Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The Purpose Driven Life - Day 14
Day 14 - When God Seems Distant
This perhaps might just be the most valuable lesson thus far. What do we do when our world has seemingly fallen apart? What do we do when we are in the midst of a crisis? What do we do when our hearts are broken? We turn to God. Sounds easier said than done - doesn't it? Well, that is pretty much the point.
We can look upon this as a test of our faith. A test of our love and friendship with Christ. For God does not just want our praise and worship when things are going well, but - and perhaps even more so - when life has bottomed out on us. When we feel broken. When we are in despair. This is when we need God the most!
"When we have nothing left but God, this is when we realize that God is all we need."
This example of love and faith is best demonstrated in the story of Job. When God said to Satan - Do you see how my friend Job loves and praises me? And Satan said - Sure he does, because you favor and bless his life ... would he still praise you if you took everything away from him? So God said to Satan - fine, take everything from him but do not harm him. And Satan took all of Job's livestock and possessions and even the lives of his children. When Job learned of these horrors he responded to them in a most magnificent way.
Dropping to the ground in worship, Job said: "I was born with nothing, and I’ll die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now He has taken away. May His name be praised! In spite of everything that had happened, Job did not sin by blaming God.” Job 1:21-22 (TEV)
How many times have we been tempted to blame God for the bad things that happen in our lives? I have been guilty of this in my lifetime. But to blame God is to sin. We can certainly, however, express our sadness, frustration, fear, anxiety and even anger to God. We must remember that God wants us to be open with Him - to share with Him our hurts, even our doubts.
But we also must remember who God is. That He is a good and loving God, He is all-powerful, He has a plan, He is in control,, and that we will be saved! We can trust God and even though it is difficult for us to sometimes remember this fact amidst the darkest points of our lives, this is when we need to truly express our love and trust to Him the most.
Remember that although God does not cater to our personal schedule of when and how we think things should be done. He does things on His own time - but God does keep His promises! We need to however note that God is GOD and not a genie. He is not here to serve us.
Sometimes when things aren't going our way - even in earthly relationships with friends or on the job, it is difficult to remember what that person has done for us in the past - because we are too busy focusing on what they aren't doing for us in the now. But the fact is that God has done more for us than many of us will ever even realize. And even if He never does another thing for us - we still need to be thankful to Him for all that He has done - for the rest of our lives. Beginning with giving the life of His son Jesus Christ to pay for our sins. Enabling us to be born and enjoy the life we life. The ability to have our sins forgiven - the ability to repent - the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
The truth is, God is not a stalker, and when we are new believers, He does make Himself known a bit more obviously to build faith of the new. As you become a more seasoned Christian, you may not feel His presence as often - or as pronounced - or your prayer requests may not be answered as often ... this is not because God has suddenly abandoned you ... but because He is investing more in you. Helping to deepen your faith and expand your spiritual maturity.
Remember always, that God sees everything, and just because He may not answer immediately - does not mean that He has forsaken you. He is with you. He sees you. And as long as you remember Him - reach out your hand to Him ... it will never be left for very long.
"For God has said, 'I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.'" - Hebrews 13:5 (TEV)