No believer will escape during his or her earthly sojourn the experience of crying out to the Lord with legitimate requests, only to feel that He has not heard or responded.
"Lord, why castest Thou off my soul? Why hidest Thou Thy face from me?" (Psalm 88:14).
The truth, of course, promises that rather than casting us away or hiding His face from us, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Our Lord actually draws nearer and more responsive in times of our desperation than at any other. As we often suggest in these messages, He is always present with us, but He is "very present" with us in tribulation. It doesn't feel this way, however, and actually, as in the case of the Psalmist referenced above, it feels just the opposite.
Why must it be this way? Why would a God whose Word contains so many assurances of His presence, loving care, and devoted involvement allow us or even bring us to dark places where His promised Light seems not to shine? As in our recent series on sickness, we could consider together numerous Biblical reasons for the challenge. Presently, however, I want to offer the simple suggestion that in those desperate and dreadful hours when we cry out to no seeming avail, our Heavenly Father acts no less lovingly and perfectly than in days of light when Heaven shines bright with ready answers and responses.
"As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31).
Everything our Lord does or does not do in your life and mine proceeds from perfection, flows in perfection, and culminates in perfection. The God whose way is perfect can act in no other manner or measure of quality. We must hide this fundamental Biblical truth as deeply and surely in our hearts as possible, affirming constantly to each other and to ourselves that come what may, "He hath done all things well" (Mark 7:37). A thousand devils may scream at us otherwise, along with the flesh of others and our own flesh that protest something to be amiss in God's ways and purposes. As with Eve, Satan would have us believe that the Lord is withholding some good thing that we need (Genesis 3:4-6). This is not true. God cannot do such a thing and remain who He is. "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Only one child of God ever experienced real abandonment of the Father. "My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken Me?!" cried the Lord Jesus Christ into the darkness of His travail on Calvary. No answer came, in our Savior's case because for our sakes, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit did abandon the Lord Jesus to die alone on the cross. "Smitten of God" pronounces the prophet of the Christ smitten with the forlorn forsakenness that served as the fiery forge from which the shining and enduring promise emerged, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Isaiah 53:4; Hebrews 13:5). Thus, we can never be forsaken, nor does God fail to act on our behalf when we cry to Him, even if His perfect action involves seeming inaction.
No one has ever trusted in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and been disappointed for doing so. And no one ever will. He is faithful and true, perfectly faithful and true. Let us dig deeply, hiding the treasure where it cannot be uprooted - "As for God, His way is perfect."
"I am with you always."
Weekly Memory Verse
He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence."