In the worst seasons of life, it is easy to feel abandoned by God. As the blood drips from a once healthy heart, we often echo Christ’s cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Most of us do not expect an audible answer from the sky, but we do pray that our voices would be heard. Once the shock has waned or the pain has numbed, we scratch our heads and question where God might have wandered off to. If He loves us so much, why would He abandon us to the dark?
This morning’s Morning and Evening reminds us that God never forsakes His children. Historically, only one man has ever felt the true sting of God’s abandonment: Christ Himself. And He is the One who continually intercedes to the Father on our behalf (Romans 8:34), even now. The believer’s hopeless solitude is a lie.
Despite all his grief and loss, an aging King David observed:
I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or His children begging for bread. — Psalm 37:25
Paul invigorated the Corinthians by reminding them that we are:
…persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… — 2 Corinthians 4:9
Jesus concluded the Great Commission with this encouraging truth:
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. — Matthew 28:20
If our faith is anchored in Christ, we are never alone. Unfortunately, we frequently believe the lie of abandonment and fail to cry out to God at all. If He has truly left the building, what’s the point? We focus on the pain, the forfeiture, the shadow of death. Our faithless hearts leave cavernous cavities in our chests. But thankfully, the Good Shepherd is near with a rod and a staff. He provides and protects. In Him, we lack nothing.
Reject the lie. Hold fast to the Truth. We are not alone. We will not be forsaken.
Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.
* * * * *
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? — Psalm 22:1
Here we view the Savior in the depth of His sorrows. No other place displays the griefs of Christ like this, and no other moment at Calvary is so full of agony as when His cry rends the air—”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” At this moment physical weakness was united with acute mental torture from the shame and ignominy through which He had to pass; His grief culminated in suffering the spiritual agony beyond all telling that resulted from the departure of His Father’s presence. This was the black midnight of His horror—when He descended the abyss of suffering.
No man can enter into the full meaning of these words. Some of us think at times that we could cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” There are seasons when the brightness of our Father’s smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never really does forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ’s case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father’s love; but the real turning away of God’s face from His Son—who can calculate how deep the agony that caused Him?
In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: In His case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from Him for a season. Poor, distressed soul who once lived in the sunshine of God’s face but now in darkness, remember that He has not really forsaken you. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He shines forth in all the beauty of His grace; but since even the thought that He has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the suffering of the Savior have been when He exclaimed, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”