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My Thoughts - Abandoned by God

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My Thoughts II

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If we will admit it, sometime during life, we will feel abandoned by a loved one. What I am saying to you that most people feel abandonment during their lifetime, and there are certain normal feelings that go with feeling abandoned or deserted. Those feelings are often sadness, disappointment, anger, and even rage. These feelings are all normal and human. These feelings are not necessarily rational or intelligent. Such feelings are often directed at the person who abandoned you. Sometime during life, we all feel abandoned by God. This happens in life, especially when tragedies happen to you personally. Let me give you some examples.
From the Old Testament, King David wrote the famous words in Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Words from King David. His words continue: “why are you so far from saving me Lord? Why are you so far from my groaning? Why do I cry out to you, but you do not answer?” King David had these feelings in his heart that God had forsaken him, abandoned him, and deserted him. Why? Because of the personal tragedies of his life. King David felt this way because King Saul was trying to kill him, his enemies were trying to kill him and his oldest son was trying to kill him. David was feeling down in the dumps and he wrote: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Take a look at JOB in the Old Testament. JOB experienced many personal tragedies. He lost his farms, lost the animals, lost his children, lost his wife. JOB lost everything. He also felt that God had abandoned him, deserted him, and he was angry with God and even raged at God. Those feelings were all normal.
King David and JOB felt that God had deserted them.
Knowing that people experience feelings that they are abandoned by their loved ones and that they are abandoned by God, it is with these feelings that we approach My Thoughts for today.
The setting was Golgotha, the place of execution right outside the walls of Jerusalem. It was Friday, the day after Passover. The text tells us that Jesus on the cross for three hours, from twelve noon to three o’clock. The sky turned dark and black, the darkest day of human history, and so did Jesus’ heart. It was three o’clock on that Friday afternoon and Jesus was coming closer to his death. The Bible tells us that Jesus cried out with a shrieking shout. His voice wasn’t quiet and soft like the first three words. You could barely hear him pray, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus spoke gently to the thief on the cross,” Today you will be with me in paradise”. Jesus spoke in subdued tones to his mother and his best friend beneath the cross. Then, Jesus shouted to the heavens at the top of his lungs, in almost a scream, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me, why have you deserted me, why have you forsaken me?”
What can we learn from Jesus’ cry to God? The first thing we learn is this: it is okay to have feelings and vent those feelings of abandonment, as Jesus did on the cross. To feel the pain and sadness of being abandoned by God is normal. That is the way God made us, to feel such feelings and to vent such feelings. It is okay to feel depressed and abandoned by God. King David certainly did, when people wanted to kill him. He wrote those classic words in Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? King David was a devout believer in God and clung to God and was loyal to God, but he also felt depressed and abandoned by God and he vented his feelings to God. If it was normal and acceptable for God’s King David to feel his feelings and to vent his feelings, and he was the best king in the whole Old Testament, it is certainly normal and acceptable for you and me to feel the same way.
JOB certainly did. JOB who is known for his suffering. JOB suffered more than any other person in the Old Testament, and he, too, felt abandoned by God, deserted by God, forsaken by God, and he shouted his laments and anger towards God. That was part of humanness, to feel that way, and it is part of our humanness to feel that way as well. It is OK to feel like JOB.
Jesus certainly did. Jesus was the very Son of God, the heart and mind of God in the flesh, and in the moment of the deepest darkness of the land and the deepest darkness of his heart, Jesus felt that God had abandoned him and he shouted his feelings to the heavens. This reveals that Jesus was fully human, and when we have those similar feelings and vent those feelings that reveal that we are fully human as well. It is okay to feel like Jesus.
So when you have such feelings that God has abandoned you, and you vent those feelings, remember that you are in the good company of King David, JOB, and Jesus the Son of God. When you personally lose a loved one due to death, divorce or just going through bad times and you feel sadness, anger disappointment and down in the dumps about your situation and you cry out to God with your feelings, remember that this is okay. King David did it. JOB did it. Jesus, the Son of God, did it.
We learn from Jesus’ word that even in the worst situations of life, we are to cling to God with both hands as Jesus did. With pain and abuse with darkness all around him and within him, Jesus still clung to God with both hands. In the midst of this horrific situation Jesus clung to God with all his might during the darkest hour of his life.
It is easy to believe in God when life smiles on you, but it is much more difficult to believe in God when life frowns on you. It is easy to believe in God when the path is smooth and easy; but it is much more difficult to believe in God when the path is rocky.
Sometimes, life can be incredibly hard. In the worst and darkest day of human history, Jesus still clung to God with both hands and held onto God, we to should cling to God in our darkest days.
We should do what Jesus did in that darkest hour: Jesus clung to God with both hands, crying out to the heavens, shouting his despair, “My God, My God, both hands grabbing God, where are you? Why aren’t you here to protect us?” So while being nailed on two timbers, you find Jesus clinging to God with all his power, with both hands, and at the same time, shouting his inner feelings up to God. We should with both hands and shout our inner feelings to God in the highest. By hiding our feeling within we only hurt ourselves, God already knows what’s in your heart. You can only come to understanding when you are honest with yourself. You can only go down the path after you start the journey.
We learn from Jesus’ word on the cross is that these are not his last words. The drama does not end with his depression and emotional exhaustion. “Why have you forsaken me?” These are not his last words, not his final words, not the end of the story.
King David wrote the 22nd psalm, “My God my God, why have you forsaken me.” But he also wrote, the 23rd psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.” The 22nd psalm was not his last word.
JOB complained to God when he lost all his possessions, his family, everything. He railed against God in his anger, but those were not his last words. He also wrote at the end of his book, “I know that my redeemer lives.” JOB’s feelings of abandonment were not his last words. So also with Jesus. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” These were not his last words. His last words were “It is accomplished. It is finished. It is done.” He said, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
One of my friends has experienced untold heartache in their life. I can only pray that their eyes will finally have life and happiness in them again. I want nothing more in life than to see their eyes smiling again after all that they has been through. I pray that one day they come to terms with their inner feelings and find that in the years thinking God had abandoned them, that He was always there. He didn’t get abandoned them because of their feelings, He understands, He knows, He loves. I pray for my friend and to all of us to come to grips with our feelings, be not afraid of asking why, be not afraid of wondering or questioning God’s plan. He can only heal when we admit the pain, He can only make right when we are honest with ourselves and ask what is wrong.
God’s healing always triumphs over tragedy. God can and will heal you of every disaster that befalls you. It may not be in the time frame we want, may not be the winning lottery ticket we prayed for, but it will triumph.

