Posted in Humility

Every family has a story, every colleague, every child

By Elizabeth Prata

I found this to be helpful in how to think of other people in my never-ending quest to esteem others above myself.

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

Today is the start of a new school year. We met most of the kids and their parents/guardians last night at Open House. Every family has a story. Every child is made in the image of God. Every colleague has a story, and unbeknownst to us sometimes it’s a sad one or a difficult one.

Let’s offer grace, patience, and humility toward one and all today and every day.

Posted in forgiveness, Humility, joseph

Am I in the place of God?

When someone wrongs us, and they know it and you know it, the temptation is to lord it over them. The flesh seeks power in a relationship, to be the one on top. However, Jesus said that we are to seek the other’s good, to humble ourselves, to be the last, and to think more highly of the other person- in all our relationships.

If anyone had a reason to lord it over anyone, it was Joseph. The brothers could hardly believe the turn of events when they found Joseph in Egypt as second-in-command over the entire nation. Joseph loved his brothers and held no account against them for their plot to kill Joseph and sell him into slavery.

This attitude of Joseph’s was born of a Godly spirit, certainly. In the flesh we would hold all sorts of grudges against a person, but in the LORD Joseph had developed a forgiving and a truly loving spirit. He forgave the brothers’ sins against him. Overjoyed, the brothers held their peace. When their father Jacob died, however, the brothers began to worry again.

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” (Genesis 50:15)

It was not so.

But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? (Genesis 50:19). Joseph went on,

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:20-21)

Oh, how often we put ourselves in the place of God! We withhold forgiveness, we lord it over people, we pridefully forget we are sinners too! We put ourselves in the place of God. At least, I do sometimes!

Matthew Henry Commentary explains:

Judging of Joseph from the general temper of human nature, they thought he would now avenge himself on those who hated and injured him without cause. Not being able to resist, or to flee away, they attempted to soften him by humbling themselves. They pleaded with him as the servants of Jacob’s God. Joseph was much affected at seeing this complete fulfillment of his dreams. He directs them not to fear him, but to fear God; to humble themselves before the Lord, and to seek the Divine forgiveness. He assures them of his own kindness to them. See what an excellent spirit Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for evil. He comforted them, and, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Broken spirits must be bound up and encouraged. Those we love and forgive, we must not only do well for, but speak kindly to.

Lording it over a person puts ourselves in the place of God. Forgiving those who transgressed against us includes a full spirit of gentleness. How much more would a kind word to those who sinned against us help bind a broken spirit.

Not that we lord it over your faith, but we are fellow workers with you for your joy, because it is by faith that you stand firm. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

Seek others’ joy. Lord, help me not give in to temptation to lord it over, but to fully forgive, seek others’ joy, and bind a broken spirit with a kind word.

Posted in discernment, ephesians, humble, Humility, meek

I’m great! And I’m greater than you! I’m the greatest person in this whole town!

Not really, of course. But in reading Ephesians I learned something about humility.

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

We are called to walk a certain way in the world. It must be a walk worthy of the calling. What makes the walk worthy is the demonstration of our:

–tolerance in love
–diligence for unity
–in bonds of peace

Boy, Paul can cram a lot into one sentence, can’t he. Where we receive all that from is Christ. Let’s look specifically at humility. It is the first quality mentioned. Humility is urged upon the faithful throughout the New Testament, repeatedly.

These characteristics, of which humility is the foundation, form a progression, the genuine exercise of one leading to the exercise of those that follow. Tapeinophrosuné (humility) is a compound word that literally means to think or judge with lowliness, and hence to have lowliness of mind. John Wesley observed that “neither the Greeks nor the Romans had a word for humility.” The very concept was so foreign and abhorrent to their way of thinking that they had no term to describe it. Apparently this Greek term was coined by Christians, probably by Paul himself, to describe a quality for which no other word was available. To the proud Greeks and Romans, their terms for ignoble, cowardly, and other such characteristics were sufficient to describe the “unnatural” person who did not think of himself with pride or self-satisfaction. When, during the first few centuries of Christianity pagan writers borrowed the term tapeinophrosuné, they always used it derogatorily –  frequently of Christians – because to them humility was a pitiable weakness.” ~John MacArthur, Commentary on Ephesians

In Christianity, humility is a foundational virtue. When we read in Acts 17:6 that the rioters dragging Paul and Silas and Jason to the authorities characterized them as “having turned the world upside down.”

