Saturday, June 9, 2012

Should Christians Always Feel the Presence of God?

 I have set the LORD  continually before me  because He is at my right  hand, I will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8). Compare this with  Psalm 30:6-7, Now in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved."   Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

God Hides His Face
It is true that God is always with us.  Nevertheless, we do not always enjoy  the light of His presence.  In Psalm 16:8, David, for a period, of time was able to  realize that God was at His right hand.  This was a source of great encouragement to him. Like David, we should seek to practice the presence of God. We should pray without ceasing.
 However, we see in the Scripture that when God hides  His “face,” His children suffer. We should pray often that the Lord would shine His Face on us.   Sometimes in our humanness, we will not be aware of His Presence and must by faith know He is with us.  The theologians of years past called this believing on the bare word of God alone.

Abraham is cited in Scripture for having this faith.
...who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.   He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,   and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.   And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness, Romans 4:18-22.( NKJV)

Abraham had an amazing faith because he believed God's promise of a son in the face of  human inability and against all hope. He refused to look at his own body which was unable to procreate at this time. He also  refused to look at Sarah's womb which never had been capable of bearing children (See Genesis 11:30).

He did not vacillate regarding the promise of God.  The result was that by looking and clinging to the promise (that he would be the father of many nations), he was strengthened in faith and exercised saving  faith which made him justified in the sight of God. God  gave both Sarah and Abraham the ability to conceive a child. In fact there is not a hint that Sara was ever able to conceive, she was barren throughout the marriage.   God, Who doe the impossible rejuvenated her womb.

He has made everything is beautiful in its time
Perhaps the use of a metaphor would help us.  We love it so when the sun shines on our faces, warming us.  The Sun gives us health, energy and many other things. However, there are those times when the dark clouds cover the sun for many days. This is part of the cycle of nature. All sun brings desert, all rain, floods

 Mental illness has continuous cloudy days. There is a lack of flow of ideas in the brain due to a neurotransmitter deficiency.  There is a darkness of the mind which is be very troubling.   God’s timing is perfect, He will roll the clouds away and we will see the light of His countenance again.  He may hide His face from us but His love for us never waivers.  With the LORD, there is no “shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

 As the hymn writer put it, When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest
 on His unchanging grace.  In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil (Edwin Mote and William Bradbury).

Copyright, Steve Bloem, 2012

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