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Listen while you read: "O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 22:1a – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (NIV)
Feeling forsaken can make things appear as if life's caving in.
I've always thought that of all people who should stand shoulder to shoulder in tough times, it should be family. Recently, a particular family member had the means to help my wife and me through a financially difficult period but chose not to. I felt forsaken … actually angry.
Examples of feeling forsaken are rife. Thousands of children feel rejected by parents who have abandoned them. Perhaps, they couldn't afford to raise them; maybe they didn't want to. Forsaken spouses join their multitude. Spouses have walked out on them for someone else because they didn't love them any more, or because they were tired of being married. Even friends sometimes forsake friends. There's just something about tragedies that leave us feeling forsaken, too.
The psalmist also felt forsaken — by God. His words were prophetic of what actually happened to Jesus when He was dying on the cross because of our sins. The psalmist doesn't give the reason that he's feeling forsaken. Perhaps, he was just writing Hebrew poetry that he knew people could identify with for thousands of years. I have a feeling, though, that someone had forsaken him, or some difficulty had assaulted him. Because of it, he imagined that God had also.
When hard times strike, it's easy to think that God has abandoned us. When others forsake us, it's easy to transfer our feelings of abandonment to God. Staking our faith in what the Bible teaches is essential when we feel abandoned, and the Bible says that God will never forsake us. Others might, but He won't. Regardless of how we might treat Him, He'll never leave. He's the only friend we can find about whom we can say that with confidence.
When we feel forsaken, we can remember how easy it is to confuse feelings with reality. Feelings often change within the same day and even the same minute. How we feel may or may not reflect reality. If we feel forsaken by God, our feelings are never mimicking reality. God is forever by our side to comfort, guide, and instruct us. When others walk out, He stands nearby.
In those times when we feel forsaken by others — particularly God — we must depend on faith, not feelings. Our relationship with God is built on truths and realities. Walking by faith helps us to experience His presence even when we don't feel it.
On the third day after Jesus repeated the psalmist's words about being forsaken, God's very presence with Jesus was manifested in His being raised from the tomb. When you're feeling forsaken, remember that God will never abandon you.
Prayer: Father, we thank You that we can always depend on You to remain by our side in the good times and the bad. Amen.
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Thank you, Martin! This was just what I needed to read. God bless you!
Thank you, Martin, for your positive reminder.
Thank you, Martin. I’ve been in situations like you describe and your advice is much appreciated.
On the death of a loved one we are comforted by the words of Jesus on the Cross – We are not alone.
Thanks, Martin, for another of your very mindful and reassuring devotionals. We can always depend on our Lord’s love and care each and every day and need be so thankful to Him. Blessings for your always very special writings.
Good morning, Martin, you did a great job with this writing. As most people, I have felt abandoned. If this happens, I can very quickly have so many feelings that they would be too many to count. Since I was a teenager, I have had bouts of depression. It was a difficult time but I learned a very important lesson. Feelings cannot be trusted. I had to seek out truth and the only way to find it was the Word of God. Thank you for writing and for sharing.
Good morning, Martin,
It is special when a writer shares their personal experience. It is not easy to do that because of the pain connected. However, I feel that it really helps the reader relate to the experience.
Your examples of why we might feel this way are so true and reflect life’s challenges. I can relate to when you talk about our feelings changing in a day or even in the same minute. Oh so true.
As you point our we need to trust in our faith and not in our feelings. Thanks for sharing and may you continue to be inspired so we all benefit.
Oh Martin, you have hit a touching subject in today’s devotional. Abandonment by family. I wonder if there is a family out there, who has not experienced this feeling at least once in their lifetime.
I am sorry you have, and I understand as I have often felt abandoned by family, even more so since my husband passed away, yet somehow, I find forgiveness in my heart to go on and still be kind to them. That is not always easy, and I find myself making excuses for their treatment of a mother who has always been there for every one of them. In thinking it over I don’t think many of them realize what it feels like to be “alone”, as at their young age, they have yet to experience that.
I remember my dear mother say, “it is a long road that has no turning”, and her words often come back to me. Sadly I lived far from her, so it was too difficult to have visits. Yet I tried hard to always be in touch by phone, alas I missed one golden opportunity when she phoned the night before she passed on. I was not home and did not phone her back right away. Alas the next morning she was gone. Regrets, yes, I regretted that decision so much.
Because of that I do not wish my family to have that guilt.
Thankfully I have been assured there is “one who will never leave me nor forsake”, and he has spoken those words clearly to me or maybe that is because God has taught me how to cope. His words have given me the strength and courage to carry on, and here I am still relying on Him because I know he speaks the truth. I try to keep occupied and that is not always easy in old age, but so necessary.
Yes, thank you God that we can always depend on you.
Going through a bad patch now, but the words and verses you quoted are precious. I’m claiming them and I WILL get to the other side. Thanks Martin!