Never Alone

Posted on November 17, 2017.
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Dr. Doug Posey  
e*sermon

 

William Frey, retired Episcopal bishop from Colorado, told the following story. It is a good illustration of the fact that Jesus is always just an arms-length away…

When I was a younger man, I volunteered to read to a degree student named John who was blind. One day I asked him, "How did you lose your sight?"

"A chemical explosion," John said, "at the age of thirteen."

"How did that make you feel?" I asked.

"Life was over. I felt helpless. I hated God," John responded. "For the first six months I did nothing to improve my lot in life. I would eat all my meals alone in my room. One day my father entered my room and said, 'John, winter's coming and the storm windows need to be up—that's your job. I want those hung by the time I get back this evening or else!'

"Then he turned, walked out of the room and slammed the door. I got so angry. I thought, ‘Who does he think I am? I'm blind!’ I was so angry I decided to do it. I felt my way to the garage, found the windows, located the necessary tools, found the ladder, all the while muttering under my breath, 'I'll show them. I'll fall, then they'll have a blind and paralyzed son!'"

John continued, "I got the windows up. I found out later that never at any moment was my father more than four or five feet away from my side.”

In my own time with the Lord today, part of my reading happened to be Daniel 3; the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo being thrown into the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar. In one of the most stunning examples of Christ’s presence with us, Daniel records the story of these three men doomed to death in a fiery furnace, who are mysteriously joined by a fourth. Even the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar recognizes that…“the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25 NKJV); nothing less than a spine-tingling pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus! The men are unscathed—not a sign, or smell, of the slightest singe.

Then, roughly 700 years later, in about A.D. 95, on the Isle of Patmos near modern-day Turkey, long after Jesus had physically ascended into heaven, the Apostle John encounters Him. That miraculous encounter reminds us again that we’re never alone. He wrote,
“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man [a title used of the Messiah]” (Revelation 1:12 NASB).

The lampstands represent the Church. Jesus is in the midst—right in the middle—of her.
Christ did not simply start the institution of the Church spinning and then back off until history winds down. He is intimately involved in the workings of the Church and is present through the Holy Spirit in the life of each believer. After all, it was Jesus Who said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).

People may promise to never leave. We trust that the ones we love will never forsake us. Then it happens. A marriage is broken. A life ends. By choice or by chance, human beings go back on their promise to never leave. If our hope was in that person who left, it can be a devastating blow to our security. The departure of that human being can leave us feeling hopeless and depressed. That is because it was hope misplaced.

Only one Person in the history of mankind could say “I will never leave you; I will never forsake you,” and actually mean it. In Christ, you are never alone. If you know Him, you will never be alone. He fills the void no mere human could fill, regardless of his or her good intentions. Jesus is the only One who can assure you that you are never alone.

“The Spirit of truth…abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” ─JOHN 14:17,18 NASB