Another Word…by Gus Keiser

September 11, 2017

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

                                                                                                                        Jeremiah29: 11-14

As the pastor sat as his desk first thing in the morning, he clicked on his computer and opened his email to find the following message:

“I feel condemned no matter what I do. From what I’ve seen, it seems so much easier for others to allow Jesus to change their lives than it is for me. I have no appeal for anything in life as it is. I feel that if God really loved me, the least he could do is end my life. I’m not expecting a response. I do expect you to fail me just as I feel God already has.”

 Here is a person who feels shut out by God. How about you?  Have you ever felt abandoned by God?  Does it sometimes feel to you as if all the breaks in this life go against you?  Do you have that desire to feel close to God, but feel as if your prayers are doing nothing but bouncing off the ceiling?

As human beings, feelings are important to us and play a significant role in our lives. But sometimes our feelings, while very powerful, don’t actually reflect the realities of life.  Sometimes feelings can be completely wrong!  God’s salvation is more than a feeling.  It’s based upon our relationship with God.  In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote: “If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Notice that this verse doesn’t say anything about your feelings rather, “…if you believe…you will be saved.” Also, in this letter to the Romans, Paul writes, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” And later he tells the Christians there that “nothing can separate them from the love of God.”

 If you’ve ever felt this sense of abandonment by God, know that you’re not the only one. In fact, most Christians experience this feeling somewhere along the line.  But as those opening verses above remind us, God is always present and his love for us is never going to change.  He loves us just the way we are…imperfect and in need.  Each of us is a unique creation.  According to Paul’s words from Ephesians, “we are God’s workmanship.” God’s love for us is unconditional, unchanging and unending.  So, if we’re willing, God will actually use these dark moments, these “times of feeling abandoned” to help us refine and build our faith.  Today, remember that God is with you… even if conditions make that hard to believe.  So choose to live by faith and not by sight.

Lord, help us to always trust in your presence and your power. Amen.

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