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Where is God? -- by John Barry

Where is God when it really hurts? When the world seems to crash down around us, and all we feel is pain, it seems that God is completely absent. In this sermon, I tell you about my experience with suffering and offer you what I have learned -- it is okay to be honest with God, even when your honesty can be quite brutal.


Comments

So, what do you think? Is it okay to be honest with God, even when our honesty may result in hyperbole, incorrect characterizations of Him, or just be downright hurtful? Can God's feelings be hurt? Do we need to tiptoe around God? Or should we just say it like it is?

--John

I've always struggled with this concept-- deep down, I feel as if my Heavenly Father will turn His anger toward me if I REALLY let him know how I feel. But I believe that the only way to have true intimacy with God is to let Him in on all of my feelings-- good, bad and really, really ugly.

BTW- Welcome to Conversant Life :-)

Jeannine,

Thanks for your comments and for the welcome note.

I think we all struggle with letting God know how we really feel. But the beautiful thing is that we have a paradigm for it in the Psalms (e.g., Psa 22; 25; 88). I try and lean back on these psalms when things get really tough -- it helps.

I love the honesty of the psalms. The Psalmist often says, "God, where are you?" or "God, I'm drowning here" or "God, why do you let my enemies bring me down?" or "God, why don't you answer my cry, you leave me groaning day by day." Using the Psalmist's words to talk to God opened up a new communication avenue for me. One where I eventually learned to be brutally honest.

I figure I might as well be as honest as possible with God because He already knows the way I feel. Talking to Him about it can only help. The very act of saying anything to God expresses an element of belief. If I did not believe, I would simply not call to Him, I would instead grumble to my friends.

God can take it, no matter what I say. The real question is: Can I handle His response?

--John

I guess I've always been pretty honest with God. I figure, it's not like I can hide from him how I'm really feeling, right? "You search me and know me..." and all that jazz.

For years, though, I don't think I really believed that GOD was listening, but I believed other people were listening/observing, and that was the accountability that kept me on the up and up EXTERNALLY.

It was not until I started to believe that it really mattered what I was thinking/feeling that I started to think about how GOD felt about what I was thinking/feeling.

But in terms of being honest with him, I usually am. I'm pretty at home in the doctrine of grace, meaning that I don't think God is ever impressed with ME, but rather He is totally impressed with CHRIST in me, the hope of glory. There is a lot of freedom in coming to that realization.

Christy

Christy,

I know what you mean. Without grace, I don't know where I would be. Though it did take me quite a lot of time to learn to be completely honest with God and realize that He can handle whatever I have to say (and sometimes what I only say in my mind).

--John

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The Infinite God is everywhere, are you looking? I am dedicated to finding God in all aspects of life – the Bible, the news, and the arts. Because I find that the most fulfilling journey of all is searching for heaven here on earth.