Editors Note: This is a reposting of a entry from February 2014. As I was writing a devotional for today, God led me back to this one from last year and I felt the need to share it again today.
As you read this devotional writing today, it is likely that you are striving to “hear” from God or to at least feel His presence in some way in your life. This world that we live in can be demanding and at times overwhelming. There are moments when we question God’s presence in the midst of our pain and disappointment. This world that we live in can cause us to lose hope. You may be feeling discouraged today because you want to feel God’s presence but instead you feel nothing. Recalling the words of Matthew 7:7, we pray, we ask, we seek, we knock, but yet we are met with silence. God, I know that you promised to never leave me or forsake me but I need some reassurance that you are with me in the midst of my suffering.
Jesus had just shared the Last Supper with his disciples and was explaining to them the events that would soon take place. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet in order to show them how much he loved them. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love” (John 13:1). Our Lord and Savior then predicted that one of his disciples (Judas) would betray him and even Peter would soon disown Jesus three times. Jesus then tells his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1). Do you trust in the things of this world or do you place your faith and trust in God?
Yesterday was one of those days in which the world sent a lot of trouble my way. Normally when this happens, I remind myself to stop and seek God and ask for guidance and peace. However on this occasion, things began to unravel so quickly that I failed to seek God or ask for His calming presence. I was reminded of just how difficult the world can be to those who follow Christ. As followers of Christ we are warned that this world will cause disappointment, heartache, and pain. Jesus said to his disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
So where is God in the midst of our pain and suffering? Why does it seem that God is silent when we call out to him and plead for some assurance that He is with us? There are times when God chooses to not reveal himself to us and we must honor that because God has given us that same free will to make our own decisions in life. I believe that God often is working on a solution to our present problems while we are in the midst of them. We all must make a choice; do we follow the world or do we follow God? If we decide to follow God we can be assured that God is always present with us, whether we can sense His presence or not.
As Joshua was preparing to succeed Moses and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, Moses spoke these words from God to all of Israel. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:eight). That same promise applies to all believers today. God is always with us and God goes before us to guide us along the path that He calls us to follow.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). May the peace of Christ be with you and guide you in the knowledge that Christ has already overcome this world and defeated Satan and all the powers of evil. In this world we will have trouble, but in Christ we can experience complete peace. As followers of Christ we have been given the assurance of eternal life. Remember that promise when the world sends trouble your way. May God be with you and bless you today.