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Never Alone - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2023 12:00 am

Never Alone - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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June 25, 2023 12:00 am

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Chosen Generation
Pastor Greg Young
Kingdom Pursuits
Robby Dilmore
Baptist Bible Hour
Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. A few weeks ago, Al Mohler on his daily broadcast The Briefing discussed a report from the Surgeon General of the United States calling loneliness an epidemic.

He said this epidemic has been heightened certainly by the experience of COVID-19, but it's actually a longer-range problem that is bringing devastating health consequences. The Surgeon General released a massive report documenting just how increasingly lonely Americans are. Dr. Mohler went on to describe the importance of human relationships and how God has made us to interact with other people. With the subject of loneliness in the news, I thought of a sermon I preached a few years ago entitled Never Alone.

God has promised to always be with His people so that they are never alone, and of course His promise is to those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ. This is a big subject and we plan to deal with other facets of it in the future, but I hope you will be blessed as we bring you today Part 1 of Never Alone. I suppose that all of us at some time along the journey of life have felt a sense of loneliness. We might even have been in the presence of people who are our friends, but for a variety of reasons we just felt somewhat isolated. It may be nobody really understands our personal struggles and we just lack the ability to be able to confide in somebody that could be a real help in a time of need. We may have turned to others in the past only to be disappointed, and then sometimes that loneliness can be felt when a person is on a distant trip.

Maybe a young man in the military is sent to another part of the world and many miles separate him from family. There are many ways in which we may experience loneliness, but we want to look at a portion of Scripture this morning that gives us great consolation in any time that we might feel alone. Hebrews chapter 13 to begin with verse 5, Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have. For he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, so that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, never alone.

The writer is quoting from the Old Testament, several places in fact in the Old Testament where this statement is found, Genesis chapter 28 verse 15, these words being addressed to Jacob after he had wrestled with the Lord during that night season. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land. For I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. Not going to leave you, I'm going to accomplish all that I have promised on your behalf. So there may be times that question would be raised, has God forgotten me, but God says no, I will not leave thee.

I'm going to fulfill every promise that I have made. And then we look at the book of Deuteronomy chapter 31 verse 6. These words given to encourage Joshua as he is going into the land of promise. So you can be of good courage, you need not fear.

This isn't something where a person is just using mental exercise to boost their courage and feel better. These are genuine promises that are given by God, the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth. He will not fail thee. He goes on to say in the eighth verse of the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee, he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee, fear not, neither be dismayed. Somebody might say, well, these are promises found in the Old Testament.

This belonged to people of another era. Remember the writer of the book of Hebrews is quoting from the Old Testament, making it valid for us to claim those promises. Yes, that were given to people long ago, but they're ours. They're for us. All the scripture may not be to us, but it's for us.

It's for our benefit. Now these promises that the Lord will not forsake us. He will go before us.

He will lead the way. Doesn't mean that we're going to be exempt from trouble, but it does assure us that we will never be alone. That when the troubles come, we're not by ourself. We have the Lord himself with us to sustain us, to hold us up, to comfort us, to give us the strength that we so desperately need.

So as we look at this portion in Hebrews chapter 13, there are four things I want us to consider. First of all, confidence. Secondly, comfort. Thirdly, courage. And fourthly, contentment. Confidence. We can have confidence in the promises of God.

And that's in contrast to the promises that are made by human beings who often falter and fail. Of course, they may say to you, I'll always be there for you. I want you to know I'm your friend.

I'm with you. I'll always be there. And then at the time you needed them, they weren't. They couldn't be found.

Or if they could be found, they made it clear they could not or would not help you. Think of marriage. Young couple stands before the minister making their vows. Promise to forsake all others for you alone. I love you. I cherish you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

Marriage starts out well. There's a tenderness. A deep love.

A kindness. And then somewhere along the line, things begin to get a little bumpy. And after a while, it's constant conflict.

And it goes downhill. And one party to that marriage who had made a vow not only to the one they were marrying, but to the God of heaven. Going to continue in this relationship. But now one party says I'm finished.

I'm not happy and God would not want me to be unhappy, so I'm leaving. And that vow is broken. And those tender expressions of love are just a memory of the deep past. Friendships. It can seem that a friend that understands and always seems to have the right thing to say and they're a source of encouragement means so much to have a close friend. But in Psalm 41 verse 9, we read of a friend who was unfaithful. Yea, my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

How sad when a trusted friend seeks to do you harm. Certainly we can see the fulfillment of this text in the case of Jesus being turned against by Judas who had been one of his followers from all our appearances. He was as much a true disciple as any of the others. But inwardly there obviously was a great problem. He didn't love Jesus. He thought about himself. He was interested in money. He was interested in advancing himself in any way that he could. And so he betrayed Jesus. The betrayal by friend is a heartbreaking experience. The Apostle Paul said, Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world.

