Throughout the last year, I’ve been reading Charles Spurgeon’s devotional “Morning and Evening,” and one of the recent entries (morning of July 26) urges us to “Take care that thy faith is of the right kind – that it is not a mere belief of doctrine, but a simple faith, depending on Christ, and on Christ alone.” That morning, I was feeling overwhelmed with some responsibilities and situations, and those words reminding me depend on Jesus himself were what I needed.
Pondering what it means to depend on Christ, I am reminded of his promises of his presence with his people. It brings to mind the comfort Jesus promised amidst the confusion and bewilderment of the disciples as he appeared to them after the resurrection. He reassures them: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 CSB). The disciples were in completely uncharted territory and had no idea what life would be like without their teacher with them. After a string of instructions, Jesus lets his final recorded word to them in the book of Matthew be about his presence with them.
I also think of how Psalm 139 speaks of how physical or emotional circumstances don’t limit God’s presence with us:
Where can I go to escape your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I fly on the wings of the dawn
and settle down on the western horizon,
even there your hand will lead me;
your right hand will hold on to me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,
and the light around me will be night”—
even the darkness is not dark to you.
The night shines like the day;
darkness and light are alike to you. (Psalm 139:7-12 CSB)
This Psalm is attributed to David, and I think of the potential emotions and circumstances he was dealing with as he wrote this. God had given him reassurance that even if David wanted to escape from God, he would be there.
What a comfort to think of the promise of our Good Shepherd – the one powerful enough to create our universe – to be with us both in the smallest detail and the biggest challenges of each of our days!