The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 9:9 (NIV)
Series Focus: “Rising from the Valley”
Forgotten. Alone. Abandoned. Used and abused. Beaten down. Forsaken. Do you wonder if God sees, knows, or even cares? We lay our lives down to serve Him. Why are we suffering this treatment? These circumstances? Where is God in this pain? Is He truly with us in these valleys?
Years ago, I found myself feeling forsaken. Empty and confused, I was too numb to feel anymore. Beyond frustration, I surged into an internal, reckless rage. The gym became an outlet for me—a place I could blow off steam and lose myself. As I pushed hard through my set one day, the line of a song blared in my ears and broke me. “Loneliness gets so old. I’m in the lost and found, sitting on the shelf.”
The lines of that song completely encapsulated my feelings: Have you forsaken me, God? Tell me You’re still here with me. I’m so lost and all alone.
Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you feel that way right now. But those feelings are not the truths we find in scripture. God has promised He would never abandon us; never leave us; never forsake us. Psalm 9:10-12 (NIV) says:
Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You. Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion, proclaim among the nations what He has done. For He who avenges blood remembers; He does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.
Oh, how I rejoice in His faithfulness! He will never forsake us, ignore us, or abandon us, even amid our afflictions!
I’d love to tell you I’d experienced a miraculous encounter with Almighty God at the gym in that very lonely moment! That He instantly revived and restored me. However, that was not the case. I allowed the pain to drive me to rebellion. Instead of climbing out of that valley, I plunged in deeper.
How I struggled and suffered in that deep, dark place—not to mention the pain I caused others! But even there, I still knew God as my Father and I believed Jesus to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I chose to seek Him and worship Him daily—many times forcing myself to pursue Him. The journey was arduous. But, day by day, as I set my hope upon Him, He caused me to rise up out of that valley.
Psalm 9:18 (NIV) says:
But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Whether you are on the mountaintop and thriving in the life God has purposed for you, or you feel stuck in the most treacherous valley ever, know this: God has not forgotten you. He knows you. He planned for you. He has a purpose for you. He loves you forever. And He desires to be your Savior, Deliverer, Healer, Redeemer, Rescuer, and Restorer. Let Him help you rise.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Reflection Question: Recall a time you felt alone, abandoned, or forsaken. How did you overcome? Looking back, would you have done something differently? Find a scripture to help you stand in truth in times of loneliness or abandonment.
Song reference: “Forever” by Fireflight
Scripture References: Psalm 9 & 139; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20; John 14:6 & 16:27.