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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

God Is Always Present, Regardless of How I Feel

In Job 1:21 I read, “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)

When I first became a Christ follower, God gave me a lot of confirming emotions and often answers my most immature, self-centered prayers so that I’d know he exists. But as I grow in my faith, he weans 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. It’s a fact that God is omnipresent; he’s always there, even when I’m unaware of him. Even when I don’t feel his presence, I can always trust the fact that God is there. His presence is too profound to be measured just by emotion.

God 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.

The situations that will stretch my faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found. I’m reminded of the story of a man named Job. On a single day he lost everything—his family, his business, his health, and all his possessions. And then, for 37 chapters in the Old Testament book of Job, God said nothing!

So how do I praise God when I don’t understand what’s happening and God seems 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).

I can tell God exactly how I feel. I can pour out my heart to him and 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).

Whether or not I can feel God today, I can trust that he’s here with me. If I become full of doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, or questions? I can bring it all to God. He is with me, he is for me, and he can handle all of my questions and concerns.

The Bible says, “… If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NIV)

In summary, I came into the world with nothing and will take nothing with me when I leave. Everything I have the Lord has given me, and they are his to take back. Regardless of what happens, blessed be the name of the Lord. When setbacks come, I should not lose faith in God. It is ok to express my feelings and emotions. I can love God for who he is and not for what he gives. I need to keep my focus on the big picture. God is in control even though everything seems to be falling apart. Trust that God will never stop loving me, that he has a plan, he cares about every detail of my life, is in control, even when I don't understand it, and will always protect me. Even when everything seems to be falling apart, I can base my life on these truths.