07 Mar When God Seems Far Away
When God Seems Far Away
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for He hath said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man can do unto me”. Hebrew 13:5-6
“And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob and I will look for Him.” Isaiah 8:17
Why standeth afar off lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of troubles? Psalm 10:1
“Behold I go forward He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: on the left hand he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: but He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold”. Job23:8-10
It is very much easy to worship God when things are going well but there are times when things are really difficult and despite all that you have done, nothing seems to be changing. You have fasted and prayed but it looks as if God’s is so far away listening to someone else’s cries.
You have probably come to a conclusion that God surely have some favourites to which He gives His best attention. You struggle hard to worship and praise God but it seems your worship keeps bouncing back on you. Present circumstances of your life are not in any way pleasant.
In the book of Job, we are told that Job lost everything he had in a single day – WHAT A GREAT TRAGEDY? But beyond this, he reached out to God and yet he could not get a grasp of Him. He however realized that this was a test that would help him to mature, “I cannot see him: but He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold”. Job23:8-10
David,”a man after God’s own Heart” also had a similar experience. He complained in some of his Psalms about God being at a distance. King David said “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.”Psalm 22:1-2.
He said again, “Lord, why castest thou off my soul? Why hidest thou thy face from me? Psalm 88:14
David complained about Gods aloofness in matters affecting him. He wanted an urgent answer. This period is the dark night of the soul; the need is usually stretching too long for the soul to bear. This experience may go on for days, weeks, months or years and in your desperation for God you may cry out WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.?
Many thoughts at this time may flood your heart and you probably feel God is angry with you and disciplining you for your sins.
Yes, sin actually disconnects a man from God, but often this feeling of abandonment has nothing to do with sin and it is simply a test of faith.
The question thrown at you is “will you continue to trust, obey and worship God even when you have no sense of His presence. The mistake is that the Christian’s walk is a walk of faith not of feeling.We often look for feeling rather than holding unto our faith in God- He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith.
The scripture affirms” that we walk by faith and not by sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7
The trials and challenges of our lives help us to grow up into maturity. Apostle Paul has this to say to us when it comes to the issue of challenges or trials to our faith, “knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4.It also grows our experience and increases our understanding of the will and ways of God.
We need to realize that God is omnipresence and His manifestation are two different things. His presence whether we feel Him or not is a fact. He promised not to leave us nor forsake us. This promise accordingly was repeated 365 times in the bible to take care of our needs every day of the year. You may not be able to see Him yet His very presence cannot be denied. In the furnace of fire, the three Hebrew children had His presence; they were not burnt to their amazement and others.
I remember vividly in my own life when things were low and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel of life, God said to me, “My faithfulness will count for you”. I have lived long to bear witness to the faithfulness of God at all time. It’s been the rejoicing of my heart even when I cannot feel Him.
God’s presence is as real as the air we breathe. God want you to know that He is always around and by your side even when you cannot feel His presence.
Tell God exactly how you feel, pour out your heart to God. It is good to be very open with God. Job expressed himself, when he said, “therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.”Job 7:11. This is not however to suggest that God does not see you in your trials and challenges or that He does not understand what you are going through, your openness to God on the matter only shows your absolute faith and confidence in Him. It shows that you know He will listen to you. Your faith truly excites and brings pleasure to God, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrew 11:6
Secondly, focus your attention on who God is – his unchanging nature. Regardless of circumstances and how you feel, hang on to God’s unchanging character. God is good, he loves you, and He has a good plan for you. God said” for I know the thought that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thought of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” Jeremiah 29:11.We cannot afford to lose sight of His character and thought of goodness towards us in whatever adversity we find ourselves.Raymond Edman says “never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light”.
Thirdly, trust God to keep His promise. During times of spiritual dryness you must patiently rely on the promises of God, not your emotions. The promises of God are embedded in the word of God, they are the things He intends to do and will also do.”God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent: hath he said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall not make it good? Number 23:19-27
God wants to take you to a deeper level of intimacy and maturity with Him. He wants to take you into the promise land, hold and stay focus on Him. You will need to wait on the Lord to bring His promises to pass in your life. Prophet Jeremiah said, “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the lord.” Lamentation 3:26
Finally, bring to remembrance all that the Lord had done in your life. As men we are often quick to forget all that the Lord has done for us, we are quick to forget all of His faithfulness to us. To remember means to bring to recall a thing to mind or become aware of something that had been forgotten. It is for this reason that God said to the nation of Israel, ”but thou shall remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish his covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” Deut 8:18
In difficult and challenging times of life; bring to memory all that God had done for you in the past. Never lose sight of His faithfulness.
The greatest thing we have to remember is the work of salvation that God did in our lives by sending His son to die for our sins. Apostle Paul says “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him all up all for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Remember, He gave Christ to you and with Him will give you all good things. Remember He promised not to leave you nor forsake you. He is a good God and will only do good in your life. His very presence is as constant as the North Pole star. He has your back, don’t give up on Him. He is closer than you can ever imagine.