Good News: 'I am with you always'
I am with you always.
When Christ commissioned his disciples to go into all the world for Christ, he made one thing abundantly clear in the last recorded words in the Gospel of Matthew, “I am with you.”
Christ knew how important and powerful of a promise that was considering what the Apostles and the early Church were to face and suffer for Christ’s cause.
When they were suffering in prison.
When they were persecuted and fleeing for their lives.
When they were being executed as martyrs for their faith.
He promised, “I am with you.”
The Good Shepherd of our souls is with us on the mountains and in the valleys. He didn’t promise to make your outside circumstances perfect or always fix externals, but he promised that no matter what, he would never leave us nor forsake. Therefore we can say with confidence, the Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid what man can do to me. No matter what storms of life arise, no one can take Christ from within you. And it was that promise of Christ in us, the hope of glory, that was the Treasure worth living and dying for.
The most important promise is not what he can do for us. Not how he will bless us. It’s Christ with us/ Christ in us. He’s the hope of glory.
And he is more than enough.
I truly believe God is such a good God that he wants to bless his people, but I think it’s time we examine our own hearts and the motivations we have for serving God. Are we loving the gifts and blessings of God more than for who he is? Do we love God for who he is or for what he does for us?
Love is by nature giving of oneself for the sake of the other. Mature love for God is not self-seeking but self-sacrificing for the cause of Christ. God has not called us to remain as children but to mature in love so that the question is not, what can God do for me, but what can I do for him.
A good measure of our mature love is answering the question, do we only come to Christ when we need something? Or are we coming to him for nothing but himself, to enjoy fellowship with him even when our faith is costing us deeply? When our faith causes us to lose? Because it will at some point. Following Christ is costly, but he will be with us, when it does.
And that’s enough.
But there are seasons of the wilderness where God stripes us of false comforts, false gods and leads us into a desert season. And if we will let them, God will use them to work an amazing work of grace in our hearts and will speak to us in a way that will forever change us within. He says in Hosea 2:14,
"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.
God will sometimes call us to a desert, wilderness season at some point in our lives. Why? Intimacy. He will stripe off the things in your life that you are trusting in so he can get a hold of you in a new way. So he can get your attention and speak to you, just the two of you.
He may slow your life down, remove some obstacles. Remove some distractions and meet you in a way that forever changes you. He may stripe some things and speak formational words that steer the rest of your life in his plan for you.
He will help you and orchestrate blessing in your life. In verse 15 of Hosea 2 we read,
“There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
The difference will be the blessings won’t mean the same thing they did before. Before they were the basis of your relationship. Now they are just a byproduct. Because you have in the deepest part of your life what you needed all along. Christ within you. Christ through you. Christ behind you. Christ before you. His presence with you. His voice guiding you.
And that’s more than enough. In fact, it is the very definition of eternal life, according to Jesus, that they may know you and your One and Only Son.