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April 8

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Click here for a video copy of this devotional

Have you ever felt like God let you down? It’s okay, you can admit it. No one else can hear you. There’s this popular Christian song that says these words in the bridge, “You’re never gonna let, you’re never gonna let me down." [1] It’s catchy, but I’ll be honest – I struggle with that line.

Sometimes things happen in our lives and they leave us feeling like, “God, I thought we had an understanding. I thought if I trusted you, you promised you’d always provide.” Yet, you find yourself out of a job. Or sick. Or the family you dreamed of never happened. You’re still single. You tried church and the people there just let you down.

Would it comfort you to know that Jesus Himself felt abandoned by God? In some of His last words on the cross, Matthew tells us Jesus cried out in a loud voice (he grieved, lamented, even yelled?), “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Talk about strong language. It’s the darkest cry from the cross.

Jesus was quoting Psalm 22. When you read the whole Psalm, Jesus’ fulfillment of this passage is remarkable. But there was something even more important going on. Jesus’ was taking upon Himself the wrath of God for all our sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). It’s through Jesus temporary separation from His Father, that you and I can be assured He’ll never forsake us.
So that brings us back to our disappointment. How do we respond when life takes an unexpected turn for the worse? We follow the perfect example of Jesus. Grieve and give it to God. Be honest with Him about your struggle and the havoc it’s causing in your life. Read Psalm 22 for a tutorial in lamenting.

Then ask God to adjust your perspective. It’s possible at least some of your disappointment comes from your inability to see things the way God sees them. Follow the pattern set by Jesus the night before His crucifixion. He prayed for the cup to be taken from Him. But Jesus finished His prayer with the words, “Yet not as I will, but as you will,” (Matthew 26:39)

Finally, live in the comfort and confidence of knowing that thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, God will never abandon us when we put our trust in Him. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9 remind us that God’s provision may look different than our plans, but we can trust His perfect judgement. What God wants most is to be the source of our satisfaction.

Prayer: Father, some of us are hurting today. We don’t understand why we’re going through our current struggle. But we are reminded at the cross that you are good, and your will is perfect. Draw us closer to yourself through our struggle.
We ask that your Spirit brings us comfort and power in our weakness. The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. Please be with those in our families, our church and our community who need to know your grace, your provision and your healing today. In Jesus name. Amen.

God bless you,
Pastor Andrew Melo

[1] Mcmillan, John Mark Sarah, King of My Heart.