Have you ever felt like God’s not there, or He’s not listening? I have felt this more than I would like to admit. I wonder if Job may have felt that God wasn’t hearing him either when I read his petition in Job 23:
He says “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning. If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me. Would he vigorously oppose me? No, he would not press charges against me. There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge. “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
If God tested us, would we come out as pure gold? Sometimes we are looking for Him, and He is right there waiting to see what we will do next. So often, I’ve looked to God for answers, and I realize that He was waiting on me to trust in Him!
When I met my husband, I didn’t question God; I just knew that God was in this union without a shadow of a doubt. However, in other areas of my life, I am constantly questioning my moves and if God wants me to do this or that. When times get scary, and things get rough, it is hard for us to trust God sometimes, but as believers, we have the Holy Spirit living inside us! God is always the answer, and we have the answer living in us! How cool is that?
Job was in a place where he wanted to state his case before God so the suffering might end. He didn’t know how his story would encourage us and help us through difficult situations so many years later. We are thankful for Job’s suffering because it helps us deal with our own. It helps us understand the character of the God we serve.
Today if you are struggling with finding God for an answer to life’s problems, look to the Holy Spirit within you. He will guide you. Trust whose you are and know that He is not gone, but sometimes the teacher is silent during the test.
By: Charles Spurgeon
“O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.” Psalm 116:16
Suggested Further Reading: Romans 6:15-23
A liberty to be holy is a grander liberty than a licence to be sinful. A liberty to be conscientious; a liberty to know forgiven sin; a liberty to trample upon conquered lusts, this is an infinitely wider liberty than that which would permit me to be the comfortable slave of sin, and yet indulge the elusive hope that I may one day enter the kingdom of heaven. The largest expressions that can ever be used by the boldest minister of free grace, cannot here be exaggerations. Luther may exhaust his thunders, and Calvin may spend his logic, but after all the grand things that have been spoken about the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, we are freer than those men knew. Free as the very air he breathes is the Christian, if he lives up to his privileges. If he is in bondage at all, it is because he has not as yet yielded his spirit fully to the redeeming and emancipating influence of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the fullest and widest sense therefore, the believer may cry, “Thou has loosed my bonds.” Nor is this liberty merely consistent with the profoundest and most reverent service, but the service is, indeed, a main characteristic of the exalted freedom. “Truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant and the son of thine handmaid.” This does not conflict with the sentence that follows it,—“Thou hast loosed my bonds.” This fact of my being God’s servant is to me a proof and evidence, and a delightful fruit and effect of my having had my bonds loosed by the great emancipator, the Lord Jesus Christ. Service then, as well as liberty!
For meditation: The Christian has been freed from being a slave of sin in order to become a servant of God. Does your lifestyle illustrate this (Galatians 5:13)?
A Bridge of Faith – Streams in the Desert – July 2
- 20222 Jul
When thou goest, thy way shall be opened up before thee step by step (Proverbs 4:12, free translation).
The Lord never builds a bridge of faith except under the feet of the faith-filled traveler. If He builds the bridge a rod ahead, it would not be a bridge of faith. That which is of sight is not of faith.
There is a self-opening gate which is sometimes used in country roads. It stands fast and firm across the road as a traveler approaches it. If he stops before he gets to it, it will not open. But if he will drive right at it, his wagon wheels press the springs below the roadway, and the gate swings back to let him through. He must push right on at the closed gate, or it will continue to be closed.
This illustrates the way to pass every barrier on the road of duty. Whether it is a river, a gate, or a mountain, all the child of Jesus has to do is to go for it. If it is a river, it will dry up when you put your feet in its waters. If it is a gate, it will fly open when you are near enough to it, and are still pushing on. If it is a mountain, it will be lifted up and cast into a sea when you come squarely up, without flinching, to where you thought it was.
Is there a great barrier across your path of duty just now? Just go for it, in the name of the Lord, and it won’t be there.
–Henry Clay Trumbull
We sit and weep in vain. The voice of the Almighty said, “Up and onward forevermore.” Let us move on and step out boldly, though it be into the night, and we can scarcely see the way. The path will open, as we progress, like the trail through the forest, or the Alpine pass, which discloses but a few rods of its length from any single point of view.
Press on! If necessary, we will find even the pillar of cloud and fire to mark our journey through the wilderness. There are guides and wayside inns along the road. We will find food, clothes and friends at every stage of the journey, and as Rutherford so quaintly says: “However matters go, the worst will be a tired traveler and a joyful and sweet welcome home.”
Thirsting for God
“I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.” – Psalm 143:6-7 NLT
David was a mighty warrior who fearlessly faced lions, powerful armies, and the giant Goliath. Yet at other times, this same man experienced problems so serious that he became “paralyzed with fear” (v. 4) and suffered from deep depression. He was so discouraged and overwhelmed that he was “losing all hope.”
He likened his situation to being alone in a desert. His strength was failing, and his resources were running out. At that point of desperation, he reached out to God, whom he realized was his only hope. David focused all his energy on Him. As he cried out to Him, David knew that only God could quench his thirst.
All of us, at some time in our lives, have felt hopeless and depressed, alone, and vulnerable. These are times for serious prayer, to seek God with a sense of urgency. At times like these, we cannot be concerned about the opinions of others. Following the example set by David, we need to seek the Lord with fervor and intensity, realizing that He is our only hope.
Today, you may face crises or trials. You may feel hopeless or discouraged, worried or afraid. You may feel you are in a desert with nowhere to turn. Regardless of the situation, turn your focus toward God. Cry out for His help. Hunger and thirst for His presence. Be honest with Him. Remember His promise that if you thirst for Him, He will satisfy you.
Reflection Question: Write a prayer seeking a closer relationship with God.