And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
At the end of Matthew is what we call the Great Commission. It is the commission Jesus gave to his church to go throughout the world, making, baptizing, and teaching disciples. And at the end of the commission, he made a promise to us. He will be with us always.
This promise is easy to miss, but it is an essential part of the commission. Without his presence, we could not successfully carry out his instructions. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s presence within us, can we accomplish the task he has left us with.
But this promise has value beyond enabling us to carry out the Great Commission. He is always with us. He has not left us alone in this world. Wherever we go, and whatever we do, he is with us. He is always available to guide, help, comfort, and chasten as appropriate.
Jesus has not promised us an easy life as his disciples. Quite the opposite, in fact. We should expect that we will face opposition from a world that is in rebellion against the God we serve. But Jesus has assured us that he will always be with us. No matter what we might face, he is facing it with us. And he will bring us safely through it.
Jesus is always with us. Not just in the rough times that we experience. But also when it is quiet; when nothing is going on; when our personal world is at peace. Take advantage of that time and get to know the ever-present Jesus, who loves us beyond measure. Learn to recognize and respond to his voice when it is quiet. And then, when it is not quiet, you will be able to distinguish his voice through all of the competing noise.