August 5th 2009

Where Is God When I Need Him?

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”
Psalm 13:1 (NIV)

Ever felt like this? Sure that God has abandoned you forever?

The psalmist was obviously going through a very difficult patch, yet probably not more than we all face from time to time. It always seems dire whilst we are in the middle of a difficulty. It’s times like these that often we feel God is not there-just when we need him most. This, of course, is not true. God promises that he will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

So why then does he seem so distant at times? What is God seeking to achieve through these apparent absences?

God is about the business of sanctifying us-that is, building holiness in us. I’m sure you would agree that we can’t do it ourselves. And what’s more, the process is painful because it runs against our natural grain.

What sort of things make up holiness? The apostle James answers in part “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

We are not naturally patient, especially we who live in this ‘now’ generation, but patience is a virtue and part of the holiness that God is creating in us. So the next time God seems far away, remember that he isn’t and that he is at work preparing you for a future beyond belief. The trial will pass and God will still be there with you. Perhaps then you can join the psalmist in a brighter mood; “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he has inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call upon him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:1).

Our Father in heaven, Thank you for the work that you are doing in me. Let me rest in the confidence of knowing that you are with me always, even in the difficult times. May I be comforted with the promise that you will never leave me nor forsake me.

Study by David Stirk

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