I wonder how often we’ve cried out to God for help when times were hard? “Call to me and I will answer you” (Jeremiah 33:3). We may be getting desperate, and time may be short. Our anxious thoughts can lead to fear and all kinds of possible consequences. We might call out in our frustration, “Where are You, Lord?”
I remember some years ago I had just experienced a wonderful encounter with the living God. I was lifted from a human understanding of who God is - based on scripture and sermons and Christian teaching - to a spiritual awareness of His presence, confirmed by the quickening of my spirit and a deep inner joy and peace. Then I was struck down with severe back pain and landed in hospital on traction for three weeks.
I asked, “Why, Lord?” I’d just discovered the reality of God in my life and suddenly I felt as if I’d been thrown back into the pit. Yet during that time I had many people pray with me and was so hungry for the Scriptures that I almost devoured my bible. In the midst of my pain, He was there. He hadn’t left me.
“Not my will, but yours be done,” Jesus said to the Father (Luke 22:42). He did only what the Father told him. Jesus walked with the Father and the Father walked with Him. They were as one, together. So, how close is our walk with God? “If you remain in Me ... ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). “I can do all things through Christ’ (Philippians 4:13). There’s the key: ‘in Him’ and ‘through Him.’ Otherwise, it’s all self; what I want and what I need. Is this the will of the Father?
The Apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives I me” (Galatians 2:20). If we can accept that Christ died for us, then we must realise that we also died with Him. Yet so often we resurrect the flesh and live in that which is dead. We need to practise living by the Spirit, constantly aware of Christ within us so that we become familiar with the truth and walk in it.
“In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But in Him we can overcome all difficulties and obstacles, perhaps not to eliminate them, but to walk through them or over them, with the Lord as our protector and guide. As we walk in the sense of His power and His love, we become confident of His presence. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
He didn’t lift the disciples out of the boat when the storm raged around them. He took authority over the storm. It’s not for us to command the waves to subside, but to look to Jesus in times of trouble and know His power and authority. ‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us’ (1 John 5:14).
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