But humility before an equal or a lesser was morally suspect. It upset the assumed equation: merit demanded honour, thus honour was the proof of merit. Avoiding honour implied a diminishment of merit. It was shameful. SourceIn one sense we understand that means that uproars and chaos followed them wherever they went (a chaos the Jews themselves fomented). But trouble did follow Paul wherever he and the other missionaries and evangelists went. It’s like when we look at each other in today’s time and shake our heads and say “Things are getting crazy!”

In the other sense though, Christianity DID turn the world upside down. Everything was opposite. Jesus taught that:

The meek shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
The last shall be first (Matthew 19:30)
The first shall be last. (Matthew 19:30)
Pray behind closed doors, not marching around in the marketplace to be seen by men. (Matthew 6:6)
Give secretly, sounding no trumpet. (Matthew 6:2-4)
Rejoice in trials and tribulations. (James 1:2)
Think of others more highly than yourself. (Philippians 2:3)

To obtain an idea of how entrenched the Romans and Greeks were in pride and public recognition, one example is the Roman Triumph. This event was a spectacle that honored and sanctified the returning military general and his troops from a victory. Sanctify, because a triumph, which included a lengthy parade and celebration, was also a sacred rite in their pagan religion.

In the pagan world, personal achievement deserved lengthy and public praise.

As for the Greeks, their word was philotimia, literally, the love of honor. John Dickson in his book Humilitas, wrote

…one of the most difficult concepts to get across to late Western students is the concept of an ancient honor and shame culture, a culture where not truth nor life is the top value in the hierarchy of values, but rather obtaining honor is. The Greek word is philotimia literally the love of honor, and it dominated the matrix of values in the Greco-Roman world, in particular the male part of that world tasked with obtaining, maintaining and sustaining the honor of his family and their family name etc. “Uppermost in a father’s mind in the ancient world was not whether his son would be happy (in the modern sense) or make money or live morally [or tell the truth], but whether the boy would bring honor to the family, especially to his father, and to himself.” (p. 86). One was to seek to build respect and garner praise for one’s family and its name. The greatest fear in such a society was being publicly shamed— such as Jesus was on a cross. (source)

Ali’s “I am the greatest” speech. Photo source

So imagine Peter and Paul and Silas and Titus, preaching humility to Greeks and Romans who not only have a flesh nature which loves pride, but have a family pressure to boast, a culture that exalts boasting, and a pagan religion that sanctifies personal achievement. Imagine how difficult it was for them to hear, “Pick up your cross and follow me.” They were being asked to behave in the opposite manner of everything they knew and were taught, to drag around the very emblem of shame, and follow the most humiliated Man of the ancient world, Jesus hung on a tree.

Jesus turned the ancient world upside down.

He still does. We battle with our flesh nature and find it hard to be humble. I know I do. I want to tell people and the world of my achievements. Yet any of my achievements before I came to the cross are really as dung to Jesus, and anything I achieved after the cross was done for Him and in Him and because of Him. So what do I have to boast about? Nothing.


