God Does Not Fail
"I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." (Joshua 1:5b)
In life we make a lot of friends, but most of us have only a few friends who are very close. Statistics and surveys have shown that the average number of close friends per person is only eight. Can you think of eight close friends you have? Your close friends may change as you grow older, too. Have any of your friends ever been mean to you or let you down? We have probably all had friends who have let us down before. It is also probably true that we ourselves have let our friends down! Even our moms and our dads, who love us very much, are not perfect. Even they have let us down before.
What does it mean to fail or to forsake someone? To "fail" means to let someone down, or to respond lazily to someone's need. To "forsake" means to leave someone, to leave them all alone in time of need.
Did you know that God never lets us down? You might be thinking, "God has too let me down! You don't know me or the stuff I've gone through." You are right that no human being can really understand what you think and feel. But God does. You might have been born with a physical handicap. Maybe you are not as smart as your classmates or your siblings. You might not be very athletic. Maybe you do not have the musical talents or the good looks that you wish you could have. Maybe you cannot even think of one person who is your friend, nevermind eight.
You know what? In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, God made some promises to Joshua. Joshua was a young man and a pretty new leader. One thing God promised Joshua was that He would not fail him. You can be sure that Joshua really needed the Lord in the many battles he faced as he led the Israelites into the promised land. If God had failed Joshua, some of those battles would not have been won. God kept His promises to Joshua. When Joshua needed God, God did not fail him or forsake him.
God does not respond with laziness when He sees we need His help. When we trust and obey God, we are trusting and obeying the only Person Who has never failed or forsaken anyone who trusted or obeyed Him. God was not messing up when He gave you the life you have now. He was not a failure when He made you with the mind and looks and abilities you have. If you are relying on God and looking to Him for your help, He will never let you down or leave you alone when you need Him most.
The Bible speaks of a kind of friend that sticks closer than a brother. Well, God sticks even closer than that kind of friend! God told Joshua that when it came time for Him to be there, He would be there. You do not have any friend or family member who would be able to make and keep a promise like that! You probably would admit that you could never make that promise truthfully. But God could make and keep a promise like that. He did make and keep His promise for Joshua, and He will for you if you trust Him and obey Him and look to Him for help.
God never fails those who trust Him and obey Him.
» Do I forget sometimes that the God of the Bible is faithful and that He can never let down people?
» Do I ever fail my friends and family members? How can I be more faithful like God, when it comes to keeping my word and being there for those I love?
» How can I show in my life that I believe God is trustworthy and that He deserves to be obeyed?
Truth In Real Life
Ann Hasseltine Judson
“Direct me in Thy service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work, or place of labor. Only let me know Thy will, and I will readily comply.”
Born on December 22, 1789, Ann Hasseltine was just an ordinary girl who became a remarkable wife, mother, teacher, translator, and the first woman American missionary to travel outside of the country.
Ann was saved at age 16. During her twenties, she met a man studying missions at a seminary near her home. His name was Adoniram Judson. Two years later, they were married, and the day after their wedding, they left for the mission field of India.
Aside from her husband, Ann was alone in a sense on the mission field. She lived in India and then Burma with no family, no friends, and no children. A baby boy was eventually born to her, but just eight months later, little Roger William Judson died of terrible cholera. Ann did not complain.
Adorinam Judson was once accused of being a spy and was put in “death prison.” Despite her own illness at the time, Ann continued to take care of him, taking him food every day. Her husband likely would have died without her faithfulness in caring for him. Imagine the souls that never would have been saved! 63 churches and 7,000 converts might have reason to be grateful to God for giving Judson such a self-sacrificing, servant-hearted wife.
Judson recovered for a time and got to go home, but Ann never got truly well again. She died on the mission field. When Adoniram Judson had originally written to Ann’s father to request her hand in marriage, he asked Mr. Hasseltine whether he could be willing to part with his daughter forever. In those days, travel was by sea-voyage, so it was awfully limited, long-lasting, and expensive. Missionaries did not come home every four years or so for a break. And life overseas was so physically dangerous that usually, a commitment to missions was a lifetime commitment – many missionaries never returned home alive from the field. By God’s grace, Mr. Hasseltine was able to say “yes,” and Ann also willingly gave the rest of her life to Jesus Christ, her husband, and to spreading the Gospel for God’s glory.
What are you willing to sacrifice for Christ? What items or people do you hold so dear that you would hesitate before trusting and obeying God’s leading for your life? If Jesus Christ truly is our greatest possession, sharing Him with the lost should be our greatest joy.
1 Timothy 6:7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.