by Rick Warren — May 11, 2023
From The Keys to a Blessed Life
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Job 1:21 (NIV)
When you are a baby Christian, God gives you a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self-centered prayers so you’ll know he exists. But as you grow in faith, he will wean you of these dependencies.
God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of his presence are two different things. One is a fact; the other is often a feeling. It’s a fact that God is omnipresent; he’s always there, even when you’re unaware of him. Even when you don’t feel his presence, you can always trust the fact that God is there. His presence is too profound to be measured just by emotion.
Yes, God wants you to sense his presence, but he’s more concerned that you trust him than that you feel him. We live by faith, not by sight or by our feelings.
The situations that will stretch your faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found. This happened to a man named Job. On a single day he lost everything—his family, his business, his health, and all his possessions. And then, for 37 chapters in the Old Testament book of Job, God said nothing!
How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent? How do you stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears? You do what Job did: “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’” (Job 1:20-21 NIV).
Tell God exactly how you feel. Pour out your heart to him. Unload every emotion that you’re feeling. Job did this when he said, “I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11 GNT).
He cried out when God seemed distant: “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house” (Job 29:4 NIV).
Whether or not you can feel God today, you can trust that he’s there with you. Are you full of doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, or questions? Bring it all to God. He is with you, he is for you, and he can handle all your questions and concerns.
The Bible says, “… If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NIV)