Joy in God’s presence

Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths are beyond tracing out. “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has even given to God that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.

What makes Paul burst out into praise like this?

He has just finished explaining God’s plan to save both Israel and Gentiles – a wonderful plan that embraces both sides of humanity.

A glimpse of God’s design evokes something deep within us. It can be a insight of the mind into the wonderful nature of God’s plan of salvation. It could be the experience of a breath-taking sunrise that shows the beauty of God’s creation. It could be a moment of stillness where God’s small voice speaks to our heart.

When we encounter God in some fashion, our spirits leap. We want to praise, and laugh and yell and stamp our feet for joy.

This is what we were made for — to meet God, and take delight in his designs. We were made for more than filling in paperwork and earning a living. We were made to be in God’s presence, to experience Him and take delight in his works. That is what heaven will be.

But that deep, continued experience of God is not yet our norm. In this life, that deep experience of God is (for most of us) momentary. The lack of His presence in this life is the itch that we cannot scratch, the gap we cannot fill, the ache we cannot soothe. It makes us aware that as we are now is not as we are meant to be.

But when we do encounter God in this life, that itch/gap/ache is gone and for a moment, we are complete as God intended, and we overflow with praise and joy — “Oh the unsearchable depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God”

This is a taste now of what will eventually be ours forever. “To him be glory forever. Amen”

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One thought on “Joy in God’s presence

  1. Thank you Phillip. It’s great when “God shows up”, nothing could be better. But to be aware of His presence I must look beyond my feelings/emotions. In the Bible God says that He will never leave me, nor will He ever forsake me Hebrews 13:5b. This scripture is held close to my heart because often I don’t “feel” His presence but I can still know that He is with me. Mother Teresa wrote in her letters that for many years she never felt Jesus with her, it was the cry of her heart to have a sense of Him – but nothing. She did however keep doing her work for Him. Jesus from the cross cried out,” My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”. So He too knew what it was like to have no sense of His Fathers presence. But He was still obedient to His Fathers will. May we not be discouraged when for a season we don’t sense the presence of our Father but may we know, deep within our hearts that He is closer than we might know. May we be able to praise Him regardless of what we feel. Because of His great love for us. May we learn to praise Him even if we don’t “feel” like praising Him.

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