Summary: If God has promised that He'd never leave me or forsake me... shouldn't that mean I won't encounter any difficulties or frustrations in my life? No, but the reason what this is true may change your life.
OPEN: Some years back I read the true story of a conversation a traveler had with a farmer in New York State. They got to talking about the weather, and the farmer assured the traveler that he could tell what the weather was going to be - by watching the behavior of his cows.
"When the cows are standing, it means no rain for the next 24 hours. When they're lying down, it means it's going to rain."
The traveler asked, "What does it mean when half the herd is standing and the rest are lying down?"
The farmer smiled and replied, "That means that half of them are wrong!"
APPLY: Predicting the weather… and predicting the future is as old as mankind. People have used everything from tea leaves to ouija boards, horoscopes, to talking to the dead to try to find out what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next year… etc.
ILLUS: I recently read on MSN.com that a famous psychic to the stars named Nikki was going to reveal her predictions of what was in store for people like Alec Baldwin, Lindsay Lohan, David Letterman, Angelina Jolie and others.
Now for many people, this is exciting news. To be able to learn about the rich and famous is intriguing reading. And, if that psychic’s predictions are 70 to 80% accurate – they are considered worth listening to.
But in Old Testament such a psychic would never live to see her own future. Any psychics, channeler, or those engaged in leading a séance would have been stoned to death. God hated such practices. In fact, He even hated things like ouija boards, horoscopes and reading tea leaves.
God basically told His people If I want you to know the future… I’ll tell you about it.” And God often used prophets to do just that. Prophets of God communicated the future to His people.
But even then, IF a prophet got less than 100% of prophecies correct they were put to death. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 tells us “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death."
You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?"
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”
So, predicting the future has always been a dicey thing at best. Any person who presumed to tell people what was going to happen in the future ran the risk of angering God.
But… today and the rest of this month, I’m going to do just that.
I’m going to predict YOUR future.
And I’m convinced that what I’ll tell you is 100 % accurate because…
I’m only going to repeat what God has already said.
So, let’s start with today’s prediction:
I Predict God will be with you throughout this coming year!
AND I can predict this with 100% accuracy… because that’s what it says in Hebrews 13
God declared "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
God has promised that (if you’re a Christian) He WILL be with you all through this next year.
What caught my attention when I first read this verse was that this promise was in quotations, which indicated it had been said previously in Scripture. And when I investigated I discovered it had actually been said many times before. The first time was in Genesis 28:15 when God said to Abraham: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
And God repeated the promise to the nation of Israel: “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8
And again God spoke to Joshua (as he prepared to lead God’s people into the Promised Land) God promised: “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5
This promise appears to be a constant theme throughout the Old Testament. God’s people were repeatedly assured, God would not leave them.
And NOW, God makes that same promise to YOU!
If you are His people, He’s not going to leave you… He’s not going forsake you!