God's Consoling Presence Part 1

The consolations of God - Fifth in a series

God is in all places at all times. We learn as children that he is omnipresent and exists eternally, outside of time. So, what does it mean when we say or read that his presence is with a person or nation? Or that the Lord casts people away from his presence?

The Bible has many instances of the word Presence or face of God. Jacob named the place where he wrestled with God, Peniel or presence. (Gen 32:29-30)

Psalm 114:7 instructs us to tremble at the presence of the Lord, and Psalm 100:2 says, …come before his presence with singing. David begs the Lord after his sin with Bathsheba, Cast me not away from your presence and take not thy holy spirit from me. (Ps 51:11) God proclaims to Judah, the nation, I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence… (Jer 23:39b)

These diverse passages teach that God's presence can be terrifying, yet much to be desired, and it is possible for man to be removed from it. The theological truth is that God is omnipresent but our experience or perception of it is fine-tuned by many influences.

There is an expression, "If you feel far from God, who moved?" This implies the person has lost faith and therefore feels far from God. But is this always the case? That person may be in the midst of a great test of faith.

True, we may feel far from the long suffering, good Presence (Ex 34:6-7) because of our own blindness and sins, or try hiding from the Lord, to no avail, of course. (Gen 3:8; Jon 1:3) True repentance is then required for reunion with Him. (2 Cor 7:10)

Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. (Ps 83:16)

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. (Ps 73:28)

When God's presence is a wonderful consolation, then his omnipresence is, too.

The Consolation of Certainty

The consolations of God - Fourth in a series

God has designed that we should have certainty in our faith. He has given us "many infallible proofs," (Acts 1:3) the testimony of the entire Word, His Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of the saints, to name some ways by which we are upheld in belief.

Nevertheless in the course of our lives we will have many occasions to cry out, "Help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)

No matter how hard we study to be approved (2 Tim 2:15), pray, serve, or do any of the things that uphold our belief, we will experience people, incidents and attacks by the Rulers of Darkness (Eph 6:12) that disturb our peace and faith.

Then, confusion, doubt and fear clamor for first place in the race to conquer our minds. Feelings of emptiness, anxiety and various sinful reactions and emotions sabotage us — We are shrinking back — the very thing we don't want to do. (Heb 10:38)

So, repent and return. Begin the journey home to Life. Thoughts and emotions must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit, or one cannot function as a Christian.

Being a Christian means having FAITH—thinking and knowing, that

  • God is good
  • God is love and He loves us
  • God is in control, and He is working his purposes out
  • He is with us, helping us
  • We belong to Him; He is a careful owner
  • He is worthy of our love and praise
  • He has never made a mistake of any sort!

Therefore we set aside private hurts, refuse any long-term discouragement, and maintain an outlook that proves we DO trust in God; we WILL RESIST the devil (James 4:6), pray, think and act in ways that express we are under His providential, loving care, no matter how we feel or what the appearances are.

In time, assurance returns. And no pastime, vacation, sport or spree of any sort can bring the renewal of joy as will the peace of assurance. There is no true rest nor relaxation but in the peace of Christ that comes from certainty in our faith.

My peace I give you. (John 14:27)

Be still and know that I am God. (Ps 46:10)

Words of assurance, adoration and praise

Jude - Fourteenth and final in a series

In trials affecting the church, we witness and experience disappointing behaviors, confusion, heartbrokenness, despair, anxiety, bitter revenges, and even more. In part these are evidences of Christian immaturity, but that is not the full explanation. The Evil One and his assistants work hard to destroy the body of Christ, the church.

Why would God permit their attacks, as Jude describes, that undermine our faith and peace? Because going through them, we look to the One who is able to keep us from falling, and we grow in grace and the knowledge of the Truth.

Now to Him who is able
to keep you from stumbling, and
to make you stand in the presence of His glory
blameless
with great joy,
to the only God our Savior,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
be glory, majesty, dominion and authority,
before all time
and now
and forever.
Amen.

(Jude 1:24, 25)

Jude encourages believers that when we meet the Lord face to face, we not only will bow— we will stand, for he not only saved and redeemed but also enabled us to persevere through all our days.

At times we feel we are in great danger of falling below any hope of returning, but then the Majestic One steadies us. We are again ready to be those in his church who would rescue the perishing.

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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