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The Apostle John witnesses a captivating, evil woman along with a beast who lead the world into suffering and sin. Even as he sees the vision clearly, John is bewildered by its meaning. Join Pastor Chuck Swindoll as he unfolds the mysterious message given by an angel in Revelation 17:1–18.

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Read Genesis 21:16-17

Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears.

But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there." (Genesis 21:16–17)

When Hagar was forced to leave Abraham’s camp, she wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba, a region roughly thirty miles southwest of Hebron. Hagar, like most suddenly single parents, faced the challenge of having to survive alone, having to make too little provision to cover too many needs, and wondering if God still cared.

Perhaps you’re experiencing a time in your life when you feel absolutely alone. Your future is bleak, and you can’t remember the last time you really laughed. Your soul is parched, and you don’t know where to turn.

At the risk of sounding like a preacher, may I offer a few words of hope?

You need to know that while you feel all alone, you are not alone. God sees you. He hears your weeping. He will care for you and turn your sorrow into dancing. The nights are long, but God will sustain you and restore you. He will see you through the barrenness of Beersheba. You will be whole again—and sooner than you think.

If you identify with Hagar, take heart. When your life has recovered from this dark time, the strength you will have gained will compensate for those desperately difficult days. In the meantime, I repeat: please know that God has not left you alone. As Hagar lay weeping in despair and the young man lay dying of thirst, God heard their sorrow. He knows that you’re trapped between deep regret and gnawing bitterness. He understands you. And He will never leave you alone.

REFLECT

What reminders has God given you that you are not alone? Take a moment to thank Him for hearing your cries.

Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don't be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.... For the LORD has called you back from your grief. (Isaiah 54:4, 6)

Content taken from Faith for the Journey: Daily Meditations on Courageous Trust in God, by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2014. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

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Pastor Chuck Swindoll has been given the gift of teaching so people can come to faith in Christ and grow in their understanding of God’s will for them. And Insight for Living Canada is here to distribute his teaching to people across Canada.

Confrontations are never easy. We always run the risk of straining a relationship but the risk is worth the reward when the person is restored. Father, when I must confront someone, please send me. I don’t want to go on my own or in my own strength.

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