The Lord has hidden Himself from His people, but I trust Him and place my hope in Him – Isaiah 8:17
Regardless of how you’ve ever felt, or how you currently, God is alive, and REAL, forever.
When everything is going well with us, it’s easy to worship God. But, when tough times come, it gets really hard. Philip Yancey said, “Any relationship has times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other.” That’s when worship gets difficult.
My mother is a performer (one of her many traits I got by the way)! While in a sexless God-pleasing courtship with my dad, she went to my him, “Yomi! I was preaching to a man, and then he invited me to his house to talk more about Christianity… I’m pregnant!” My dad after processing the hurt made immediate plans for marriage! My mom pressed: “would you love this child like your own? Etc…” My dad said yes! My lovely drama queen broke into tears confusing my extremely calm, introverted dad.
“Yomi, I’m not pregnant. I was only testing you to see how you’d react.” That cherry stayed intact 😉 My dad yelled at her in the moment, but I’m sure he was happy that he passed her test.
It’s similar with God. As we mature in our relationship with Him, He tests us with periods of seeming separation, just to see if we will still put our faith in Him. Job’s test is the first one that comes to mind. This blames man lost everything he had in ONE DAY! Some realists, like his wife would advice that he “curse God and commit suicide,” some like his friends, will insist that God must be punishing Him for a deadly sin. But Job, a faultless man, a faithful man, a man who was tested and tried beyond understanding cried in Job 1:21, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.God gives, God takes. God’s name be ever blessed.” It’s noted in verse 22, “Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God.”
This level of trust in God is my goal. Come what may, I pray I remain on fire for Christ!
When you go through hard time, the following may help:
Tell God exactly how you feel: God can handle your doubts, fear, questions, or confusion. Think about it, sharing those emotions with God actually shows that you have faith in Him. In Job 7:11, he screams out! “No! I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak.”
Focus on who God is – His unchanging nature: V. Raymond Edman said, “never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.” When Job was in despair, he still found things he could praise God for:
- Job 10:12 – He is good and loving
- Job 42:2 – He is all powerful
- Job 23:10 – He notices every detail of my life
- Job 34:13 – He is in control
- Job 23:14 – He has a plan for my life
- Job 19:25 – He will save me
Trust God to keep His promise: Our emotions will fail us in times of despair, so we must rely on God’s promises to us. Job said in Job 23:12, “I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” In Job 13:15, Job was in the midst of unbearable pain, yet he honored God: “God may kill me, but I will still trust Him!”
Remember what God has already done for you: If God never does anything for you; He’s done enough by sending His only begotten son to die a death by crucifixion on the cross just for you! That is enough to thank Him for everyday! In II Corinthians 5:21, we’re told that, “For God made Christ (Jesus), who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” Jesus paid it all! His death is our greatest reason for worship! In times of pain, it’s hard not to complain, but let’s remember that God has done a lot for us, and He will eventually show Himself to us if we continue to trust Him in the hard times.
Food for thought: How can I stay focused on God’s presence, especially when He seems distant?