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    • Lila, Thank you for your comments. Suffering for the cause of Christ does unite fellow saints. Your comments reminded of the words of Paul when he said, "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." 1 Corinthians 12:26 Thank you again for your comments. Alan  
    • Many times when someone is mean to you and harms you and you love them and pray for them it works. Maybe always but sometimes it just take long time and you may never know it. I wish all people could live in peace together and love God and all others and take good care of nature and animals. I believe that when you love God then that is what you want in your heart.    
    • What if one reason for suffering is for all believers to unite and pray together loving each other and glorify and love God and Jesus. With lot of people together it is easier to make good changes in this world in God's name. Then others will want to join too. It also makes people rely in God and make you want to help others more after experiencing their pain. If God answers my prayer now then I will surely tell others of God's goodness and love and seek to help others who suffer with new positivity that with God's help anything is possible. 
    • Thank you for uploading the sermon  by Pastor Vaughan. Both the sermon and the song, "While the Ages Roll," were a blessing.
    • When I was a teen, and he came to town, I often got drafted as a pianist for meetings-and following him when he was singing was just about impossible lol!  To this day, I can't sing or play "Come and Dine" at church without hearing his rendition of it in my head.  He was the real deal.  And he seemed to always travel with a huge cooler of what we would now call organic health food- he was way before the health food movement!  
    • The Lord blessed you. Bro. Roloff was a man of God. It would be an honour to have hosted Bro. Roloff in one's home as a guest. I listened to Roloff's, "Dr. Law and Dr. Grace," many years ago and enjoyed it immensely.
    • This sermon takes me back many years, to when Bro. Roloff was a guest in our home so often he had his own room.  Wonderful man with a great sense of humor.  If you find "Dr. Law and Dr. Grace", its worth listening to as well. 
    • Matt, Thank you for uploading the sermon by Lester Roloff, ""The Mule Walked On." Or, as a secondary title that brother Roloff says, "The Mule of Sin." The message on discipleship by brother Rofoff should be heard by all of the brethren on OnLineBaptist. The message by brother Roloff explains why there is a dearth of power in Christian homes today and in the pulpit of many churches. Among many of the great spiritual truths that Lester Roloff stated I think that his last thought is pertinent to all of us. "We are living in the day where everything rules the home but the husband and the Lord." Again, thanks. Alan  
    • John, I just finished listening to the sermon on Leviticus 18. I appreciate your boldness in proclaiming the truths of the moral obligations that God commanded to all men, in all countries, in all dispensations, as recorded in Leviticus 18. Alan  
    • I appreciate reading your summary of Leviticus 18. The same moral sins listed in the Law of the Old Testament, Leviticus 18 as one example, are still still an abomination in the sight of an Holy God. The immoral customs of the land of Egypt, the world, is not, repeat not, to do practiced among the saints in any dispensation or in any any country. "After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances." Leviticus 18:3  The Apostle Paul stated, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 When I have time I will listen to the full sermon.
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