As you have seen me mention in recent blog posts, there is more to life than what we can even imagine. There is more hope, more love, more joy, more peace, more purpose, more forgiveness than we can comprehend. No matter what you are going through, I know there is more in store for you, because I’ve seen it in my own life. Although I trust in His goodness, I’ll be honest. There are times when I’ve written something off for my life, because I’ve thought, “He has blessed me so much. Surely, He can’t bless me in this area, too.” And, of course, in true God-style, He then shows me that He can and He will bless me that much, much more than I ever imagined was possible. I want you to experience that same super-abundance of blessings from God by accepting that no matter what you have gone through, you are loved, you are forgiven, you can experience peace and joy, and there is hope. Through Him all of these good things flow. The question is, are you willing to accept that they are, or are you stuck in a place where you think that you are being punished, or you are unloved, unworthy, or forgotten?
I have found a wonderful devotion series online by Family Life, www.familylife.com, which addresses this very issue. Each week, I will be sharing my own thoughts with you, along with a new devotion from their series, in the hopes that it helps you on the journey to acknowledging and accepting more for your life. Today’s devotion focuses on the struggle so many face with feeling alone. The first step, in my opinion, to accepting that there is more for your life, is accepting that God has not forgotten you—you are not alone.
Here’s a little background on the devotion and the Day 1 devotion from Family Life : http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/faith/essentials/growing-in-your-faith/god-has-not-forgotten-you-a-31-day-devotional#.UtQiDvRDsg0:
“The Bible says, “And it was necessary for Jesus to be like us, his brothers, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God, a Priest who would be both merciful to us and faithful to God … For since He himself has now been through suffering … He knows what it is like when we suffer … and He is wonderfully able to help us” (Hebrews 2:17-18 TLB). Whatever we endure, His care is certain, His love is unfailing, and His promises are secure.
God Has Not Forgotten You includes 31 inspirational readings with life application steps to draw you closer to God and to encourage you to rely on Him to bring you safely through this present “storm” in your life. It can be read daily in 31 consecutive days, or at your own pace. We encourage you to work through this resource as a family to help you journey toward healing together, and to draw you closer to one another during this difficult time.
It is our prayer that this devotional will provide comfort, strength, encouragement, and healing for you and your family, and that through its pages you will discover extraordinary hope and the blessing of victory that only He can give. May God bless you and keep you always in His care, on this journey and beyond.”–www.familylife.com
Day 1: You Are Not Alone—-Devotion as written originally by Family Life and posted on www.familylife.com
For He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5c)
On the morning of October 29, 2012, hundreds of thousands of people in portions of the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States faced their worst nightmare … “Superstorm Sandy.” This post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds and its unusual merge with a frontal system affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin, leaving death, injuries, and utter destruction in its wake. Families everywhere, especially in hard hit New Jersey and New York, were jolted out of normalcy and the comfort and security of the homes and communities they once knew. They were thrust suddenly and unwillingly into the darkness and despair of loss.
If you and your family have ever been affected by a natural disaster like this, you may feel as if you’ve been abandoned by God. However, if trouble has hit your life in some other disaster, or form of tragedy—the death of a loved one, a dreaded medical diagnosis, the loss of home and property, or the loss of your job, you are experiencing your own superstorm. You may feel as if your whole world has been turned upside down, and wonder how you can possibly survive the loss. In times like these, you can feel very much alone.
But you are not alone. In the midst of unspeakable sorrow God is with you. Even if you do not feel Him near, God is there. He promises to never leave you alone. Therefore, wherever you are, God is. He is with you before, during, and after “the storm,” never losing sight of you, or your suffering. Even as you ponder how you will begin picking up the pieces of your life, God is there … loving you beyond understanding, holding you up, and making a way where it seems there is no way. Reach out for Him today. He is a very present help in times of trouble (see Psalm 46:1).
Taking back your life …
- Psalm 139:7-10 says, “I can never be lost to Your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, You are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there Your hand will guide me, Your strength will support me” (TLB). What assurance can you find in these verses of Scripture when you are feeling as if God has forgotten you?
- In Psalm 23, David pictures the Lord as the Great Shepherd who provides for and protects His sheep (His children). In verse four, he says “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” A shepherd uses his rod to protect his sheep (by using it to beat off wild beasts), and he uses his staff to guide them. What comfort can you find in knowing that God will protect and guide you during this difficult time?
- In addition to needing God’s presence in our lives, we also need each other. Talk with your family or friends about the way you are feeling, so that you can share one another’s burdens, and not feel so alone in your suffering.
Additional Scripture reading:
- Deuteronomy 31:8
- Psalm 91:15-16
- Matthew 28:20
I encourage you to not only read the additional scriptures that are provided, but to visit the Family Life website for more of their helpful resources. Until next week’s posting of the next devotion and my thoughts on how there is more for your life, I hope that you find continued strength in knowing that you are not alone and God has not forgotten you.