“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” – John 10:11
One problem people have with being a sheep needing a shepherd is trust issues. People find it hard to trust God. Truth is, we don’t want to find ourselves in a position of vulnerability. We don’t want to trust just any shepherd who will gather a bunch of sheep together and then leave us unprotected when it is too dangerous for them. We don’t want to find out that the person leading us is making decisions are bad for us, right?
BUT… if we are going to treat and count ourselves all in as God’s sheep, we need to fully trust the Good Shepherd to lead us all throughout and not leave us when the going gets tough.
Today, God wants to remind us of these truths that will help us trust Him as the Good Shepherd who will never lead us to harm and will never forsake us.
God Will Always Protect You
Alongside the question of whether God will abandon us or not is our fear that if our Shepherd really knew us, there is no way He would still find or protect us from the dangers lurking around us. We have these negative thoughts that if God sees all our flaws, shortcomings, and misgivings, then He would no longer see us worthy of His protection and attention.
Deep down, many of us have this fear of abandonment. We fear that if people really knew the real “us” or what we’ve done, then they would abandon us and will no longer want to be associated with us. And so we find ourselves in the exact place we go to when we are afraid — isolated and alone. Because of this fear, we no longer follow our Shepherd, we don’t open up and become accountable with what’s really going on with us, and we hold back the parts of ourselves that we are ashamed of so they won’t be brought into the light. Instead, we end up keeping it all to ourselves. We cover up our struggles, sins, and weaknesses, just like what Adam and Eve did after The Fall. (Genesis 3:7)
But Jesus, as our Good Shepherd, proves to us over and over that He is not the shepherd who would flee from danger, rather He is the kind of Shepherd who would lay down His life for the sheep. He is the Shepherd who’s willing to fight off any danger that may cause harm to the sheep and defend the sheep against enemies and predators. He is not just a hired hand who will abandon the sheep when the going gets tough, leaving the sheep alone, unprotected, and vulnerable to danger. The sheep matter to Him and He will not abandon them even when there’s a threat of danger that seems too great. He longs to have a relationship with us, His sheep. The Good Shepherd will never run away from us, rather He chooses to rescue us, protect us, and fight for us in order to keep us safe.
God Will Never Abandon You
“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence,“The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5-6
Redemption is seen in the Good Shepherd who will not abandon the sheep. Jesus did not abandon us, but rather died in our place. Our Good Shepherd is the One who knows His sheep, and loves and protects us from all harm, including ensuring that we would never have to experience what He did on the cross when He said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus did not want us to feel alone. This is why He promised that He will never leave nor forsake us and He sealed that promise when He died on the cross and made a way for us to be reconciled back to God again.
He bore our sins, had the Father turn His face away from Him, and received the judgment that we and our sins deserved. He, being man and perfect God, took it all for us, yet He was raised on the third day. He didn’t stay dead forever. His death and resurrection did not separate us from Him, but rather brought us closer to Him. With Jesus’ resurrection, we now have this guarantee that when God said He will never leave us, that’s a promise that He keeps. His presence is now always with us. Through Jesus, we will never experience God forsaking us. He will not leave us as orphans. With the reassuring promise, there should be no more “what ifs” from us. Why? Because this thing forever holds true: God will never abandon us.