Monday, February 11, 2019
God Is Always Present, Regardless of How I Feel
In review of Job 1:21 it says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (NIV).
Today’s verse comes from Job 1:21-22. In it Job says, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
Job had lost his possessions and family in this first of Satan's tests, but he reacted rightly toward God by acknowledging God's sovereign authority over everything God had given him. Satan lost this first round. Job passed the test and proved that people can love God for who he is, not for what he gives.
When I was a new Christian, God gave me a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self-centered prayers so that I’d know he exists. But as I grow in faith, he will wean me of these dependencies.
God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of his presence are two different things. One is a fact; the other is often a feeling. God is always present, even when I’m unaware of him, and his presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion.
He wants me to sense his presence, but he’s more concerned that I trust him than that I feel him. I live by faith, not by sight or by my feelings.
What I’m learning is that the situations that will stretch my faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found. This happened to Job. On a single day he lost everything—his family, his business, his health, and all his possessions. And then, for 37 chapters, God said nothing!
So how do I praise God when I don’t understand what’s happening in my life and God is silent? How do I stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do I keep my eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears? I do what Job did: “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’” (Job 1:20-21 NIV).
Tell God exactly how I feel. Pour out my heart to him. Unload every emotion that I’m feeling. Job did this when he said, “I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11 GNT).
He cried out when God seemed distant: “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house” (Job 29:4 NIV).
God can handle my doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, and questions.
I came with nothing; I will have nothing when I return. The Lord has given; the Lord has taken; bless the Lord’s name.
What this means to me:
I came into this world with nothing, and I won't have anything when I die. The Lord gave me everything I have and had, and they were his to take away. Regardless, blessed be the name of the Lord.
In summary, I need to remember that the Lord gave me what I have or had, and he can take it away. Regardless, I praise his name for who he is, recognizing his sovereign authority over everything. I need to love God for who he is and not for what he gives. God is always present, even when I'm unaware of him. His presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion. While he wants me to sense his presence, he's more concerned that I trust him than feel him. I need to live by faith, not by sight or feelings. So when I don't understand what's happening and it seems God is silent, I can do what Job did. Tell him exactly how I feel. Pour out my heart to him. Unload every emotion that I'm feeling.
Father this morning I thank you for the reminder that what I have all comes from you. Your not here to grant my wishes or provide me things. It’s more important I always recognize you for who you are and that what you want most from me is to trust you. This morning I pray for your continued guidance and wisdom in how I handle my work, how I lead and how I interact with others. I ask these things through your Son Jesus name, amen!
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