“Daddy, if God loves us, why is He hard to see?” I asked my dad this when I was young. I don’t remember Dad’s answer but, knowing him, he gave me a thorough, accurate, and theologically correct answer. But, sometimes, we don’t need an expansive answer articulated to us. Instead, we need something we can grab on and cling to for dear life.
Of course, the answer we receive must be theologically sound doctrine; that’s a given. But the words used, and their presentation can be vital when tossed as a life preserver to a brother or sister that feels their strength waning and satan’s imps pulling on our feet. To understand God’s Words, we must first hear them interpreted by the Holy Spirit.
By faith, not by sight
Why does God appear to be hiding? Oh, when I look at His creation, I see the handiwork of God. His work testifies to His existence. And when I see a newborn baby, and I’ve seen a lot of them, I am humbled by God’s gift of life. And when I sit at the bedside of a saint of God passing from this life of trials and turmoil and entering the presence of God, I see the unspeakable grace of God to His children. So, for years I was baffled by God’s propensity to remain in in the periphery of my sight.
Why, oh God, maker of heaven and earth, the establisher of kings and kingdoms, the Great I AM, why do You make it so difficult for us to see you?
God’s answer is simple. Jesus told His apostle Thomas the reason. Jesus said to Thomas, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) God gives a special blessing to all of us that believed Christ’s Gospel without seeing God.
It’s a matter of trust
Back in the 1980s, Billy Joel released the hit song, “A Matter of Trust.” It’s a snappy song, and one I enjoy. Still, it’s about trust between two people, so it’s flawed. From Genesis all the way to the end of the book of Revelation, three things that God continually offers to people: repentance, saving faith, and the promise to never be abandoned. Yet most people reject God and become hard hearted. Salvation is a matter of trust in the perfect work of Jesus. This is rejected by most, but God’s desire is that all would come to repentance:
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9
So, why is God hard to see? God can’t be seen. Our entrance into His kingdom is only available by grace, through faith, which is a work of God. “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:14) It is out of God’s love that He has made faith the device for us to not only see Him, but to be received by Him.
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