Archive for the ‘Hidden God’ Category

Let’s Trust In The Invisible Things of God!

Friday, June 27th, 2008

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  (Romans 1:20-21)

This verse is often used to describe the “Hidden God”.  What is meant by the hidden God can be described in a question: “Why is God letting this happen to me?  Where is God in my suffering?”  These are fair questions and they can be answered in two different ways; one is the correct way and the other is, well…wrong!  One is scriptural and the other is not.  One answer comes from God and the other comes from man.

The wrong, unscriptural, human centered answer says that God does not want you to suffer, but because you have not followed His will, you are suffering.  God does not want you to be poor or sick, but because you lack faith and wisdom He cannot bless you.  God does not want you to have family problems, but because you have not allowed His Word to lead you, you are reaping what you have sowed.  You see, the wrong, unscriptural, human centered mind always starts with what is seen and looks to discover the unseen.  It starts from what is on earth and then looks to heaven.  It looks at the here and now and sees a future.  It is a cause and effect way of looking at life.  But the correct, scriptural, God centered answer always starts with the hidden God and it gives all questions over to Him.  Notice I did not say the unknown God.  While God may be hidden he is very much known, and we know Him through His Word, and His Word tells us these three things of particular interest:

1.  Through faith we know that God is blessing us through Christ Jesus even if we can’t see how: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” [Jn. 14:2]  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. [Jer. 29:11]  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. [Prov. 3:5]  “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. [Prov. 29:25]

2.  Through Christ’s suffering we have been shown God’s love for us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” [Jn. 3:16]  “And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” [Matt. 8:20]  “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [Matt. 20:28]  “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” [Luke 9:22]

3.  Through our own suffering we move closer to God and begin to see his love for us clearer: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” [Jn. 16:33] “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” [Re. 2:10] ” For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  [2 Cor. 12:10]

Friends, the correct scriptural answer to our “whys” must always starts at the cross; it always trusts in God’s love for us because of Christ’s suffering and death for us at the cross.  The cross tests everything!  And the way of the cross is love, not power; suffering, not achievement; humility, not glory; shame, not honor; foolishness and not wisdom.  Nothing is “worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed.” [Rom. 8:18]  For we know, that “we are God’s children now; it does not appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see his as he is.” [1 Jn. 3:2]  The best we can hope for in the here in now is the presence and comfort of Jesus, our dear Savior, who suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried for us!  He reveals to us the Father and His love, not great wealth and health, prosperous times and happy days.  No friends, the glory that we seek in the here in now is the faith that trusts in God’s glory, which will be made known to us in the future when we will see him “as he is.”  This glory will not be revealed through cause and effect but it will be revealed when the hidden God becomes the visible God.  But until that day, God is revealing Himself to us in the here and now through His living Word and Sacraments, and yes, even within our own suffering and weakness, because His cross assures us that we are fully understood and loved. 

Where is God in our suffering?  He is right at our side leading and guiding us through our darkest times so that we might testify to our neighbors, along with St. Paul, that even then in that darkest hour, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” [Rom. 8:26]  And because of this truth, we know that we have a Savior who says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” [Heb. 13:5]

In Jesus name…AMEN!

Pastor Brian