I Knew I Wasn’t Really Alone

God promises to be with us.

Pastor Shane introduced our all-church theme for 2024 on January 21 - Pursue the Promises. I love the action contained in that phrase; we should pursue or go after God’s promises that already exist for us.

The first promise for the year comes from Joshua 1: “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.” (Joshua 1:5)

God promises to be with us and will never leave us alone. I love that! Even at times in my life when I felt alone, I know that I truly wasn’t.

This reminds me of a story from sometime around 1988 when I remember getting left behind by my parents.

After church one summer day, I walked with my grandpa to his car where he always parked down the street from our church. I said goodbye to him and went to find my parents but couldn’t find them. They had assumed I’d gone with Grandpa, so they left. I hung out with another family at the church for a while until my parents could be reached. But I don’t think I was ever scared or worried.

This same situation happened to Jesus. In Luke 2, we read how His parents “didn’t miss Him because they assumed He was with other travelers.” When they finally caught up to Him, He was not concerned because He had another purpose, even if His parents weren’t around. For me, the peace that I experienced, even though I had been left, came from a pure confidence in knowing I wasn’t really alone.
 
This reminds me of a verse, 1 John 4:12, that highlights how we experience God’s love because of each other: “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

I observe a few other truths about my little story that illustrate ways that God is with us.

The first is that mentors are awesome! In my case, my grandpa, who I always hung out with on Sundays, was my hero. I learned so much about hard work and treating other people well from him that I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to replicate this. God shows He’s with us by giving us heroes in our lives that model Christ for us.

Second, I didn’t feel alone because I knew that my church was a safe place. While we too often hear stories of tragedies where the church didn’t create healthy, safe environments for kids, these are the exceptions to the rule. My home church in Montana, CLA and the overwhelming majority of churches help kids know that God is with them.

Last, I’m so thankful for parents who did their very best to help me know Jesus. No parents are flawless, but I want to copy their commitment to raising godly kids.

As we pursue God’s promises this year, what are some action steps we can take?

  • I would encourage you to identify several mentors in your life. Do they point you to Jesus?
  • I also challenge you to make your local church an important, centering place in your life.
  • Commit to being a parent or friend who helps others to know that God is with them.

Indeed, we can see that God is with us in our mentors, in our church and in our families.

Finally, I encourage you to spend a few minutes each day this week rereading our key verse and memorizing it. As we are reminded in Psalm 119:11, it is so important to hide God’s Word in our heart.

Verse to Memorize

“No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.” (Joshua 1:5)

Pursue the Promises

Throughout 2024, every Monday morning by 7:00 AM, we will post a new video from Pastor Shane or an article written by a member of our staff that connects to that month’s featured promise. Learn more.

6 Comments


Tracey Bender - January 30th, 2024 at 7:47am

Thank you, Pastor Matt, for this timely message of encouragement.

CLA Camp Hill - February 1st, 2024 at 1:05pm

Thanks so much for your comment, Tracey! We are so glad you found Pastor Matt's message encouraging. It's so wonderful to know we are never alone!

Dave Beaver - February 2nd, 2024 at 12:38pm

Thank you Pastor Matt for encouraging us to find that Mentor to help us in our walk with Jesus and throughout life. You also gave that much needed reminder that we are never truly alone. God is always with us....but we all know that sometimes that is easy to forget.

CLA Camp Hill - February 3rd, 2024 at 9:04am

Thank you, Dave, for your comment! Such good insight! And yes, this can be easy to forget amidst the struggles of life - so thankful this promise is true no matter what!

Iris Stinson - February 14th, 2024 at 7:16am

Thank you Pastor Matt. As I look back on my life, I believe that God has always been with me but I never realized it until I asked Him into my heart. My grandmother would sit with me and show me pictures from her large Bible (in the 50s) and I loved the stories she read. She was my first mentor and then when I received Christ as an adult I have had many church leaders and Pastors who would teach and I always felt the messages were just what I needed. So May you be blessed knowing that you are impacting someone whether they tell you or not. Just believe because Gods Word never returns void. God bless and keep you.

CLA Camp Hill - February 14th, 2024 at 1:23pm

Thanks so much for sharing this, Iris! You are certainly blessed to have had your grandmother's godly influence, as well as others throughout your life. God is so good!