(Sending this out the night before because we have a storm coming that may affect our electricity. And pardon to those who don't care for golf! :) )
In the game of golf, feel is often not real. That is, the best way to swing a golf club is often counterintuitive to what the player thinks he or she should do. For example, most beginners think that to hit the ball high, one must swing up. This is exactly the opposite of the case. One swings down to cause the golf ball to ascend (based on the angled construction of the face of the golf club). Other factors follow the same protocol of "feel is often not real." Now, enough golf!
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).
"Why standest Thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest Thyself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1).
Why the seeming contradiction? The same David who declared God to be "a very present help in trouble" nevertheless despaired over the Lord's absence in trouble. Which perspective was true, and again, why did David contradict Himself? (especially when we consider that the Holy Spirit inspired David's words - II Timothy 3:16). The answer lies is that which was real, and that which was feel. God's presence in trouble - His very present help - constitutes the reality of our Lord's loving and involved presence in every aspect of our existence. This is the real. Our Heavenly Father draws especially close when we hurt, doubtless nearer than our next breath. We matter more to Him than words can express, and while He must at times allow or even determine painful challenges in our lives, we can be sure He takes no pleasure in our necessary difficulties and hurts. "He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men" (Lamentations 3:33).
Regarding David's mention of God's seeming absence in trouble, his words reflected his emotional reaction, his feel. It wasn't real, or rather it wasn't true (except in the fact that David actually felt as if God were absent). The man declared by the Lord in the New Testament to be "after Mine own heart" nevertheless experienced fleshly contradictions to that which he knew to be true in his heart (Acts 13:22). His feel did not align with God's real. Surely every born again believer experiences the same conflict on a daily basis. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). Regardless of how well we know and believe the Scriptures, contrary inclinations, impulses, and sensibilities challenge our faith and confidence in God and His Word. Remembering that feel is often not real prepares us for the required internal determinations to believe and affirm "Thus saith the Lord" and "It is written" in the face - or the feeling - of anything that contradicts.
Oh yes, one final thought: Fore!
"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing."
(II Corinthians 6:10)
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Without Me ye can do nothing."