Thursday, October 20, 2022

Never Alone

 Thursday, October 20, 2022

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:13-15

Never Alone

Jesus gave us the ultimate example of a friend in Himself and the definition of a true friend in John 15:13-15. He did lay down His life for us on Calvary and He is our closest friend if we allow Him to be. He is the ultimate friend because He died for us, "His friends," so we may have eternal life with God.

We have been talking a lot about how friendship is a gift from God and how God knew that we would need our friends in times of trials. Jesus is our friend, and He is always with us, in every trial we go through. If you find yourself alone in the middle of a trial, remember that you are never alone. 

In the Old Testament Hagar was an Egyptian slave girl to Sarah, Abraham’s wife. God told Abraham that He would give he and Sarah children but after 10 years, Sarah became impatient. She decided to do what we do sometimes – solve the problem herself. She told her husband to sleep with her slave girl, Hagar, so that she could have Abraham’s child and Sarah could start building a family with that child. The whole situation was wrong, and Sarah became very jealous of Hagar and started treating her badly. Hagar ran away to the wilderness and the angel of God heard her crying out. He told her to return and submit to her mistress. He also said that she is pregnant with a son who would be called Ishmael because the Lord has listened to your affliction. Ishmael means “God listens.” 

So, she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing, 
for she said, Truly here I have seen him who looks after me. Genesis 16:13

Hagar returned, had a son and Abraham called him Ishmael. Then Sarah conceived just as the Lord had said she would. Sara became jealous of Ishmael and wanted Abraham to throw Hagar and her son out and make them leave. She did not want Hagar’s son to be heir with her son. God told Abraham to do what Sarah wanted him to do so Abraham sent her away again to the wilderness with a little bit of bread and water, that soon ran out. 

Soon after the bread and water ran out, her child began to deteriorate, and she did not want to watch him die. She put him down under a bush and went a good distance away and sat down. She began to cry out weep and God was there, and He heard her. The angel of God called out to her to fear not – get the boy up because I will make him into a great nation.  

Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, Let me not look on the death of the child. And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation. Genesis 21:16-18

Hagar felt alone, cast out, unworthy, and left to starve. But she was never alone. God was with her when no one else was. He saw her. He heard her. He helped her.

He is a God who sees, and He is a God who comes to us when we are alone and crying out in the wilderness. When we feel alone, we can trust that He is there. When no one else is there, we are never alone. He sees and hears the things that happen to us, and He never leaves our side, all the way through the valley. You are not alone in the trial. You are not alone in the wilderness. The best friend you could ever have is by your side through it all. 

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