Let not pride swell my heart.
My nature is the mire beneath my feet,
the dust to which I shall return.
In body I surpass not the meanest reptile;
Whatever difference of form and intellect is mine
is a free grant of thy goodness;
Every faculty of mind and body is thy undeserved gift.
Low as I am as a creature, I am lower as a sinner;
I have trampled thy law times without number;
Sin’s deformity is stamped upon me,
darkens my brow, touches me with corruption:
How can I flaunt myself proudly?
Lowest abasement is my due place,
for I am less than nothing before thee.
Help me to see myself in thy sight,
then pride must wither, decay, die, perish.
Humble my heart before thee,
and replenish it with thy choicest gifts.
As water rests not on barren hill summits,
but flows down to fertilize lowest vales,
So make me the lowest of the lowly,
that my spiritual riches may exceedingly abound.
When I leave duties undone,
may condemning thought strip me of pride,
deepen in me devotion to thy service,
and quicken me to more watchful care.
When I am tempted to think highly of myself,
grant me to see the wily power of my spiritual enemy;
Help me to stand with wary eye on the watch-tower of faith,
and to cling with determined grasp to my humble Lord;
If I fall let me hide myself in my Redeemer’s righteousness,
and when I escape, may I ascribe all deliverance to thy grace.
Keep me humble, meek, lowly.

Valley of Vision, PRIDE. (p. 88)

Posted in humblebrag, Humility, jesus, tax collector

The original "humblebrag". Can you guess who humblebragged first?

Humblebrag: Urban Dictionary

Subtly letting others know about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or “woe is me” gloss.
Uggggh just ate about fifteen piece of chocolate gotta learn to control myself when flying first class or they’ll cancel my modelling contract LOL

The New York Times has a good article about the emergence of humblebrags.

“Bah, Humblebrag!”
Published: November 30, 2012

SOMETIMES when I crave a powerful dose of humility — the kind of humility that can come only from fully apprehending the lot of those less fortunate than me — I turn my attention to the plight of the former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. He experiences an exquisite kind of pain. As he lamented on Twitter earlier this year: “They just announced my flight at LaGuardia is number 15 for takeoff. I miss Air Force One!!

When my stores of sympathy have not been fully depleted by contemplating the indignities heaped on Mr. Fleischer, I’ll then go on and immerse myself in the ennobling humility of the comedian Dane Cook. Mr. Cook, who has nearly three million Twitter followers, once tweeted: “Being famous and having a fender bender is weird. You want to be upset but the other drivers just thrilled & giddy that it’s you.” Finally, on those days when my humanity is fathomless, I turn to the selfless tweets of Deepak Chopra. Like: “Hope & despair are born of imagination. I am free of both.”

There’s nothing new about false modesty, nor its designation as a form of bad manners. But the prevalence of social media has given us many more canvases on which to paint our faux humility — making us, in turn, increasingly sophisticated braggers.

Enter the self-deprecating boast known as the “humblebrag,” a term devised by the comedian Harris Wittels, a writer for the NBC series “Parks and Recreation,” who collects hundreds of these cockeyed chestnuts on his Twitter feed and in his new book, both called “Humblebrag.” Whether it be the publicist Jenny Marie Miranda asking, “Why do men hit on me more when I’m in sweat pants?” or Dina Manzo, one of the “Real Housewives,” stating, “I obsess over the welfare of old people & animals on hot days like today. OBSESS #thereissomethingwrongwithme,” a humblebrag is an opportunity for the attention-starved to stake a claim on our sympathy.

The term humblebrag is new. The humblebrag itself is not new. It’s just getting more exposure due to social media. However, there is one media that has been with us for two thousand years: the New Testament. In it, there is an epic humblebrag. This humblebrag has garnered more page views, more re-tweets, more social media exposure than any other epic humblebrag, Deepak Chopra’s tranquil state of mind notwithstanding.

Here it is: introducing first…. from the red corner, weighing 175 pounds… he hails from Jerusalem, Israel, and was rated by many, as the best pound for best Pharisee of the last decade. With 52 sacrifices, a full tenth of his tithe, 38 of them coming by the way of knockout in the synagogue, 21 successful fasts, and 0 defeats. He is, the former Pharisaical champion, former super junior Pharisee spelling bee champion, HEAVYWEIGHT HUMBLEBRAGGER OF THE WORLD, Pharisee ‘Boom Boom’ Liebowitz!!

