God Is Near

by Paul Tautges | January 10, 2019 9:05 am

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.(Psalm 34:18)

Loss comes in many different forms. Loss of a spouse, child, or another loved one to death. Loss of relationships through betrayal, estrangement, divorce, or a move across the country. Loss of security through business failure, foreclosure, or long-term unemployment. Loss of health or personal dreams from disability or terminal illness. And the list goes on.

So much grief. So much pain. So many kinds of loss.

But in the aftermath of painful news—in the midst of the fog of disillusionment—one thing is clear. You’re never alone. God is close by. He is “near to the brokenhearted.”

This biblical promise brings tender comfort to the heart. The word “near” is used in the Bible to refer to the next-of-kin who takes upon himself the needs of another family member [1]. What a comforting word picture! In times of deep loss, when your heart is broken and your spirit is crushed, the Lord himself draws near and says, “I will never leave you” (Hebrews 13:5). Rooted in the atoning work of Jesus, as the one and only mediator between God and sinners (1 Timothy 2:5), this promise is for every Christian. In Christ, God selects us “for adoption to himself” (Ephesians 1:5). Through redemption, we become siblings of Jesus. He becomes our “next-of-kin” who carries our burdens. God never leaves us to suffer alone. He “daily bears us up” (Psalm 68:19).

In Christ, God drew near to us in order that we might draw near to him. Personal faith in Jesus, as the “great priest over the house of God,” compels us to continually “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19-22). However, drawing near to God through faith in Jesus is not a one-time event, but a learned habit.

Yes, conversion takes place in a moment in time. Instantly, we are delivered “from the domain of darkness” and transferred “to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). But saving faith doesn’t stop there. It’s a lifetime walk.

God draws near to us. He wants to listen to the cries of our heart (Hosea 7:14). He invites us into his presence. He’s always there. Always shouldering our burdens. He’s the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Are you crying out to God?


[1][1] Alec Motyer, Psalms By the Day (Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2016), 87.

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