into lamentation, and our sighing into singing.
What if the great enemy of souls should for a while triumph over us, as he has triumphed over better men than we are, yet let us take heart, for we shall overcome him before long. We shall rise from our fall, for our God has not fallen, and He will lift us up. We shall not abide in darkness, although for the moment we sit in it; for our Lord is the fountain of light, and He will soon bring us a joyful day. Let us not despair, or even doubt. One turn of the wheel and the lowest will be at the top. Woe unto those who laugh now, for they shall mourn and weep when their boasting is turned into everlasting contempt. But blessed are all holy mourners, for they shall be divinely comforted.