When I Cannot See God

There have been a lot of ups and downs in my life. We all have them I know. I have wept in overflows of emotion a solid handful of times out of the overflow of my love toward God and his covenant with me pulling off the side of the road in tears that my Creator could also be called my friend. Sat stunned in pews in uncontrollable tears for ten minutes after a song to God in his holiness realizing for just a moment how true it is that he’s actually worthy of such songs. It’s not hype, it’s fitting. I have also wondered where he is at times and felt very alone. There have been many nights where my sin has caused me to doubt my faith. There have also been other times where the circumstances of life made the world feel just as random and meaningless as the atheist apologists preach it is. Throughout it all, God’s graciousness to me in constantly cleansing me of my sins has caused me to know his love toward me in ways I could not have known without the sins and doubts. Without the sins and doubts that I should not have done or had I could not have learned that the Gospel must be large enough to show me a God who redeems entirely by grace from start to finish. If he didn’t fully qualify me for grace, I’d surely have disqualified me a thousand times over. His word has taught me what an “un-merited” grace truly is. I’ve seen my need of it, and I’ve seen its effect in the lives of others.  No boasting! Ephesians 2:8-9. No boasting, but totally justified. Romans 5:1-2. So many ups and downs. But I simply could not ever throw in the towel. God has kept me through faith.

What sustains the believer is no “thing” at all. It’s God himself who keeps us. But how does he keep us? It is by his Spirit in his word. God inspired in the Psalms: “The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant.” Psalm 25:14. Do you know his covenant? If you fear him, you might not feel like you do today, but you can and you will. It says “He will make” you know his covenant. He’ll teach. He’ll come alongside. He’s a much better teacher than we are students. What he asks is that you seek after him. Jesus promised that all who do will find him. Matthew 7:8.

I want to remind you of at least one part of his covenant toward all his children today and that is the assurance of God’s finishing work in salvation. Consider this: “Those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…” Romans 8:29a. We only come to know God’s election by our experience unto justification, but it is certain. So, have you seen what he’s destined you to? It’s not condemnation. It’s conformity to Christ. That means heaven. Paul writes to believers: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6. It’s not that he “might” perfect that work. It’s not that he “often” perfects it. It says that he “will” perfect it. He does this through the truth learned and applied in our lives whether we’re the thief on the cross or John the Baptist. So, get the truth in you! Again in the Psalms, God inspires: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11. Reader, how are you learning his words? Church? Fellowship? Personal study? Online? A chapter a day? A book a day? This is how he teaches us his covenant. You must be about this. You must be in the classroom. Consider also 1 John 3:2 which says: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” Christians are now his children, and will all- having been destined to it- become like him. We will see him and be like him. That’s the fulness of the conformity we’re destined to who love and trust in the covenant of the Cross. Jesus’ great promise in Matthew 5:8 is that we’ll see God. You don’t have to be perfect, you have only to trust in the perfect one.

So, if you believe, please hear me, then God knew exactly your doubts and your sins (better than you ever could) and yet he redeemed you. He began the work. He won’t stop. He purchased you. He loves you. He has destined you to eternal glories with Christ. This means that he’ll use everything in your life to bring you into that conformity. See Romans 8:28. This is good news. Rest in this, reader. And if you feel you can’t, ask God to help you do so. Believe. He will not abandon you to yourself. Satan will not win. Christ has already won, and won you, if you will only trust in him. So trust in him. Trust in him like you’d trust a parachute jumping out of a plane.

This kind of truth regarding his sure covenant to conform us will sustain the Christian in life in the down times. Not by his feelings, not by what he sees, but by the truth God makes him know. John 16:13. By the “making known” of it all by God himself. You and I have to pray to settle such truths in our heart by his word. This love leads us to repent daily and to obey daily. God has said it and shall he not do it? He will.

Joseph Pittano

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