He is here

A friend is seriously ill and has been praying for healing for years – without healing.

He is so discouraged that he says he can’t even pray anymore.

He is afflicted by doubts about God – he wants evidence that God is who he says he is.

He is not the first person to doubt God.  Many of us question God and wonder if he really exists.

What can we do when bad things happen and God appears to be asleep at the switch?

There are two choices – reject God or trust that he loves us and has our ultimate interests at heart.

I can think of many people in the Bible who felt abandoned by God in the face of trouble.

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah runs from Jezebel into the wilderness, telling God that he is the only one left of the prophets resisting the priests of the pagan god Baal.

But God tells him that the Lord preserved 7,000 in Israel who were true to him.  God was at work in ways that Elijah could not see.

Elisha’s servant learned the same lesson when he saw the Aramean army surrounding them in the town of Dothan in 2 Kings 6.  Terrified, he told Elisha about the enemy army and asked what they could possibly do.

Elisha prayed to God and asked him to reveal to his servant the great army of angels that were camped around them.  God answered and opened the servant’s eyes to the heavenly army, leading to miracles and the deliverance of Elisha and his servant.

In effect, we are not God and cannot see what he sees.  As Isaiah says, his thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

But what about the times when we are not delivered from illness, or poverty, or family collapse – or even death?

Jesus did not say that we would have an easy time.  He promised us trouble if we followed him.

But he also promised that he would always be with his followers.  As our pastor said today, he is present with us each personally right now.

And ultimately we will be with him forever where there are no more tears and there is eternal joy.

As others have said, our reality is not here on earth but in heaven.

Right now, we are here on earth as part of God’s grand plan to triumph over evil.

That plan is good and we have a part to play in it.

 

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