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God Is There, Even When He Seems Distant
By Rick Warren

“I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.” Job 23:8-10 (NLT)

God has promised repeatedly, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5 GNT).

Yet God has not promised that you will always feel his presence. In fact, God acknowledges that sometimes he hides his face (see Isaiah 45:15). 

There are times when he appears to be missing-in-action in your life.

This is a normal part of the testing and maturing of your friendship with God. Every Christian goes through it at least once. It is painful and confusing, but it is absolutely vital for the development of your faith.

This knowledge gave Job hope when he could not feel God’s presence in his life. He said, “I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold” (Job 23:8-10 NLT).

When God seems distant, you may feel that he is angry with you or is disciplining you for some sin. In fact, sin does disconnect you from intimate fellowship with God. You grieve God’s Spirit and diminish your fellowship with him by disobedience, conflict with others, busyness, friendship with the world, and other sins (see Psalm 51; Ephesians 4:29-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Jeremiah 2:32; 1 Corinthians 8:12; James 4:4).                                     

But often this feeling of abandonment or separation from God has nothing to do with sin. It is a test of faith, one all believers must face: Will you continue to love, trust, obey, and worship God, even when you have no sense of his presence or visible evidence of his work in your life?

The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God. They look for a feeling, and if that feeling happens, they conclude that they have worshiped.

But God often removes feelings so you won’t depend on them. Instead, he wants to draw you into a deeper relationship with him.

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the purpose driven life illustrated for children daily hope rick warren august 2022Help the Little Ones in Your Life Discover their Purpose

Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind. He has a special plan and purpose for your life.

Imagine if everyone grew up knowing this powerful truth!

That’s why Pastor Rick created The Purpose Driven Life Devotions for Children.

Filled with powerful Scripture passages and engaging illustrations, this colorful hardback delivers 100 devotions that bring the principles in Pastor Rick’s life-changing bestseller to life for children.

Written especially for young readers ages 4-8, this charming picture book speaks directly to the challenges children face—so you can share it with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and kids in your neighborhood.

The Purpose Driven Life Devotions for Children is our thanks for your gift to help Daily Hope take the hope of Jesus to people around the world. Request your copy today!

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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