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Blog Insights for Dark Days from Alistair Begg: The Lie of Isolation (Part 1 of 7)

Insights for Dark Days from Alistair Begg: The Lie of Isolation (Part 1 of 7)

Biblical Insights

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul
  and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Psalm 13:1–2
 
Alistair Begg

Read By Alistair Begg

 

People say time flies when you’re having fun. But when things shift into a minor key, life seems to move in slow motion. We often find ourselves thinking, “I don’t know if I’m ever going to get out of these circumstances.”

This verse contains a recurring question: “How long? How long?” David’s circumstances aren’t described, but he clearly feels forgotten and forsaken—a feeling we all can relate to. It’s akin to what we feel when we lose a loved one.

In his emerging depression, we discover that his perception, as is often the case with our own, does not reflect reality. What he feels to be true does not align with what he knows to be true.

To be isolated from human relationships is, without question, crushing. But what David writes of here is even more significant. He’s expressing a feeling of isolation from God Himself. In his emerging depression, we discover that his perception, as is often the case with our own, does not reflect reality. What he feels to be true does not align with what he knows to be true.

The psalmist’s sentiment is shared by many of God’s people throughout Scripture. In Isaiah, God’s exiled people cry out, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.”1 Christian pilgrims—genuine followers and servants of Jesus—have occasionally felt like saying, “I believe the Lord has actually forgotten us. If He has not forgotten us, if He was still with us, how would we be in this predicament? If He truly was watching over us, surely we would not have to endure these trials.”

Christians, let’s not believe the lie of isolation that our emotions can feed us. We can find rest in God’s comforting response to His forgetful people: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”2

God’s care for His children is like the sun: it’s constant. Even when the clouds obscure it, it’s still there. It’s always there.

Will we trust in God’s constancy today? Amidst our feeling forsaken, God looks at His hands, engraved with each and every one of our names, and He says, “There you are. I have not forgotten you.”

For more, listen to the sermon
“Trusting God in the Dark”

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Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.