“Forsake me not, O Lord.” Psalm 38:21
It is said, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” This statement is an adage from World War I. An unknown chaplain from England, preaching the funeral of a fallen warrior, is credited with this saying. It was included in a warning to those facing the battlefield, “Tell the Territorials and soldiers at home that they must know God before they come to the front if they would face what lies before them. We have no atheists in the trenches. Men are not ashamed to say that, though they never prayed before, they pray now with all their hearts.”
Calling out to God is a natural action when we face overwhelming problems. America’s national leaders, who seldom if ever speak about God, will publicly seek comfort, protection and guidance from God when we experience great problems.
Calling out to God in times of trouble is not to be condemned but encouraged for the people of God and even the lost. It is the recognition of our weakness that allows us to seek the power of a Holy God. The Apostle Paul discovered this truth when he faced an overwhelming problem in his life. Three times he approached God for relief and there was no relief to be found.
In Apostle Paul’s hardship, God reveals this great truth and he relays this understanding to us with these words:
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Co 12:9)
Rest assured, God indeed has the power to overcome times of great difficulties but our dependence on God’s strength should not only be exercised in these events. We are encouraged to seek God’s strength all the time with these words, “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” (1 Ch 16:11)
Seeking the face of God “continually” is the key to finding His strength in times of great need. Jesus gave us this example in His prayer life. When the time came for His trial, public humiliation and taking the darkness of the sin upon Himself; he prayed in the garden:
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
This prayer time with Jesus was not a last minute cry for help but was an ongoing “seek his face continually” approach Jesus had in daily life. We find this truth established in scripture; it was a daily practice for Jesus to approach God in His daily activities.
A daily devotion in God’s word changes our knowledge of God; a daily conversation with God changes our understanding of God and His power in our life. It is not natural when a child approaches a parent only when they need help. It is shameful when a child ignores a parent the rest of the time.
How about you? Are you a “foxhole” Christian? Are you first in line for God’s protection in times of great need and then AWOL the rest of the time? If so, maybe it is time for you to rethink your understanding of the place God has in your life.
Start today and make the words, “ Forsake me not, O Lord” a daily prayer not just when you find yourself in overwhelming trouble. Jesus loves you and He has declared you are His friend, “I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15)
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Jesus is your friend and friends spend time together; not just when they need help. Call on Jesus every day and often throughout the whole day and you will discover the peace and comfort as well as help when the time of need arises in your life.