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You, Lord, know every one of my deepest desires, and my noisy groans are no secret to you.Psalm 38:9(CEV)

The low fuel light comes on as he’s driving to work and his heart sinks. No money for gas, no options available. He has to get to work but doesn’t know how he’ll get home. Borrowing gas money again didn’t seem like an option he wanted to visit. God, why…

She turns out the light and lays her head on the pillow. She did it again. She promised herself she’d stay faithful, stay pure. More importantly, she promised God. What if she gets pregnant? What if he finds out? What if? O God, please…

The pop-up on the internet entices him. Three hours later he realizes he’s wasted an entire afternoon. How can he do this to his wife? How can he do this to his God? Who can he tell? Everyone looks to him as some spiritual leader, if only they knew, but God knows. Jesus, I’m so sorry…

It’s 2 AM. The silent breathing in the next room turns to a muffled cry. “I so wish I hadn’t had him…” She catches herself…again. How can she feel this way. She wanted a baby, no THEY wanted a baby. But now, after the accident she’s alone to tend to the house, the finances, everything. The guilt she bears towards her child overwhelms here. ‘If only.’ “God how can I…”

During those deepest, darkest times of your life he hears the groans of your heart; the groans no one else knows about. The feelings you would never be able to tell anyone.

Those regrets? He hears them.

The guilt and shame? He sees the scars.

The fear and worry? Knows about that too.

No matter who you are. No matter where you are in life. Whether you are a successful businessman, a highly esteemed ministry, a best selling author or a homeless person looking for the next fix. You have those feelings, those inner groanings of the soul that you bear alone. They can attack at night, in broad daylight, during times of celebration and times of grief. Sometimes your human soul can’t even find the words to express the emotion you feel.

It’s during those times that your Heavenly Father longs to come by your side.  God understands the language of half words. He knows the feelings interrupted with sighs, and interprets them as the breaths of a broken heart. Not only does he hear your broken thoughts, he has promised to never judge, never condemn, never get his ‘shocked look.’

Don’t allow the guilt, the worry, or the weakness of your soul deceive you into thinking God doesn’t care. He cares deeply and knows your thoughts before you think them.

PRAYER: Father, I praise you for the promise you have made to stay by my side. I’ve pushed you away at times. I’ve rebelled and stumbled in my weakness. I have feelings, doubts and fears I can’t express to my closest friends. I thank you that you hear me and love me. Amen.

But the wicked are filled with terror, because God is with those who do what is right. Psalm 14:5 (NCV)

The reality of God’s existence is a refuge for some and a source of fear for others.

To those who believe in the God of the universe, the God of Jacob and Genesis, the God who sent Jesus Christ to earth to be the savior of all mankind, he is the foundation of our faith.

For those who believe in other gods, Jehovah God brings fear, frustration and anger. Albert Barnes writes in ‘Barnes notes on the Bible’, “People cannot, by an effort of will, get rid of the evidence that there is a God. In the face of all their attempts to convince themselves of this, the demonstration of his existence will press upon them, and will often fill their minds with terror.”

Jesus himself warns us that we would be hated by the world because the world hates him, and if the world hates Jesus it hates the Father God of the universe. What was the first emotion felt by Adam and Eve after they sinned? When God came looking for them to take his normal evening walk in the garden with his friends they were hiding. Why? “We hid because we were naked and afraid.”

Unhealthy fear of God is expressed in many ways. Some go to any effort at all to disprove his existence.

Others show fear though anger at God. He didn’t do what I wanted. He didn’t meet my wants. Therefore he must not exist and if he does exist, he isn’t interested in me or is angry with me.

Still others become frustrated in their walk with God. They live the way they want. They follow their own passions, their own desires and when the natural consequences of their decisions produce the expected outcome they are shocked. Where is God now? They ask. If he loves me why does this happen?

Referring back to the earlier quote from Barnes’ may help us to understand a little bit more about our enemy. Our ultimate enemy of course is Satan, but he works in the minds of his children (those who refuse to believe) to instill fear in a variety of ways in order to pull them farther from the God who desperately wants a love relationship with them.

What does this mean to us as Christ followers? Perhaps it is easier for us to realize that those attacks on us that seem to put us on the defensive are really the attacks of people who feel trapped. Cornered by the sub-conscious realization that God does exist, they have two options. Fight or give in.

Our responsibility as children of God isn’t to fight back, but to love and accept them into the kingdom. Show them the forgiveness available through grace. Realize their attacks are really an indication of the realization that we are right about our belief in a sovereign God and a gracious redeemer.

PRAYER: Father, I confess to you that I get angry when I see people around me mocking your name and living in ways that don’t please you. I get judgmental and critical of their ways. Help me to see what you see, a bunch of scared people seeking relief from their fears in the wrong way. Help me show them that you are the solution to the fear and frustration in their lives, not the cause of it. In the name of Jesus, my Lord I pray, Amen.

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August 2022
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