When God Seems Absent: Strengthening Our Faith

John 11:15
And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

Let us focus on the first part of our selected verse, where Christ said, “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there…” Having read what Christ had spoken, let us now consider what to do when God is not there for us! Have you ever been in a situation where it felt like God had let you down? I know that it is a horrible thing for some to admit that they have had such crazy thoughts, but the truth is, there are many today who have allowed what they have not understood about God to discredit what they should have known about Him. For instance, most Christians will readily agree that God is all-powerful, until a prayer goes seemingly unanswered in their own personal world. All of a sudden, when God didn’t do for them what was expected and when it was expected, the doubts about what He is truly willing and capable of doing seem to flood their souls. Unfortunately for some, the gap between their ideal god and the true God of the Bible bankrupts them of what is left of their faith, as they begin to lose hope rather than seeking God’s face for a better understanding of His purposes. Having said that, why would God distance Himself, as it were, from any of our problems at all? The answer is found in our text, where Christ goes on to say, “…to the intent ye may believe…” God knows that true faith is not based upon sight, feelings, or emotions. The question is, can we trust God even when we can’t see or feel a thing? When we pray, and it seems like our prayers hit the ceiling; when we cry all night long, and yet our sorrow is not lifted; when we have asked God to heal our loved one, and yet instead we attend their funeral. True faith is tried faith. It is when our faith is purified through adversity that it begins to bring resurrection power into our lives. Jesus intentionally waited until Lazarus was completely dead before He asked Martha, “Believest thou this?” Can we still trust God, even after the funeral? As we know, Christ resurrects Lazarus from the dead, proving to all that true faith in Him will never be timed out or conquered by temporary setbacks. If we will trust Him whole-heartedly, we will see resurrection power working in our lives!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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