I came downstairs in the night once, at 1am, to take some painkillers. I made myself a cup of tea and went to sit in the lounge to enjoy my hot drink. I prayed a short prayer for the pain to go and then I was suddenly overwhelmed by an awesome sense of the presence of God. It was truly tangible and remained with me for about fifteen minutes. I wanted this special time to last forever. I have had some other times like this, but this is one of the most memorable.
The following evening, I went downstairs about the same time, hoping to have a ‘repeat experience’ of the previous evening, but absolutely nothing happened, despite my seeking to experience the presence of God again in such a powerful way. I guess I was trying to ‘conjure’ it up and make it happen.
Some of us may have felt as if the presence of God in our lives increased last year, but others may have felt as if it decreased. Whether we sense His presence or not, however, His promise in Hebrews 13:5 is, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’. We can rest assured that is true for all of us who trust in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
We find some profound words spoken by Job, ‘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 shall come forth as gold’ (Job 23:8-10).
Job was tested to the limits, but he had confidence that God would bring him through all of his fiery trials. That same confidence can be ours too in the fiery trials each one of us are currently facing, as our lives have been turned upside down and we face much uncertainty during the pandemic, which is having a huge impact on all of us.
God is still here with us and for us, even though it may sometimes feel as if He is a million miles away. He is living within us by the power of the Holy Spirit, so long as we have personally accepted him as Lord and Saviour. Jesus Christ is still Lord, to the glory of God the Father, no matter what is going on all around us.
Perhaps it might help to be still for a few moments, give thanks to God and reflect on the truth that He has promised to be with us forever.
Prayer: Father God, I confess that I sometimes find it hard to believe that Your presence is always with me in every circumstance of life, especially when my feelings seem to indicate the opposite. Please enable me to live by faith in the truth of Your word and not on my unreliable feelings, which can often cause me to experience doubt. Amen.
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