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October 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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I don’t know about you, but I struggle to be close to God when I’m going through a hard time. That’s sort of funny, isn’t it? The periods of my life when I need to experience His presence, power, and peace the most, I’m the most resistant. There can be a multitude of reasons for why I might react that way, whether it be I don’t feel good enough, or maybe I’m too prideful to admit there’s something going wrong in my life, whether it’s my doing or not. But, regardless of my stubbornness or self-depreciation, God is faithful. I know I’m not the only one who does this. We see this happen over and over again in the Bible. God’s people turn away from Him, but He still pursues them time and time again. So why is this important?
I think it’s pretty safe to say that we can open our Bible up to any random page and we’ll most likely stumble upon a story of God’s people turning against Him because they think they know better. As human beings, it seems to be one of our most consistent and painful pastimes. You’d think after thousands of years, we’d finally learn our lesson, but alas, we all fall short and turn away from God at some point in our lives. This is because we are incapable of being faithful in the way that God is to His people.
There are going to be times in our lives when we have no other choice but to fall at the feet of Jesus and hand Him the things we’ve been clinging to. Otherwise, we’re depriving ourselves of His incredible mercy and faithfulness. Not to mention, we’re most likely taking a more painful route. In Micah 4:1–5 (NIV), it says, “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.”
Just like the nations in this passage clearly had other plans, they didn’t interfere with the fact that we will walk in the name of God at the end of it all. Nothing we’ve planned will ever get in the way of God’s plan. It simply is not possible, and that is something we can take comfort in, even if we don’t understand what His path means for us.
Imagine just for a second what it must be like for God—the people you love most continue to betray and turn against you, over and over again, no matter how many times you forgive them. I don’t know about you, but for myself, there are times when I feel someone’s betrayal is too much, or I’ve had to forgive someone one too many times. God’s faithfulness and forgiveness is a free gift He gives His people endlessly. There’s no moment when He looks down at us and says, “That’s it, that’s all I have to give them.” This is shown in Micah 7:18–20 (NIV) when it states, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged an oath to our ancestors in days long ago.”
In the passages you can find all over the Bible where God’s people turn against Him constantly, you’ll also see God’s unfailing mercy and kindness. Even when Israel and Judah broke their covenant with God, He never broke His. If He can be faithful with an entire nation when they’re faithless and idolatrous, He’ll do the same for you.
Here are a few verses to reflect on and pray through even when you’re struggling to draw near. We pray these serve as a reminder of His faithfulness, showing you that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, that He has done great things and will do them again!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.