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.

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