And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
This is the last promise Jesus made before He returned to heaven; and what a promise it is! I will be with you. I will be there when you are surrounded by enemies, I will be there when you face sickness, I will be there in family and financial stress, I will be with you when you walk through The Valley of the shadow of death. I will also be with you when I send you to the nations, when I call you to reach a seemingly unreachable people, and I will be there when it seems all of your dreams are being destroyed. Think about it, He had just given them an impossible task, go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. He follows up the incredible job assignment with the only way it could be done, He would be with them to accomplish the unthinkable. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes it.
“Not physically, but still in real truth, Jesus is with us. And a blessed truth it is, for where Jesus is, love becomes inflamed. Of all the things in the world that can set the heart burning, there is nothing like the presence of Jesus! A glimpse of him so overcomes us, that we are ready to say, Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me. Even the smell of the aloes, and the myrrh, and the cassia, which drop from his perfumed garments, causes the sick and the faint to grow strong. Let there be but a moment’s leaning of the head upon that gracious bosom, and a reception of his divine love into our poor cold hearts, and we are cold no longer, but glow like seraphs, equal to every labour, and capable of every suffering. If we know that Jesus is with us, every power will be developed, and every grace will be strengthened, and we shall cast ourselves into the Lord’s service with heart, and soul, and strength; therefore is the presence of Christ to be desired above all things.”
So what kind of challenge do you have for 2017? Are you planning on proceeding in cruise control our are you going to press in? Things will change when God’s people take the great commission seriously and launch out. Embrace God’s challenge and His promise; His challenge to you may seem daunting but His promise to be with you in it is sure.