When you feel like God isn’t there

It’s easy to think that if you don’t see God dramatically intervening in your life that he isn’t there.

If you’ve ever had those kinds of thoughts, you’re not alone. Listen to these famous voices from the Bible itself:

-Gideon: “If the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13)

-Job: “Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice.” (Job 19:7)
-Isaiah: “Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself.” (Isaiah 45:15)
-Jeremiah: “Why are you like a man taken by surprise, like a warrior powerless to save?” (Jeremiah 14:9)

But not sensing God’s presence is not evidence of his absence. 

I’ve read Psalm 23 hundreds of times. But the ancient rabbis point out something I didn’t notice until recently. At the start of the psalm when everything is coming up roses—when there are green pastures and still waters—God is spoken of in the third person, as if there’s a bit of a distance.

But as soon as things get tough, things change: God is spoken of in the second person—it’s more direct. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me; YOUR rod and YOUR staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4, capitals added).

Even though I’m sure you’d rather not go through hardship, it is often in those times when we need to remember most that God is still close—guiding, directing, comforting…

It’s easy to think that if you don’t see God dramatically intervening in your life that he isn’t there. But not so fast.

Not sensing God’s presence is not evidence of his absence. 

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Today’s “Up!” is partly based on my Sunday podcast—Part 3 in the Miracles series. In it I explore eight responses to when miracles don’t happen. You can listen in here. Enjoy!

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