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To the End of the Age

Daily Reading: Genesis 31

Scripture Focus: And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob... “I will be with you.” (Genesis 31.2-3)

Devotional Thought: Jacob was confused. He had worked hard for Laban even when Laban had taken advantage of him. Jacob had lived up to his part of the relationship only to have his father-in-law turn against him. In that time, far from home and family, Jacob needed encouraged. That's when God showed up and said to him in essence: I'm here, Jacob. I haven't forgotten you. And I will be with you in days to come.

Have you ever lost a friendship before? It is hard, isn't it? The one that you thought you could count on through thick or thin turns her back on you. The person you just knew would be by your side is suddenly nowhere to be found. The one to whom you have remained loyal has forgotten your faithfulness to him. Those times hurt deeply.

In Psalm 44, the Psalmist despaired, thinking that God had deserted his people: "Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?" (v. 24). His mistake was a common one, a mistake we often make. He looked at his circumstances rather than looking at the character of God. In his discouragement, he failed to believe God's promise to never leave them or forsake them (Deuteronomy 31.6). We can be encouraged to know that even the Psalmist struggled with these kinds of feelings!

If you are going through a time of severed friendship, remember, "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18.24b). That friend is Jesus. Through misunderstanding, relocation, and even death - when others leave, Jesus stays; when others disappoint, Jesus defends. He says, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28.20b)

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus for your faithfulness. Others may fail us, but you remain committed to us. Help us to trust in you when we are hurt and alone. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 6 Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. 9 Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever. (Psalms 28:6-9)

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