"The Promise of Presence"
The presence of God is often in direct proportion to the appearance of His absence.
"Judge not according to the appearance" (John 7:24).
Our Lord may be most active when He seems the least engaged. His involvement often belies our perceptions and awareness. In a life to be lived by faith, such counterintuitive means and modes of God's presence and working must line the path of righteousness upon which believers walk. The day will come when we more directly see the Lord at hand, and perceive the nature of His doings. This is not that day. Presently, "we seek through a glass darkly" (I Corinthians 13:12). Thus, we must seek the Truth we cannot view with our eyes by looking into the pages of God's Word for encouragement in the reality that "God worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).
Awareness of God's presence during our earthly lifetime involves the conviction of belief far more than sensation, sight, and sound. Our ability to understand His involvement also lags far behind the reality of His universal presence and activity. Jacob realized his ignorance at Bethel, where he dreamed of the ladder upon which angels ascended and descended: "Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not!" (Genesis 28:16). How often do we sleep as did our brother of old! And how often the Lord must awaken us, again, most often not in terms of sensation or emotional experience, but rather the Biblically-confirmed truth that leads to faith's conviction: God is here and His hand is not still. Appearances deceive. The authority of Scripture declares the truth and reality we nevertheless affirm by faith. Our circumstances, situations, and conditions teem with His living and active presence. He fills our hearts. This is fact, regardless of how well or poorly we perceive the great truth of our existence. Again, God's presence is often in direct proportion to the appearance of His absence. The better we grasp this plainly revealed truth of Scripture, the better we will "see" that "the Light shineth in darkness" (John 1:5). Thereby conviction graces our hearts with assurance even when our perceptions seem to see little or nothing.
"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
(II Corinthians 4:18)
"We walk by faith, not by sight."
(II Corinthians 5:7)
Weekly Memory Verse
The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion.