personal journey

This was a journal of my progress through the book "The Purpose Driven Life"...after having read the book, I know that I've only begun to learn about God's plan for my life.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Day 14

Chapter Fourteen: When God Seems Distant

God is real, no matter how you feel. -Rick Warren

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant. -Rick Warren

I have experienced what it is like to try and trust God during trials. These past few years since being saved have not been easy by any means. My home was flooded twice, the second time resulting in property loss and forcing an uplanned move, which was quite costly...especially in the midst of trying to plan our wedding. Planning our wedding was met with multiple upon multiple obstacles, disappointments, conflicts, and heartaches. I don't think that I have ever experienced that level of stress in all my life...and would not want to ever again.

Much of the problem was I was not trusting that God would take care of everything...and eventually, when I could not actually take it any more, and realized this fact...I gave in...surrendered it all to God. And the result was that we had our wedding and honeymoon. The one that we wanted...and aside from a few very minor glitches, it was exactly as we had hoped it would be. I just had to remember that God is with me all the time...

During times of spiritual dryness you must patiently rely on the promises of God, not your emotions, and realize that he is taking you to a deeper level of maturity. A friendship based on emotion is shallow indeed. -Rick Warren

I don't want a friendship with God that depends soley on how happy he makes me, and that he is just giving me what I want all the time. I realize that a true relationship will entail light and dark times.

If I only wanted his friendship when he makes me happy, it would resemble many of the friendships that I have had in my past with other people. They are only around when they need me, and then disappear.

How horrible a feeling that is. It makes me feel pretty unimportant. I can see why God would cause us to feel distant from him, to see that we continue reaching for him instead of replacing him with this fancy or that. Friendship, true friendship, isn't all about is about endurance.

Point to Ponder: God is real, no matter how I feel.

Verse to Remember: Hebrews 13:5 For God has said, "I will never leave you; I will never abandon you."

Question to Consider: How can I stay focused on God's presence, especially when he feels distant?

I think that this basically requires a person to remain faithful, and understanding of the fact that God's love doesn't disappear when the lights go out...he is always with me. And the fact that I experience hardship is a testament to the truth that there is a place in Heaven for me. If things were perfect here on earth, there would be no reason to strive to get closer to God.

How can I stay focused? to God, even when it seems that he isn't listening...not giving up on faith, but surrendering the situation to him, and his will.

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