Monday, 12 October 2009

God is close when darkness comes

God is close when darkness comes

Many times I have wondered why God's help usually comes at the last moment - at least in many cases it is perceived this way. Does God have a problem with keeping appointments, or does He not understand that here on earth we have something called time?

It is maybe not completely right that God is close to us when darkness comes because He is everywhere and if we live in fellowship with Him, He is with us not only in times of darkness. David says in Psalm 139:7-8: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

However, sometimes we experience that darkness comes and in the middle of our need we see that God meets us in a very special way. Maybe it is not because He was not there when we did not have problems, but because in these situations we have a tendency to come closer to Him.

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Some people begin to blame God when darkness comes, but our problems are not His fault. God is the solution and not the problem - He wants to help us. The Bible assures us that nothing bad or no problems come from Him.

James 1:16-17
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

However, we are living in a world ruled by the evil one and godless people. The fact that sin came into the world and, as a consequence, evil became a reality, does not mean that it was God's will. It was not God who led the human kind into temptation. The Bible says clearly and distinctly that He does not tempt anyone, but people themselves get tempted by the evil one.

James 1:13-14
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

Do not blame God for the darkness that you or other people have caused. Seek rather His help because He is more than willing to help.

Jesus helped those who imposed themselves on Him
In the times of Jesus there were many sick and troubled people, but not all got healed. It says that when Jesus came to Nazareth, he could not perform so many miracles there because people doubted (Matt 13:53-58). However, there were others who experienced that God came close to them in their darkness, even though they were actually not Jesus' target group.

Matthew 15:21-28
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Jesus did not heal all the sick and troubled in Israel when He walked here on earth, but He healed all those who took initiative and imposed themselves on Him. You will not read about even one sick person who came to Jesus, but had to leave disappointed. The only people who went away disappointed were the Pharisees and the rich young man who did not want to repent.

When you watch the news, you hear about war, hunger and terror, and the reaction of many is, "How can there be a good God when there is so much evil?" My answer is, "Is it God or us who create problems?" Everything we do has consequences both for us and other people around us. When people in the authorities make stupid choices, it also has consequences, both for themselves and for the people under their influence.

Can you feel safe?
The question then comes: Can you feel safe when you live in a world ruled by the evil one? We know that the Bible says that in the latter days there are going to be wars and hunger. The world we are living in heading for a fall - and you do not need to believe in the Bible to understand it.

Matthew 24:6-14
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

All the signs are indicating that we are living in the latter days, but Jesus' challenge is clear: "Do not let yourselves get frightened!" When darkness comes, do not be scared, but hide yourself in God - let Him be your safety. If you have your safety in earthly things such as the money you have saved, your education or your social network, you have a good enough reason to be worried. However, if you have your safety in God, you can feel safe even if the whole world is raging around you. Then you can say like David:

Psalm 91:7
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

A Norwegian song says: Do not look at the world because then you will get depressed. Do not look at the others because then you will get irritated. But look at Jesus because then you will get inspired.God does not pull away when darkness comes. There is no changing shadow in Him and if we hide ourselves in Him, we can be safe even when darkness comes.

Faith in God

Faith in God - Through the Innocent Heart of a Child
One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to the mothers and fathers.

God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this.

God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere, which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your Mom and Dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.

Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in my town. At least there aren't any who come to our church.

Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and people finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind, like His Father, and He told His Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said, "O.K."

His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. (Like a secretary, only more important.) You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.

You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides, the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.

If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim and big kids throw you into real deep water.

But…you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.

And…that's why I believe in God.

Faith in God - Christ's Perspective
The simple perspective of a child's faith in God is a key principle in Christ's teaching. We should constantly tap that wonderful innocence and purity of heart when approaching God through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, verily I say unto you, except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever shall receive one such little child in my name receives me. (Matthew 18:1-5)