Think of the privilege this man had of laboring with, working side by side with the Apostle Paul. But he turns away and goes to the world. But while we cannot have absolute confidence in the promises made by human beings knowing that they are often broken. You can have total confidence in the promise we're looking at here. God himself says, you'll never be alone. I will never leave you.

I will never forsake you. You can have confidence then because of the one who's making the promise. Titus chapter 1 verse 2 says, in hope of eternal life which God that cannot lie promised before the world began. Because God is holy it is impossible for him to lie. He is holy in all of his thoughts, all of his actions, all of his works. There's no dark side to God. So when God says something you can absolutely count on it.

It's as good as done. God cannot lie. And then in Hebrews chapter 6. We see emphasis upon this fact that we can totally rely on the promises of God. Hebrews chapter 6 verse 13. For when God made promise to Abraham because he could swear by no greater he swear by himself.

Verse 17. Wherein God willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel confirmed it by an oath. That by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie.

We might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before him. So when the covenant was to be confirmed God could swear by no greater. So he swore by himself. Our God is immutable.

Therefore we have absolute total confidence in what he promises. And further in that 13th chapter of the book of Hebrews verse 8. It says Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever.

Is that good to know? Whatever you find in your fellowship with him today. It'll be the same tomorrow. He hasn't changed. Now we change.

We have our ups and downs and our backslidings and all of those things that are so evident in our feeble walk here. We change. We change physically. We change spiritually. But he doesn't change. He's the same.

The same yesterday today and forever. And further we can have confidence in his promise. Because not only has he made the promise. He has demonstrated that he will remember it. That he will fulfill it.

The Old Testament is just packed with one story after another. An actual historical account of what God did to support and defend his people. He was with them in going into battle. He was with them in providing for them in the most desperate of circumstances. Certainly that was the case in the wilderness where he rained down men from heaven and brought water out of a rock. He blessed them in the most unique ways. Here is Gideon going out to meet the enemy and he has 32,000 in his army.

He probably felt pretty good about that. And God says there's a problem. You've got too big an army. And if you win the battle the men will vaunt themselves and say look what we did. Why we really put the enemy to flight. They're going to brag on themselves.

And God says I'm not going to bless you under those circumstances. So I said let everybody that's afraid go home. And 22,000 men packed up and went. So there was a significant reduction in the size of the army. And then he gives another test by the way they would drink water to indicate whether their commitment was truly to the battle. Or whether they were thinking of their own self interest. Now the number is down to 300.

From the human vantage point things do not look nearly so favorable as they had in the beginning. I'm sure you'd say if I was going to be in charge of an army going out to battle. I'd feel a lot better with 32,000 than I would 300. But what made the difference was that God says I'm going to be with you. I'm going to bless you to win the victory.

So those 300 were divided into three camps of 100 each. And the Lord didn't say you've got to find the best weapons among you. Find the longest sharpest swords to go he says no. I want you to take a light covered over with a pitcher so it can't be seen at first. And take a trumpet so you can blow it to the given signal. And these three bands surround the enemy and at the given signal they blast the trumpet. They break the pitcher and they shine the lights. And those that are asleep in their tents come out and see there's light surrounding them. And they took out their swords and destroyed one another. And Gideon and his army just stood back and watched. Isn't it great when God works his way?

Oh we sometimes look at our feeble resources and say well even 300 would be alright. We look at ourselves and we say how can I move forward? How can I overcome conflicts in my own life?

The challenges that I face? But here's clear evidence that this God who says I will not forsake you has been there to defend and bless his people in years gone by. Think of David when he was going out to face Goliath.

Saul thought he ought to put on his armor. David said I had no experience with that but I have had experience with God blessing me as I was carrying from my father's sheep and one day I killed a lion and another day a bear. And so God's going to give this Philistine into my hands. And in 1 Samuel 17 45 he says, I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom thou hast defied. So he comes knowing the battle is the Lord's.

I'm coming in the name of the Lord most high. And God blessed him so that when he directed that sling toward the giant the rock hit him square on the forehead and knocked him down. Nobody could ever have envisioned the battle unfolding like this. I can't help but believe that some of those Israelite soldiers that watched this young lad going out there cringe to think this is going to be a bloody mess.

We really hate to watch as he's going to be slaughtered by this giant. But God gave him the victory. Now why are these things recorded in scripture? They're there for our benefit. They're there to remind us that when we read in Hebrews that the Lord will not forsake us. We have clear evidence that's been the case through the years.

God has not forsaken his people. The second thing that we think about is comfort. There are more people living alone in America today than ever before. That number has increased significantly.

And so it has raised health and safety concerns for local governments. A lot of research is being done about how to help people who live alone and suffer depression. Now that doesn't mean that everybody that's living alone is depressed.

Obviously there are some that are happy with that situation. There are Christians who find their hope and trust in the Lord from day to day. But there are those who are experiencing a deep sense of loneliness.

