One of the most beneficial things we can cultivate in our lives as Christians is the sense of God’s personal presence. Asaph said in Psalm 73:28, “But as for me, God’s presence is all I need.” The Lord is with us every day! But do we perceive it and profit from this reality? The writer of Hebrews was hoping this would be the case when God is quoted as saying to His people, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5). When we realize God is with us, we have the confidence to know that there is nothing we cannot navigate or accomplish. This is always true, but it is especially encouraging when managing difficult and distressing days.
Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded of how sensing the Lord’s presence equipped the people of God to endure, persevere, and prevail no matter who or what challenged them. Joseph knew the Lord was with him, so he persevered through the pit and the prison experience before God exalted him. Daniel knew that God was with him in Babylon, so he thrived even in the most unfavorable and adverse circumstances. Also, there was David the shepherd boy, who at the time, stood before the giant Goliath because he sensed God’s presence on the battlefield.
We, as God’s people need a renewed realization of the reality of God’s presence in our lives. It is so powerful and encouraging when we ascertain that God is with us. God Himself went on record promising His people His abiding presence. He could not state His point any stronger. In the original language it is emphatic. I will never, never, never leave you. The word “leave” means to loosen one’s grip, or it could even be translated as this – I will in no way let you go, or I will not relax my hold on you. You are eternally safe and secure in His hands. This is God’s good medicine for our anxious and doubting souls. This truth should be cause for composure, courage, and confidence regardless of our circumstances.
Then God states that He will never abandon us or forsake us. God is not fickle as men are fickle. God will never turn His back on His children. He forsook His own precious son once so He would never have to forsake any again. This word “abandon” also implies no loss in any given situation. God’s people are never lacking for we have God’s personal presence with us always and His presence is all we really need. We are never helpless because we have the greatest “Helper” in all the universe by our side.
A true friend stays true to the end. Jesus is our truest friend to the end. “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). With God behind us and His arms beneath us, we can face whatever is before us. “The everlasting God is a refuge, and underneath you are His eternal arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).