One of the enduring promises available to anyone who seeks it is the presence of God. If this promise were found in only a single passage in the Bible, it might be dismissed, but instead it is there so many times – in both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament – that the message cannot be ignored.
Sometimes the promise starts in what you do, as in James 4:8, which in the Amplified Bible reads: “Come close to God and He will come close to you.” The King James language has it: “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.” Psalm 145:18 takes a similar approach: “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Again, the KJV likes the word nigh but offers the same promise.
Even people not very familiar with the Bible usually have heard the 23rd Psalm, which tells us in Verse 4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” That’s the New International Version; many of us grew up with the KJV that begins: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death….” Somehow we feel reassurance in the word “Yea” even though we probably could not define it!
Sometimes the language of the promise is forceful, as in Deuteronomy 31:6 and Joshua 1:9. The former reads: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Likewise the Joshua passage reads: “Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Much as I like these verses, my favorite statement of the promise is the one in Hebrews 13:5, which reads in the Amplified: “… for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]”
The next time you wake up in the night terrified from a nightmare, or worried about your circumstances, say that last one a few times to yourself and you’ll have no trouble getting back to peace.