David Wilkerson testified, "My wife, Gwen, was thirty-four years old the first time cancer was found in her. We were devastated when we got the news. We'd just moved our family to New York so I could start a ministry to street gangs. Now, as I walked the streets, preaching to gang members and addicts, I had to fight back tears of anguish and fear. But the Lord continually reassured me, 'I am faithful, David. I won't abandon you or your loved ones.' God walked with me through that frightening ordeal with cancer, and every one that has followed."
In Isaiah :14 – 16, we have a picture of despondency during a time of severe trial. Four helpful truths are presented:
1. THE PROBLEM OF QUESTIONING GOD'S CONCERN. "But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me'." John Boyle O'Reilly said, "Doubt is the brother devil to despair." However, "A contradiction in our minds does not prove a contradiction in the Word!"
2. THE PARENTAL AFFECTION OF GOD. "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you." The attachment of a mother to her infant child is the strongest attachment of nature, thus, God could no more forget His people than that a mother could forget her own child. Matthew Henry wrote, "Believers, in their despondency, are ready to say, 'God has forsaken His church and forgotten the sorrows of His people'. But, we have no more reason to question His promise and grace, than we have to question His providence and justice."
3. THE PROMISE OF GOD'S CONSTANT CARE. "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands." The word "inscribed" is a reference to tattooing, speaking of deep personal concern. Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that, "He will rest in His love." The Hebrew word for "rest" here means God hasn't a single question concerning His love for us. In other words, He has fixed, or settled, his love for us, and He will never take it away.
4. THE PREDESTINED PURPOSE OF GOD. "Your walls are continually before Me." "Your walls" speak of His plans and purpose for our lives, and He will certainly complete what He has promised.
Remember, "It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that His Helper is omnipotent!" (Jeremy Taylor).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida, 34654