And they don't know what to do about it. Now the dread of loneliness is often expressed in scripture. So if you sometime feel alone, you're not blazing a new trail. You're traveling a path that Christians before you have traveled.

But they found hope even in those dark times. Psalm 102 verse 6, David says, I'm like a pelican of the wilderness, I'm like an owl of the desert. That language certainly depicts loneliness. I watch and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop. I don't think the picture could be any more graphic than to speak of loneliness.

A little sparrow on the top of the house subject to wind and rain and cold all alone. David says that's the way I feel. I feel to be alone. Psalm 38 verse 21, forsake me not, O Lord, O my God, be not far from me. Here the psalmist expresses concern, Lord, do not forsake me. I feel empty without thee, I feel alone, I feel deserted, I need thy help. And Psalm 142 verse 4 says, I looked on my right hand and beheld and there was no man that would know me. Refuge failed me, no man cared for my soul.

What a heart rending scene is here to describe. I looked all around. I tried to find somebody. I tried to find a friend, I tried to find some support. But refuge failed me.

I was at the point, nobody cares. No man cares for my soul. I'm in a terrible, dark, desolate situation.

Is there a remedy for it? Sad to say that in many cases today, I realize there are many different kinds of depression and there are some cases where medication is appropriate. But so often that's the immediate solution when there are other things that need to be dealt with.

And it's not just getting to the place that the person is temporarily relieved of the anxiety. Certainly for a child of God, coming to understand that loneliness can be dealt with because of a relationship with Jesus Christ. And the Psalmist says, I cried unto thee, O Lord, I said, thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

So if it reaches the place that it's not just what I've imagined, but it's a fact, no man cared for my soul. I have to say, I still have a hiding place. I still have a friend. I still have a refuge. Thou art my refuge. Thou art my portion. Lord, if I have thee, I have no reason to feel lonely. I have no reason to make a complaint. I have no reason to walk cast down.

I have reason, every reason to rejoice, to rejoice in the Lord. Fear often moves a person to feeling a great need for comfort. There are fears of financial loss.

Some live with some sense of anxiety about that on an ongoing basis. The gyrations in the stock market in the last couple of weeks, no doubt, have caused some people's heart to pound a bit. And when it sinks, it's like, is this the beginning of the end? And then it goes back up and says, oh, this is the beginning of a bright day.

Well, if you attach your emotions to the stock market, you're going to be up and down on a regular basis. You have to find your comfort, not in the material things of this world, but in Jesus Christ himself. Then failing health could cause a person to certainly need the comfort that only God can give. The uncertainty of it, the dread of some of the things that must be encountered, the concern that I don't want to be a burden to somebody else, feeling a sense of loneliness, the fear of old age.

Psalm 71 verse 18, now also when I am old and gray headed, old God forsake me not. Often as people get older, so many of their friends have already gone on and they find that maybe people just don't pay that much attention to them anymore. Person who is living alone say, well, I just don't have much company.

Nobody comes to see me. I've heard grandparents make a complaint, say, well, there was a time it seemed like my grandchildren enjoyed coming to see me and now they're all so busy with so many things, I don't think they care that much about me. Well, there's certainly some disadvantages to old age. There's a slow down, things don't function just as they once did, but here's the hope that even in declining years or declining health as the case may be, Lord, do not forsake me and God has given the promise he will not forsake us, never, never alone. So the promise of our text should certainly destroy any kind of fear because God says I'm going to be with you. God will not forsake us when our situation is such that we're in a low state and maybe financial losses did occur, but even if you lost much of what you had in Earth's goods, he's going to care for you even in lowly circumstances. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 6 verse 25, Therefore I say unto you, take no fault for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on. Now when it says take no fault, obviously it doesn't mean that you become careless and ignore responsibility and say, I'm going to quit work and expect God to feed me. No, he says the man that works worse than an infidel, but he's saying that you don't have to worry about it.

Take no fault of it from the standpoint that you're not worrying about it. Why? Because, he says, is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.

Are ye not much better than they? If God takes care of the birds, takes care that they don't reap, they don't gather into barns, but he feeds them, he's going to take care of you. So he's telling us we must not worry. Does Jesus care when my heart is pained to deeply form earth or song?

As the burdens press and the cares distress, then the way grows weary and long. Oh yes, he cares, I know, he cares, his heart is touched with my grief. When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know, my Savior cares. Well, it's a wonderful promise to the child of God that the Lord says, I will never leave thee, never alone. May we find comfort in that wonderful promise today. I hope you will take time to write us.

Till next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. If night shades, does he care enough to be near? Oh yes, he cares, I know, he cares, his heart is touched with my grief. When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know, my Savior cares. Does Jesus care when I've tried and failed to resist some temptation strong? When the mighty breathe, there is no relief, though my tears flow all the night long. Oh yes, he cares, I know, he cares, his heart is touched with my grief.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-25 02:15:09 / 2023-06-25 02:24:31 / 9

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