One of the most common complaints among my counselees is, “I just don’t feel close to God! He doesn’t seem to be drawing me to Himself any more. My relationship with Him has grown cold and distant, and He doesn’t seem to be helping me, even though I am asking Him for help”.
As we talk about this, and as questions are asked and answered, it is usually revealed that, somewhere along the way, God didn’t give the counselee something she wanted, and she was disappointed. That’s when her view of God changed. She had thought that God was good, merciful and loving. But then, there was something that took her by surprise. It may have been a seemingly small thing, or it may have been a great tragedy. Either way, it rocked her view of God, and caused her to decide that He is not good, or merciful, or kind, or whatever attribute she was counting on to keep her in the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed.
How well do you know God, dear reader? Do you know for sure that He is sovereign, good, merciful, kind, loving, and faithful? If your answer is yes, then I have another question: What are you basing that answer on? Is it the fact that God’s been pretty good to you so far, your life is full and enjoyable, you have good health and are surrounded by loved ones? Those are all good things, but they are a very shaky foundation on which to base your belief about God. Why? Because those things can change. Circumstances can change in a moment. I have friends who have lost limbs, loved ones, and lifespan in just a moment of time. The things of this world, even the things and people we treasure, can be gone in a moment.
No, my friend, we cannot base our view of God on our circumstances, whether they are good, bad, or indifferent. We must base our view of God on who He says He is in the Scriptures. All of the attributes of God are clearly illustrated in both the old and new testaments. The accounts of His faithfulness to Old Testament people and to those who lived after Christ are wonderful encouragement for our belief in those attributes. But landing a good job, getting the diagnosis we hoped for, or any other worldly good news can never be our Gospel.
Look to the cross to see the mercy of God. Read the heroes of the “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11 to see the faithfulness of God. Read the Proverbs to see the wisdom of God. Read the Psalms to see the beauty and majesty of God, and to learn how to draw near to Him. My dear sister, I know for sure that everything the Bible says about God is true. Though I have had many trials, pain, and sorrow in my life, as I have learned to view God through the lens of Scripture instead of through my sin-stained glasses, I am more and more certain of who He is. No circumstance can shake that certainty, because the foundation of it is Christ Himself, through His Word. Hallelujah! What a foundation! What a Savior!