An elderly grandfather took his little grandson for an afternoon walk. After they had walked a while, the old man asked the boy, “How far do you think we’ve walked?” The boy answered, “I don’t know, grandpa.” The grandfather asked, “Well, where are you right now?” Again came the answer, “I don’t know, grandpa.” At this point the grandfather chuckled a bit and said, “Well, it sounds to me like you’re lost.” To that the little fellow replied, “No, I can’t be lost, grandpa. I’m with you.”
Hebrews 13:5 says to the Christian:
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (N.K.J.V.)
Those words “I will never leave you nor forsake you” quote a promise that God once made to the Israelites through their leader, Moses, regarding their conquest of the land of Canaan (Deuteronomy 31:1-6). Even more specifically, the promise was made to Joshua, the man who succeeded Moses as the leader of the Israelites and led them in the actual conquering (Deuteronomy 31:7-8; Joshua 1:5). But what’s wonderful about the Hebrews restating is that it lifts the promise out of the Old Testament storyline and places it firmly down upon the life of the Christian.
The immediate context of the promise, as it is offered in Hebrews 13:5, involves the sin of covetousness. Why is covetousness a sin? Because it shows a lack of contentment. It shows that you aren’t trusting God fully regarding your circumstances. And what other sin always rides on the back of a lack of contentment? Worry. You worry that what you have won’t be enough.
So, the point of Hebrews 13:5 is this: If you are a Christian, you should eliminate covetousness, a lack of contentment, and worry from your spiritual resume. After all, you are a child of the King. And King’s kids don’t go around lacking!
Christian, because you know Christ as Savior, you have the Creator of the universe in your corner. You have unlimited resources at your disposal. The One who makes sure that the birds of the air are fed will make sure that you are fed (Matthew 6:25-26). The One who makes sure that the lilies of the field are clothed will make sure that you are clothed (Matthew 6:27-30). If you will always seek His kingdom and His righteousness first, He will add to you all the necessities of life (Matthew 6:31-34).
Really, though, the Christian can apply this promise “I will never leave you nor forsake you” to any area of life. Perhaps you are contented right now but confused about your current station in life. Jesus promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Perhaps you haven’t reached a state of worry yet but you do find yourself in a very difficult circumstance. Jesus promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Perhaps you are even standing at death’s door. Jesus promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” and that promise extends into the afterlife.
Christian, like that little boy out walking with his grandfather, your job is simply to trust in the One who is doing the leading. Just place your hand in His and know that He is never lost. He always knows the way. He knows the way out of somewhere. He knows the way into somewhere. Most importantly, ultimately, He knows the way home. And when you truly grasp this profound truth, then you’ll be able to genuinely say with confidence, “No, I can’t be lost, Jesus. I’m with you.”