Is God sleeping?
Have you ever felt like God has seemingly forgotten you, even maybe rejected you, possibly disappointed you, felt like God might have fallen asleep on the job and so maybe He needs some rousing..?
You’re not alone. The Psalmist who penned Psalm 44 writes on behalf of God’s people who have faced some unknown national calamity in the face of their enemies. They feel disgraced, alone, helpless and confused…
As believers, as Christ followers, what do we do when our admittedly tiny perspective on life appears to lead to these types of questions and raises these sorts of feelings?
As a Christ follower and as a church leader I personally identify at times with this psalmist and with this psalm because I know how God has moved in mighty power in the past. Mighty acts of intervention and blessing cover the pages of Scripture and fill the pages of church history too.
“Our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days” (Psalm 44:1)
So what’s happening now..? Why does the church not always seem glorious or full of mighty power? “Why is there so much hardship and pain even for Your people God?” And what should we do in such times?
In times like this we are helped when we interpret what we don’t know from what we do know from Scripture. We make a mistake when we seek to redefine what is clear in Scripture because of what is so confusing to us in the moment as we look through the distorted lenses of our experience and or feelings.
We might feel like God has rejected us, left us alone or forgotten us, that maybe God is sleeping on the job of being God & Father but in fact we know that God has made an everlasting covenant with us, He has promised to never leave us, has promised that nothing can remove us from His love…
“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them.” (Jeremiah 32:40)
“I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39)
Just like the Psalmist acknowledged his feelings, expressed them even, we too can be honest with our thoughts, our feelings our questions directed at God. We don’t have to put on some stoic face and pretend we feel differently! And yet our faith is not resting on a foundation of feelings which are so transient and unstable, our faith is founded on truth, on promises made by the God who can not lie, is unchanging, the God who is faithful even when we are unfaithful!
And so like the Psalmist we can conclude praying with total confidence to our Father in heaven saying;
“Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love” (Psalm 44:26)
We know, we are the beloved children of Father God, our Redeemer, our Immanuel, our Comforter, Counsellor & Helper and in these rock solid truths we rest even when the circumstances of our lives are anything but restful. We choose to trust not in ourselves, not in our bow or our sword (vs6) or our ability to wield them but choose to trust Father God in the midst of trials, delay or disappointments.