“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
When I begin to think of who God is and his character, one of the most endearing parts of God’s character is his faithfulness. If there is a verse that sums up God’s faithfulness and commitment to you it is this one. This happens to be one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. When you understand the truth that is expressed in this verse it will become clear why you should be encouraged that God will never leave or forsake you. I don’t usually state a goal for an article within the article but I am going to do that today. I want to help you walk away encouraged because you understand that you have a God that will stand with you both now and throughout all eternity.
What Does it Mean That God Will Never Leave Nor Forsake You?
Let’s begin by defining these words. The Greek word for ‘leave’ is “aniémi” and this is what this word means: to send back, let go, relax, loosen, give up, or desist from. The word for ‘forsake’ is egkataleipó (please don’t ask me how to pronounce it) and look at what it means: to leave behind, to abandon, or to desert. When you really understand those two words you will see why you should be encouraged that God will never leave you or forsake you. Let me put it together for you.
God is saying that I will never send you back, let go of you, relax my hold on you, loosen my grip on you, give up on you, or desist from being around you. He is also saying that I will never leave you behind, abandon you, or desert you. If this does not encourage you or give you a greater understanding of God’s faithfulness and commitment to you then I don’t know what will. You can have full confidence that God is with you and will always be with you.
There is a song I love called Faithful to the End by Paul & Hannah Mcclure. Here is one portion of the lyrics to the song.
There wasn’t a day that you weren’t by my side
There wasn’t a day that you let me fall
All of my life your love has been true
All of my life I will worship you
I would encourage you to listen to that song but more importantly, you need to let this truth that God will never leave you or forsake you burn deep in your heart. Hold on to this truth and never let it go.
What Should Your Response Be to I Will Never Leave You in Hebrews 13:5?
How should you respond to such a complete and wonderful promise? I want to give you 3 ways to consider.
1. Respond with Confidence
When you understand the promise of this verse you should not only be encouraged that God will never leave you or forsake you, it should give you confidence. Here are some things you can be confident about when it comes to God’s faithfulness. You can be confident that God will finish the work he started in you.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
You can be confident that God will protect and provide for you.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
You can be confident that God will help you make it to the end.
“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy” – Jude 1:24
You can be confident that you will be with him forever.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” – John 10:27-28
When you look at the promises of these scriptures the reason you can be confident is because of the one who is doing the work. God carries out the work. He protects and provides. He carries you to the end. He keeps you in his hand and presence forever. The hope and the confidence of the promise is the God who made it. It does not depend on you. Salvation did not begin with your own merit and it will not end that way either. God provided the way. God sustains the way. God will keep you in the way. This is your confidence. This is the promise God made when he said he will never leave you or forsake you.
2. Respond with Thankfulness
The second response you should have is thankfulness or gratitude. There is a scripture in Psalms 103:2 which says, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Is there a better benefit to remember and be thankful for than the fact that God will never leave you or forsake you? Think of it like this.
-When you are afraid…God will never leave you or forsake you.
-When you feel alone…God will never leave you or forsake you.
-When you face trials and hardships…God will never leave you or forsake you.
-When you lose loved ones…God will never leave you or forsake you.
-When things go well and blessings are flowing…God will never leave you or forsake you.
-When everyone deserts you…God will never leave you or forsake you
-When you take your final breath and die…God will never leave you or forsake you.
I hope you see why this truth is so powerful and should lead you to be thankful. When you look back over your life, I am sure all you will see is a pattern of God’s faithfulness poured out over and over again. Sometimes when you may have deserved it but most times when you didn’t. This is a reason to be thankful both now and forevermore. God will never leave you or forsake you and that one benefit alone should cause gratitude to spring up in your heart.
3. Respond with Worship
The confidence of God’s promises and the thankfulness that comes from remembering God’s benefits should lead to one place or one activity…worship. At the heart of the promise God made to you to never leave or forsake you is the character of God. In this promise, you see God’s faithfulness to you that is born out of his great love. He expresses this love by his kindness, gentleness, and goodness that he pours out on you. By knowing his character and who he is the only proper response is to worship.
I don’t know if it is possible to think about the faithfulness of God in your life and it not lead you to worship him. Even more so when you think of who he is compared to who we are. There should always be a song of worship flowing out of our hearts to the Lord. Just as he has said he will never leave us or forsake us, we should never stop offering worship because who he is will never change. I pray that as God allows this promise to sink deep into your heart that from that same heart genuine, pure worship will flow back to the God who truly deserves it.
I started this article with a goal to help you understand why you should be encouraged that God will never leave you or forsake you. Only you can determine if I have achieved that goal or not. Regardless of whether I did or not this truth still remains. God has got a genuine hold on you and he will not let you go. To reiterate the point I want the last words of this article to not be my own but his. I told you before that Hebrews 13:5 was one of my favorite verses. I love it most in the Amplified version. As I close this article read this verse a few times and meditate on the truth of it. If it didn’t lift your spirit before I believe it will do it now.
“…for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”