The Promise of His Presence – What difference should it make in our lives?

I was reading in my devotional time yesterday morning the last chapter of the Gospel of Matthew along with commentary from J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels and came across these gems I felt compelled to share with you.

“Finally, let us observe in these verses, the gracious promise with which Jesus closes His words. He says to His disciples “I am with you always even to the end of the age.”

It is impossible to conceive words more comforting, strengthening, cheering, and sanctifying than these. Though left alone, like orphan children in a cold, unkind world, the disciples were not to think they were deserted. Their Master would be ever “with them.” Though commissioned to do a work as hard as that of Moses when sent to Pharaoh, they were not to be discouraged. Their Master would certainly be “with them.” No words could be more suited to the position of those to whom they were first spoken. No words could be imagined more comforting to believers in every age of the world.

Let all true Christians lay hold on these words and keep them in mind. Christ is “with us” always. Christ is “with us,” wherever we go. He came to be “Emmanuel, God with us,” when He first came into the world. He declares that He is ever Emmanuel, “with us,” when He comes to the end of His earthly ministry and is about to leave the world.

He is with us daily to pardon and forgive
— with us daily to sanctify and strengthen
— with us daily to defend and keep
— with us daily to lead and to guide
— with us in sorrow, and with us in joy
— with us in sickness, and with us in health
— with us in life, and with us in death
— with us in time, and with us in eternity.

What stronger comfort could believers desire than this?

Whatever happens, they at least are never completely friendless and alone. Christ is ever with them. They may look into the grave, and say with David, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” They may look forward beyond the grave, and say with Paul, “we shall ever be with the Lord.” (Psalm 23:4. 1 Thess. 4:17.)

He has said it, and He will stand to it, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” “I will never leave you and never forsake you.”

We could ask nothing more. Let us go on believing, and not be afraid. It is everything to be a real Christian. None have such a King, such a Priest, such a constant Companion, and such an unfailing Friend, as the true servants of Christ.”

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