19th May 2016

Not-Leaving:
An Act of Trust and Love, Often Deciphered by Children

“…for God himself has said, ‘I will never, never let go your hand; I will never, never forsake you.’”
Hebrews 13:5 (Weymouth)

I recently visited my family in Wales and when the time to leave comes around my grandson is always sad and he comes up with many, many reasons why I don’t have to leave. But you know around the world at any given time there are thousands, perhaps millions of people all saying “Goodbye” to someone. There’s a verse from an old song sung by Ann Murray that goes like this: “Railway stations, midnight trains, lonely airports in the rain, And someone stands there—tears in their eyes; it’s the same old scene time after time, that’s the trouble with all mankind, somebody’s always saying “Good-bye!”

But the great God whom we call Father will never say this dreaded word to us, he watches over us with infinite care and will never abandon any of us. Psalm 9:9-10 (NLT) says, “The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.” King David declares, “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is filled with joy and my mouth shouts his praises! My body rests in safety.” (Psalm 16:8-9 NLT).

Time after time our God declares his faithfulness to us and tells us in no uncertain terms to be courageous and unafraid! Read Isaiah 41:10 (NLT): “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” How great is that? How amazing that this loving Father stoops down to bless us and hold us close to his heart.

And how should we react to that? With great joy, with thankfulness, praise and rejoicing! In good times but also in times of stress and strain when our faith takes a knock and we’re holding on for dear life. In those times, and we all have them; let’s remember these promises and take heart! John Bunyan in his book “Pilgrim’s Progress” has his hero Christian declare, as he lies captive in Doubting Castle; “What a fool I am to lie in this stinking dungeon when I could walk at liberty, I have a key in my bosom called ‘Promise’ that will unlock any door in Doubting Castle!”

Let’s hold on to the “Key of Promise” and walk at liberty!

Prayer
Faithful Father, please constantly remind us of your promises, every morning and every night so that we can be filled with courage and strengthened by your never-leaving presence in our lives.
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

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cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON LU1 5JE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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