“Where are you God?” Have you cried out to God in the midst of pain? In your time of need have you searched for God only to feel abandoned, left behind and alone? This is a common reality. The reason for God’s quietness is different for every story, situation and person. The similarity, however, is how we seek God when we feel helpless, only to discover He’s not where we want Him.
King David, in his time of need, wrote the following psalm:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
What are we to do when God seems absent?
David’s lament speaks profoundly to the heart of every Christian. We long for God’s presence and provision, but we feel unaided. Here, David expresses what he did during his difficult time. First, he chose to trust in God’s steadfast love anyway, and second, he sang praise to the Lord. Even though David felt utterly alone, he knew the truth. He held on to what he knew about God rather than letting his emotions rule his life. He knows God’s love is true and pure and he decided to trust the Lord rather than himself. Since he held on to the truth, he was able to sing praises to the Lord. He reflected on what God has done and had faith that God will continue to bless him. He knows the character of God; therefore, he praises God regardless of the state of his heart.
How can we have faith in the Lord when He seems absent?
This may seem like the same question as above, but the “What” and “How” are actually very different. The only way we can hold on to what we know and sing praises to God when we’re uncertain of His presence is because we have faith in Him. Hebrews 11: 1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Having faith in the Lord is trusting what we believe to be true, but we have not yet seen occur. Hebrews 11 goes on to express how, in nearly every major Bible story, God asks someone to do something outstanding and through faith, they take the necessary steps to pursue God’s calling. They hope for a certain outcome, but they do not know if it will come to fruition. Yet, they trust that God’s will is greater than their own.
Faith is not only believing that God is present in your situation and that He’ll prevail. It’s acting as if his success is the reality. You can’t firmly say that you have faith in God if you coward behind your emotions. If you’re in the midst of pain and hardship, you must move forward in life, trusting that God is paving the way for you. You have to confidently hold on to the vision He’s given you.
As your faith grows.
To act in faith is to believe that your light shines and that you’re a radiant example of Christ. To have faith in God is great, but to have faith that God is using you in the midst of your struggles is a sign of the Holy Spirit activated within you. To act in faith is to take your situation, give it to God and trust that He will receive the glory as you continue to walk in His ways.
Faith is also trusting in Jesus and His every word, knowing that His ways are better than your own and that He is guiding you through life. Having faith is being able to set your own agenda aside. As your faith grows you’ll desire to sink your heart into the Bible so you can learn more about God’s will for your life. Over time, you’ll understand His character and pursue His voice. Faith becomes hearing God’s calling and eventually knowing His voice above all the other noise. Having faith is choosing to daily follow His voice as He guides you in His ways.
Acting in faith is knowing you are His – always have been, always will be. Nothing can separate you from your Father’s love. That is ultimate faith!