If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, you know that I have struggled with doubt quite a bit. In the last few months I feel like I’ve learned so much about God’s love and grace, it’s truly overwhelming (in a good way!) but today I wanted to share something I have read in scripture that has given me an incredible source of comfort.
I was flipping through the books of the Bible and honestly I had no clue which book to start studying, but I felt led to dive into the New Testament. I was almost at the end of Matthew, skimming pages looking for something that stuck out to me, and I stopped on chapter 27:46 when Jesus says (NIV) “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? (Which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
My bible has great study notes and FAQ with each chapter, and with this particular verse the question “What should we do when we feel abandoned by God?” was next to it. It’s answer was this:
“With the sins of the world on him, Jesus felt the agony of separation from his Father. At times, we may feel alone, abandoned or rejected. If difficult circumstances or emotional stress leave us uncertain about God’s presence, we should remember God’s promise: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Heb 13:5)”
When I read that Jesus felt the agony of separation from God, I was so moved. In all my times of uncertainty I never once thought about how Jesus really can relate to me when it comes to feeling abandoned. It is clear, though difficult to explain, that Jesus’ intimate fellowship with God was temporarily broken as he took the entire sin of the world on himself; even through crucifixion, the divine and human natures of Jesus were never separated. When we take on all these different problems during our lives, (financials, marital issues, problems at work, death of a loved one) we can become distracted and discouraged in our faith and then we feel that separation from God. It’s a turning point from there. We can continue to trust God or we can further separate ourselves from Him by allowing the feeling of abandonment to be dominant rather than relying on His promises.
I can’t even imagine how Jesus felt in his final moments on the cross. But I do find comfort in knowing that what we sometimes feel during hard times, Jesus too has felt. And he is the ultimate example of how, what starts out as despair, will turn into a renewed trust in God, if we continue to pursue God’s will in our life.
Hebrews 13:6 “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”