People find it easy to worship God when things are going very well in life, when God has provided food, friends, family, health, and a happy situation. But when the circumstances are not pleasant, how do you worship God?
There was a man named Job in the Bible who lived in the land of Uz. This man was upright and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil, had seven sons and three daughters and had seven thousand sheep, three hundred camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, he also had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among the people of the east. But one day Job lost everything he had, including his seven sons and his three daughters. When the news of the disaster reached Job, he got up, tore his robe, and shaved off his hair. Then he fell to the ground in WORSHIP and said “naked I came out of my mother’s womb and naked I will go. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, praise the name of the Lord.” Can you imagine the pain of Job? At a time of battles in his life, his wife turned against him and his friends abandoned him (Job 19:13-19). In chapter 1 of the book of Job, he lost his children and all his wealth, in chapter 2, he lost his health, and in chapter 3, he cursed the day he was born, in chapters 4 – 41, he experienced a season of loneliness, confusion, false accusation, questions without tangible answers, and delay.
This is a stage in Job’s life when God seems distant, silent, and absent in action. In all of this, Job refused to curse God, still having faith that one day God would have mercy on him. Thank God Job’s story did not end with his continuous testing, but a new chapter of his life was opened in the next one. Job 42:10 says, “And the Lord brought back Job’s captivity… also the Lord blessed Job and gave Job double what he had before.”
Friendship is always put to the test by separation and silence. In your friendship with God, you will not always feel close to Him. Every relationship implies a time of closeness and a time of distance, and in a relationship with God, however intimate it may be, things will oscillate from one side to the other. which is when worship becomes difficult. To mature their friendship, God will test it with periods of apparent separation, moments in which it seems that He has abandoned or forsaken them. Saint John of the Cross referred to these days of spiritual dryness, doubt, and estrangement from God as “the winter of the heart.”
Besides Jesus, David probably had the closest friendship with God. David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), but David always complained about the apparent absence of God. Lord, why are you standing on the sidelines and far away? Why do you hide when I need you most (Psalm 10:1); why have you abandoned me? Why do you remain so distant, why do you ignore my cry for help (Psalm 22:1). Why have you forsaken me? Of course, God hasn’t really left David, and he hasn’t left you either. He has repeatedly promised: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8). But God has not promised, “you will always feel my presence.” In fact, God admits in Isaiah 45:15, that he sometimes hides his face from us. There are times when God seems to be absent in action in your life, you wake up one morning and pray, but nothing happens. You rebuke the devil, but nothing changes. You do spiritual exercises, you have pastors who pray for you, you confess every sin you imagined, you even ask for forgiveness from those you offended, you fast, still nothing. You start to wonder what is happening to me and how long these will last.
The truth is that nothing is wrong with you. This is a normal part of testing and maturing your friendship with God. It is painful and bewildering, but absolutely vital to the development of your faith. Knowing this gave Job hope when he could not feel God’s presence in his life.
When God seems distant, you may feel that he is angry with you or is disciplining you for some sin. In fact, sin disconnects us from intimate communion with God. We extinguish our communion with God by disobedience, conflict with the affairs of others, friendship with the world, and other sins.
But many times this feeling of abandonment or estrangement from God has nothing to do with sin. It is a test of faith, one that we all must face. When you are newly repentant (a Christian baby), God gives you many confirming emotions and often answers the most immature and self-centered prayers that you know He exists. But as you grow in faith, He will remove these dependencies. The situation that will extend your faith the most will be those moments in which life falls apart and God seems to be nowhere. This happened to Job. In a single day, he lost everything: his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned. Most daunting of thirty-seven chapters God said nothing.
Assuming you are Job, how would you praise God, especially at a time when He seems distant in your life, or when you don’t understand what is happening to you and God is silent? How do you stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they are filled with tears? The good news is that Jesus cares about your situation. There is always a light at the end of every tunnel; just be patient to get there. You will meet GOD right there at the right time.
Friend, this promise is for those who are in Christ Jesus. If you haven’t given your life to Jesus Christ, you can do it by doing something important. Acknowledge and admit that you are a sinner; repent of your sins; and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. Prayer this prayer: Lord JESUS, I know I am a sinner, I cannot help myself, I surrender my life to You as I turn from my sin and confess it with my mouth and believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord. Come into my life and be my personal LORD and Saviour, in Jesus name amen.