Saturday, February 1, 2014

Once Is Enough

“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5b

In one of Adrian Rogers’ devotional thoughts, he points out that Greek scholars tell us this sentence actually has five negatives in it, and should be read thus: “I will never, no not ever, no never leave you nor forsake you.” But I must say, I find myself more in agreement with the old grandmother Rogers went on to talk about:

A preacher was visiting a grandmother in his church, trying to comfort her in her old age. I believe she knew the Lord better than he did, however. He took out his Greek New Testament and was reading this verse to her, explaining there were five negatives there. The grandma said, “Well, God may have to say it five times for you Greek boys, but once is enough for me!

It’s terrible to feel alone. Whether your isolation is physical, because of the loss of loved ones or friends, for one reason or another; or emotional, with the feeling that no one understands you; or spiritual, seemingly estranged from God and indifferent to His Word. But we need to make a distinction here. Loneliness is a feeling; “alone” is a state of being. The addition of someone else is required to change my being alone, but loneliness requires only a change of outlook. One is dependent on someone else, but we have the ability to deal with the other single-handedly (humanly speaking).

Now, as far as being alone, if you are a Blood-bought child of God, this can never be said about you now or in eternity. It’s impossible. Nothing you can say or do will ever forfeit your predetermined, perpetual relationship with God the Father through the death of His Son. The relationship may be strained or cold because of sin or distraction on our part, but it can never be severed. Only one son of God was ever truly God-forsaken, and that was the Son, Christ Jesus.

Loneliness, on the other hand, is possible, though not because we’re alone, only that we feel alone. I readily admit, I’ve succumbed to feelings of loneliness and given them much more attention and time than they deserved. I lost precious time I could have spent cheering up someone in far worse circumstances than I, or catching up on all the things I meant to get around to one day. And think about this: Suppose you came and spent the day with me and found out later that I told someone else I was lonely all that day. How would that make you feel? Like chopped liver, right? Now go back and read the preceding paragraph and apply that same principle to Him. I’m not saying I expect you or me to never have feelings of loneliness. I’m just saying we should be honest enough to face them for what they are. Feelings…every bit as untrustworthy and questionable as any others. And like all feelings, they must be governed by the Word of God and the Spirit of God, or else we’ll be useless to God or anyone else.

God has promised in His Word He will never leave us or forsake us. You can put all the “double negatives” you want in that verse, if it makes you feel better; but, as I say, once is enough for me. It was the word of a Gentleman, and I wasn’t hard to convince! J

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