Summary: When God seems to be miles away He’s doing His best work!
When God Seems Distant Text: Job 23:8-10
“Look, I go forward, but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9 When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. 10 But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
Show film clip off the movie "The Apostale" The preacher is asking God where is He.
The first lesson to learn after salvation is; “God is real, no matter how I feel!” The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trail, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant. All relationships involve times of closeness and times of distance.
The ministry of absence-AW Tozer called this “the ministry of the night.” Others refer to “the winter of the heart.”
David said in Psalm 20:1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
Psalm 30:4-5 Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night,But joy comes in the morning.
Floyd McClung describes it “You wake up one morning and all your spiritual feelings are gone. You pray, but nothing happens. You rebuke the devil, but it doesn’t change anything. You go through spiritual exercises… You have your friends pray for you… You confess every sin you can imagine, and then go around asking forgiveness of everyone you know… Days? Weeks? Years?
Isaiah 8:17And I will wait on the LORD, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; and I will hope in Him.
Often a person feels alone if they are in some type of sin. However, this can be a test of your faith! Will you continue to love, trust, obey and worship God even when you can’t sense His presence?
David cried out in Psalm 10:1 Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble?
Think about this, In one single day Job lost everything: his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned!
Job 1:20-21 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “ Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Here’s 4 things we should do or remember when God seems distant!
#1. Tell God exactly how you feel! Like Job cry out, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD!”
#2. Focus on who God is- His unchanging nature! V. Raymond Edman said, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”
Remind God how loving, kind, powerful and in control He is!
#3. Trust God to keep His promises! Don’t depart from His word!
Job 23:12 NIV “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”
#4. Remember what God has already done for you! II Cor. 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
When you can’t cope with the future, remember the past!
The Purpose Driven Life
Bob Gass "The Word For You Today"
and God Answering Prayer!