Devotion for July 3, 2024
By Bryan Chapell

He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Heb. 13:5-6)

In a primitive tradition, tribal people throw ashes at the moon, and beg their god to leave them alone. The practice may seem far distant from us, until tragedy enters our life. Then, we too may look to heaven and say to God, “If you really loved me, then you would leave me alone. You wouldn’t allow this pain, or bother me, or make such demands on me.”

Asking God to keep his distance is understandable when we are hurting, but we still need to consider what such prayer requests. We are asking God to act against his nature – which he cannot do. 

God has promised never to leave or forsake us, and God cannot break his own word. He will not leave – but neither will he forsake. Nothing that we experience is a result of his absence or abandonment. 

The commands he gives are an expression of his character and care for us. His discipline intends only to turn us from greater harms and into his arms. No failure is final, and no tragedy is his ultimate truth.

A hymn writer who knew much of this world pain, sang through his tears, “Behind a frowning providence, God hides a smiling face.” 

When God says he will not leave us alone, he may intend a holy confrontation, but never does he confront without care. He cannot and does not.  


Father, thank you for always being with me, and never forsaking me. Help me to understand that a holy confrontation signals no lack of your love, but rather divine dedication to my soul’s security.

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