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” (Luke 18:11)

Annnnnnnnd, in the blue corner, introducing next…. weighing 135 pounds… he hails from Bethphage Israel, and was rated by many, as the worst personnnnin the worrrrrrrld, pound for worst human being of the last decade. With 52 losses, 38 of them coming by the way of bribery, and 412 defeats. He is, the former middleweight tax collector, former super middle weight toll taker, former light heavyweight extortioner, and former HEAVYWEIGHT CRETIN OF THE WORLD, Tax ‘Money Snatcher’ Collector!

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (Luke 18:13)

Now that is a real humble with no brag.

The NY Times again:

Indeed, this may be why false modesty is no less discomfiting to its audience (and is sometimes more so) than outright bragging. Outright bragging expects to be met with awe, but humblebragging wants to met with awe and sympathy. It asks for two reactions from its audience, and in so doing makes fools of its beholders twice over.

The moral of the story is simple. Don’t humblebrag.

Posted in Humility, spiritual abuse

State of the Church part 6/conclusion: Spiritual Leaders and Humble Relationships

Part 1: Introduction, Love growing cold
Part 2: Are you tending your anchor?
Part 3: The numbers aren’t good
Part 4: Carnal Carnival, & the greatest sin pastors commit
Part 5a: When carnality leads to spiritual abuse
Part 5b: Is your church spiritually abusive?

The Lord by His grace and of no merit of mine, saved me from the just punishment I’d deserved as a sinner. Then, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside me, and to grow me in sanctification. He opened my mind to understanding the bible as I grow and study diligently, and He sent me a ministry. I have a mission field, and that mission field is to fellow Christians.

Why do Christians need such, you ask. Because we are told that many people who thought they were Christians on That Day will cry out to the Lord for entry into the Kingdom, falsely believing that their works had saved them. The Lord will refuse. (Matthew 7:22). Many more will fall away from the faith. (1 Timothy 4:1). Others will gain inheritance into the Kingdom but as barely escaping the flames. (1 Cor 3:15). Clearly, the latter times will be dangerous for Christians. This is because there will be false doctrines, false christs, false prophets, false teachers…(2 Peter 2, Mt 24:5, Mt 7:15, Acts 20:29…)

They will come from among us as well as from outside us! “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” – Paul (Acts 20: 29-31). If Paul warned and cried for three years, day and night, it behooves us to examine ourselves and be wary of those who are seeking to come in to us and destroy the flock.

My biggest sorrow are fellow believers who refuse to accept that some inside the church match the description of the many, MANY verses warning us of the danger. They believe that just because any teacher, evangelist, missionary, pastor, elder, deacon or lay person attaches the word “Christian” in front of their name, that they are safe. The only barometer to testing the pasture for safe grazing is to constantly check it. Some will be worthwhile Christians, loving and humble, cultivating genuinely spiritual relationships inside their church. Some will be weighed in the balances and found wanting.

It is incumbent on all of us to be watchful of the things we are told to watch out for. The Holy Spirit graciously warned us by telling the bible’s writers, and who are we to dismiss the warnings simply because they are inconvenient, or point to a favored teacher, pastor, evangelist? Can we do less than our forefathers, who, by their blood, lived the lives we read about in the Bible and died so the fruits of His tree may continue to be produced? Christian, employ your God-given discernment! These are dangerous times where we are warned that there will be falsity inside our faith.

There is no one person in the church that is higher than another. Jesus is the head. (Matthew 23:8-9) We all are part of a gracious body whose Head is Jesus Himself. Let us warmly love each other unreservedly, and in so doing unite around truth, ALL truth, even the uncomfortable truth. The entire point of our existence is to glorify Jesus by our words, our acts, our lives. We glorify Him by loving well, being mature, and by standing on His truth. My heart cries for purity from the pulpit, I long for good food from the Word. I yearn to worship in truth with my brethren. I fear that as the days pass the prophesies of apostasy, falsity, apathy, and love growing cold coming more nearer to fulfillment, these things are harder to do. But one reason they are harder to do is because many don’t have the discernment to know they are in a hazardous situation. Therefore, here is more information for you about spiritual abuse, or authoritarianism, the most hazardous situation of all. I know that the flock will not be spared, because the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write that they will not be spared. But my hope is that with information, prayers, and tears, that YOU will be spared.

