Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 – April 19 – A God Who Seems Distant

Study from God’s Word Psalm 5, 6, 7, 10, 11 … Passage for Reflection: Psalm 10: 1… NIV 1 Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? … Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

My Journal for Today: We’ve all been there, in the place of David, as he wrote the songs which Dr. Smith had me read and meditate upon today. If you’re a believer, like yours truly and even King David, there are going to be days when God just SEEMS (and note my emphasis) absent. And most certainly, we know the human/worldly effects when leadership is perceived to be absent.

What happens, Dr. Smith asks, when parents are absent to lead their children? What happens when a boss is never around at work or a coach never calls a practice? And these human analogies call attention to one of the most difficult things about our relationship with God. How do we have faith in a God, Who is a Spirit, and Who doesn’t speak audibly to us, … especially now in these New Covenant times? I’m sure you’ve had times, as I have had and these Psalms document David had, when God just didn’t seem to be there as He has promised He would ALWAYS be. Many of you know what it says in both the OT and NT (see Deut. 31: 6 or Heb. 13: 5), … that our God will never leave us, not forsake us.

Well, then, why are there times when we desperately seem to need Him and he’s not there to swoop into our lives with a red cape and supernaturally heal our ills or solve our human dilemmas? And the answer to this one has everything to do with – and you know what I’m about to write - … FAITH! God’s SEEMING absence, … if we truly have faith, is ALWAYS a matter of our perception and never a matter of God’s reality. And we could speculate all we want; but there are going to be times when the truth of the passages I cited above as well as Isaiah 55: 8-9 from the OT and Paul’s exhortation in the NT in Romans 8: 28 are going to be called into personal reflection and question. (I hope you know what all these passages say about our inability to explain many things in our life as well as our faith in a God Who might seem to be absent. If you don’t know these Scriptures by heart, it would be good to find these passages, meditate on their truth, and then, do a check on your belief in their veracity.)

As evidenced by the Psalms I read today for my devotional time, it’s not wrong to feel the questions about God’s absence at certain times in our lives; and it’s not wrong to even raise the questions to God. David certainly did; and we know that many other giants of the faith in our Bible studies raised “WHY” questions to our God. But the thing we must guard against is letting our human feelings get in the way of surrendered faith; because it is only the latter – many times – which can give us faith’s victory to believe God being there when He seems to be absent. And knowing and clinging to His promises and His truth – from His word – as I’m convinced did David, we will be able to wait on the Lord for His presence to be felt and realized.

Dear one, when you FEEL that God is far away – or even absent – know His truth from His word to give you hope. When you feel your prayers bouncing off the ceiling, seemingly unheard, know, at least in your mind, if not in your heart, the reality that God will always hear you. So, like David, cry out to our God, and, though He already knows your feelings, let Him hear of your concerns; and keep praying for His power to be invoked and to cover your weakness.

My friend, God is there – ALWAYS THERE!! He hears – ALWAYS HEARS!! And He loves us – ALWAYS!!!

My Prayer for Today:
LORD, when I’ve needed you – even when You seem far away – You were always there, bending down to hear me; and covering me with Your wings of protection. Help me to believe in my heart as much as I do know Your promises in my head. Amen

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