“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 1:21 NIV).
When you are a baby Christian, God gives you a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self-centered prayers so you’ll know he exists. But as you grow in faith, he will wean you 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 you are unaware of him, and his presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion.
Yes, he wants you to sense his presence, but he’s more concerned that you trust him than that you feel him. Faith, not feelings, pleases God.
The situations that will stretch your 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 everything he owned. Most discouraging, for 37 chapters, God said nothing!
How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent? How do you stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears? You 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 1:20b-21 NIV).
Tell God exactly how you feel. Pour out your heart to God. Unload every emotion that you’re 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 your doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, and questions. You can bring everything to him in prayer.
– In what ways can you show God that you trust him even when you don’t feel his presence?
– What are some of the things you can praise God for, even when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life?
By Rick Warren
Used by Permission
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