I am reprinting an entire article by Dr. Bob Kellemen by his permission. In his three pastoral ministries, Dr. Kellemen has equipped hundreds of people as biblical counselors and spiritual friends. He is founder of RPM Ministries, and Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. In the essay, Dr. Kellemen instructs us from a biblical perspective on how leaders and pastors should react to disagreement and what the body should expect and look for in spiritual relationships. It asks the question if a person is a mature or an immature leader.  Here is Dr. Kellemen:

Spiritual Leaders and Humble Relationships, Part 1: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
“There’s been a great deal in the Christian blogosphere lately about “spiritually abusive pastors” and “pastors who bully.” It started me pondering, “How does the Apostle Paul respond to those who disagree with him and criticize him?”

“I understand that the correlation is not one-to-one: Paul was an apostle, not a pastor. Of course, that’s all the more reason to ponder the question. As pastors and ministry leaders today, we should respond exponentially more humbly than Paul did.”

“I also understand the vital hermeneutic issue of the original intent of the author. In other words, I can’t “cherry pick” a topic or theme and force it onto Paul’s writings, if that theme was not a part of his original purpose. That would be like reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and seeking to apply it to the American political issues of 2011—it’s totally out of context. However, in the Corinthian epistles, Paul is clearly focused on “body life,” “apostolic authority,” “divisions in the church,” and the relationship between shepherds and sheep.”

“As I begin to explore this question, I don’t have any “target” or “agenda” or “end game” I’m trying to prove. I’m simply opening 1 and 2 Corinthians and asking section by section, in a running commentary, “How is Paul relating and responding to the Corinthians who are complaining about him, and what can we apply to our lives today?”

“1. Paul identifies them as holy and sanctified (1:1-2).”

“Wow! How different Paul is from us. As spiritual leaders today, if we’re not careful we can succumb to the temptation to label those who disagree with us: “rebellious, ungodly, arrogant, disrespectful of authority…”

“Later Paul will “call a spade a spade”—he’s not afraid to confront sin. However, he doesn’t label people as sinners, but as saints. He’s both a good theologian and a godly leader.”

“If we’re immature leaders, we are terrified of dissent. We use labels against others as a way to put them down, put them in their place, intimidate them, and shame them. “You questioned me. Obviously you are immature and arrogant.” “I see a pattern of anger and a critical spirit that you must repent of.” Such labels heap shame and condemnation on the recipient, rather than offering wise counsel and constructive feedback.”

“Picture yourself called into a meeting with Paul after you’ve voice some concern or disagreement. You’re expecting to be put down and shut up. He begins, “First, I want you to know that you are sanctified and holy.”

“Instead of pulling rank, Paul ranks his critics above himself (compare Philippians 2:1-5). Instead of choosing condemning labels, Paul chooses grace conversations (compare Ephesians 4:15-16; 4:29; Colossians 4:3-6).”

“2. Paul gives thanks for them (1:3-4).”

“Another wow! Paul’s thanking the Corinthians—yeah, those dudes who could be rude and crude toward him.

When we act as spiritually abusive leaders, we use our spiritual position to control or dominate others. We override the feelings and opinions of others, without regard to what will result in the other person’s life, emotions, or spiritual well-being. Spiritual authority is used defensively and abused to bolster our position and needs, over and above the person who comes to us in need or with a concern.”

“Not Paul. Your jaw is still on the table after Paul said you were a sanctified saint. Now Paul continues. “Second, I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ.” Paul bolsters others up in Christ instead of boasting about himself.”

“3. Paul affirms them (1:5-9).”

