ACW

ACW

Saturday, 16 April 2016

God with us by Lynda Alsford

I don't know about you but when I am most aware of God's presence it is usually when I am being good, kind and loving or when things are going well. It is when I am in a worship service with my brothers and sisters in Christ and our praise is filling the room. I think of times when I am obeying Him, doing good to others and thinking positive things about others. It is easy at times like that to imagine God being by my side. It is easy to recall the words of Jesus at the end of Matthew's Gospel. 


"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20


I expect most people of faith can recall moments like that. Things are going well and we feel the closeness of Jesus. But what about the times when life is not going well? What about the times when life is hard, and when I am letting Jesus down? If you are anything like me during those times it is really hard to remember that God is with you. 

For me it is hardest to remember Jesus is with me when I am failing Him in someway. But Jesus did say he would be with us always, not sometimes, not only when you are good, always. I think a part of me still lives by a gospel of works, trying to earn God's blessings and his love. It is hard work to remember God being with me when I am in the midst of failure and difficult times. But the death and resurrection of Jesus means that I am freed from having to earn God's blessings. I don't have to earn His presence by good behaviour. God sees me as righteous because of Jesus and I can have Him with me always. 

I shall never forget hearing the testimony of an ex-bulimia sufferer. This person said that when they were still locked into bulimia, they were kneeling by the toilet making themselves sick and became aware that Jesus was holding them, cradling them in their distress. It was a life changing moment for this person.  This person is now totally free and helping other sufferers,

This testimony made a huge impact on me. A part of me felt I would have to earn that level of love from God. But this person was telling me that Jesus would be with me even in my darkest times. I didn't suffer from bulimia. For me it was food addiction without the purging. Hearing that God was with me even in the midst of a binge was the start of discovering my own freedom. It was the start of a journey of seeking the healer, seeking the Father heart of God. Knowing He is with me in every circumstance of life, no matter what, was life changing for me. The Psalmist said, 

"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me." Ps 16:8

No matter what is going wrong around you, no matter what sin you may be committing Jesus meant it when he said he would always be with you. He will never leave you. You are not alone. My prayer is that we become more aware of His presence every day.


Lynda Alsford is a sea loving, cat loving, GP receptionist and writes in her spare time. She has written two books. He Never Let Go describes her journey through a major crisis of faith whilst working as an evangelist at a lively Church in Chiswick, West London. Being Known describes how God set her free from food addiction. Both books are available in paperback and on kindle on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. She writes a newsletter, Seeking the Healer, in which she shares the spiritual insights she has gained on her journey. Sign up for this at her website,www.lyndaalsford.com

12 comments:

  1. Lovely post, Lynda. I have been reminded recently how much God loves each one of us and how important it is to accept his love and be thankful. Sue

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  2. Thank you Sue, Yes I think I need to be reminded of it constantly. He forgives and accepts us and loves us more than we will ever know. I find remembering His Presence with me in bad times is so important. And you are right that we have to accept his love. His love doesn't change but our acceptance of it does.

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  3. Lynda, I can relate to these words too: " Jesus would be with me even in my darkest times" because I've experienced the personal truth behind them. It's so often at my weakest and sickest, when I'm feeling lost, low and defeated that Jesus makes Himself known to me. Even though I still struggle to fully accept God loves me, I've been made aware it doesn't rest on my works. If we are brought to a point where we cannot physically 'do' much at all, it's encouraging to see how God continues to work His purposes out in and through us. We don't have to earn His favour or His love. And that's something to be relieved and grateful for! x

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    1. This really resonates with me Joy from my year of illness. It was such a relief to know I didn't have to 'do', that it was okay to simply 'be'. Blessings xx

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    2. Thanks for letting me know, Mandy. I'm so pleased you also experienced God's full healing of your illness and can live a little more freely than before as you share your amazing testimony. Blessings. Xx

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  4. I think it is a lesson that will take a lifetime to learn at a really deep level but praise God we will have eternity to live with Him in his perfect love and brilliant presence.

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  5. Thank you Lynda. You're right, it's so easy when things are going well. The Holy Spirit has been reminding me this week about the need to have grace for myself - not an easy thing! Was particularly touched by your para about the ex-bulimia sufferer - very needed, thanks.

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  6. It's a very powerful image isn't it. It had a deep impact on me.

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  7. It's a very powerful image isn't it. It had a deep impact on me.

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  8. This is interesting: as I look back on a time of being very miserable at school (age 6-7) I never ever thought of God minding, or knowing, or Jesus being with me. Now actually there were several of us in that class, all being targeted but separately by a bullying teacher. At least one other from a 'Christian family.' We only realised/knew this many decades later ... So my thought of comment here is, it's not just our consciousness of not being worthy of knowing Him, or needing to behave nicely for Him, that may be 'in the way' of our feeling He is close to us: kids, and maybe adults too, may be in an 'other way round' situation, some person is hurting them, and they are so desperate, so miserable, that they don't feel God is near. Or cares about what's happening. Hope this makes sense. (Have not written this for sympathy, by the way! Just to simply make the point ...)

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  9. Oh and the point was, we kids were not letting Jesus down ... we didn't think that at all.

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  10. Absolutely you kids were not letting Jesus down at all. I think it is important that we all understand that we don't let Jesus down by experiencing feelings - whatever they are, or by having a tough time. He is with us even when we are not aware of it. But when we go through a hard time, it is so easy to feel that God isn't there when he is.

    I have times of suffering when I did know God's presence but equally when I didn't know it and actually ran away from God. God is with us no matter what.

    I guess my aim to remember as an act of my will that God is with me no matter what. I aim to not rely on my feelings as a guide to God's presence with me. My feelings are somewhat unreliable!

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