Where is God?
When looking at this hurting world there are many who say God is either evil or absent. But even for those who’ve come to the conclusion He’s good and active in our lives, at times we feel like He’s distant. You may recognize God’s presence in a church service, but how much do you in everyday life? Is God there when you’re working, or waiting to see the doctor, or getting your hair cut? What about when you’re hurting or when you hurt others—where is God?
GOD is HERE
I’m here to tell you, whether you recognize it or not, He’s always with you. Though you may be running as fast as you can away from Him, He’s with you. He’s with you when you are following Him. He’s with you when you choose to do something wrong. He’s with you when you go to sleep at night and when you wake in the morning.
“God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’”
Acts 17:27-28 NIV (emphasis added)
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…”
Psalm 46:1-2 NKJV (emphasis added)
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in the nether world, behold, You are there.”
Psalm 139:7-8 NASB
The Manifest Presence of God
Jesus comforted His disciples before He went to the cross by saying, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth (John 14:16-17 NLT emphasis added).”
It’s clear the Holy Spirit is with us, but what we often want is His manifest presence—when God makes us aware of Himself and acts on the behalf of people in an obvious way. This isn’t bad, in fact I believe we should pray for His manifest presence often. We should ask God to open our senses to recognize Him and His work more and more.
But in those anxious seasons when we don’t feel Jesus we must guard against the enemies lies tempting us to doubt He’s actively helping those who love Him.
Blessed Are Those Who Believe Without Seeing
We may hate to admit it, but sometimes we need tangible evidence of God being present in our lives.
“One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”John 20:24-29 NLT
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
I don’t get the feeling Jesus was condemning Thomas. In fact, He graciously gave him what he needed. Believing without seeing is an element of faith (Hebrews 11:1) and we can’t please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). But if you honestly feel like Thomas did—tell Jesus. He loves you and at the right time will give you what you need.
If you are going through a hard time or having questions about God’s presence and goodness, check out my book GOD is HERE: Finding God in the Pain of a Broken World (parts of this post were excerpted from this book). You can get the ebook and audiobook FREE or buy a personalized print edition by following the link.
Please consider sharing this post with someone having trouble seeing God in their life.