“A hallmark of a spiritually abusive and immature leader is the need to demean those who disagree with us. We act defensively—building ourselves up by tearing others down.”

“Not so Paul. Imagine the conversation continuing. You’ve been ripping Paul, and you’re sure he’s ready to rip you, to put you in your place, to put himself above you. Then he says, “Third, you’ve been enriched in Christ in every way—in all your speaking and knowledge. You don’t lack any spiritual gift. Christ will keep you strong and blameless to the end.”

“If we’re immature leaders, we’re terrified of that type of scenario because it tips the balance of the scales of power. We consider ourselves above questioning. We interpret our position of authority to mean that our thoughts are supreme and our perspective is totally unbiased. We then assume that any questions come from a wrong spirit, not simply from an honest attempt to have give-and-take dialogue. The worst is assumed of the other; the best is assumed of oneself.”

“Paul is so confident of who he is in Christ that he affirms who others are in Christ—even those who criticize him! Paul assumes the best of the Corinthians—because he knows who they are in Christ. They are enriched, spiritually gifted, and called into fellowship with Jesus Christ.”

In Part 2, Dr. Kellemen looks ahead in the running commentary to 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 to ask, “Where does Paul find the power and perspective to respond in such a humble way?”

“Join the Conversation: What principles can we apply to our lives from Paul’s humble spiritual leadership?”
End Dr. Kellemen’s article. He ends with a very good question. I think it is a wonderful expression and model of how a pastor or leader or elder, or anyone, really, should handle criticism or disagreement in a mature and biblical way.

Regarding this topic, Dr. Kellemen was interviewed by noted author and Christian book reviewer Tim Challies. In that Q&A, they discussed “symptoms” that we can identify that might point to a leader’s heart moving toward spiritual abuse. These might include actions and attitudes such as:

  • Considering oneself above questioning.
  • Using our spiritual position to control or dominate another person.
  • Overriding the feelings and opinions of others.
  • Using spiritual authority defensively to bolster the position and “needs” of the leader.
  • Labeling the person who questions us as wrong and rebellious, thus subtly shifting the focus and blame. Questions are assumed to come from a wrong spirit, not simply from an honest attempt to have give-and-take dialogue. The worst is assumed of the other; the best is assumed of oneself.
  • Labels can include accusations such as, “You’re rebellious.” “You’re disrespectful.” “I detect a pattern of anger and a critical spirit.” “You are unspiritual and emotionally immature.” Such labels heap condemnation on the recipient, rather than offering wise counsel and constructive feedback.
  • Interpreting our spiritual authority to mean that my thoughts and opinions are supreme.

“Here are a couple of introductory comparisons of what spiritual abuse is not:”

“It is not abusive when a spiritual leader speaks the truth in love and confronts sin in a gracious way. It is abusive, however, if the leader seeks to defend himself, or shame or discredit others.”

“It’s not abusive when a spiritual leader uses his best judgment and chooses to go against your opinion. It is abusive, however, if the leader uses his opposing view to devalue and demean others.” -end interview-

Brother and sister, you are a precious child of the King.  “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1Peter 2:5).

“You are valuable to the Kingdom, holy and sanctified. “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23).

I can imagine the hurt one would feel in working through whether to stay or leave an abusive church. The church is family to many people, and to still others, their entire actual family of several generations may attend along with you. Walking away would wound deeply, leaving behind friends, family, time, investment, ministries. This article may help you, “Walking away from spiritual abuse.”

The greatest help in a time of trouble is our Lord Jesus Christ. He seeks ALL His sheep and brings them back, not losing even one. He will not forsake you. “For thus saith the Lord God; Behold I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” (Ezekiel 34:10-12).

If you are in a church situation where you are contemplating leaving, or have been forced to leave, count it to the good for those who love Him that in effect, He is gathering you, His true sheep, to another place where it is safer from wolves. He will never abandon you! Rely on Him for comfort, for safety, for recovery. After all, “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:17