“So Where Is Your God?”
15 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. 2 Why should the Gentiles say, “So where is their God?”3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.
Where is God? That is a question that has been asked throughout the ages. Anytime there is a great tragedy people will ask...Where is God? Where is God in times of famine? Where is God in times of war? Where is God in when earthquakes and Tsunamis kill hundreds of thousands of people? Every summer there seems to be fire everywhere, homes are being evacuated, “So where is your God?” People ask... Where was God when millions Jews were killed during the Holocaust? Where was God when 20 children were killed at Sandy Hook elementary school? Where was God during the Paris terror attacks? Where was God on 9/11? I find it strange that often those who claim to not believe in God are the first to blame Him when tragedy strikes.
As we consider our selected text David asks the Lord a question. He says "why should the heathen say, where is their God?". Apparently, Israel had endured some difficult times. Now their enemies were taunting them for their hope in God.
If you profess to be a follower of Christ and you find yourself in troublesome times, it is almost a guarantee that you will encounter someone... perhaps a friend, co-worker and YES, even a family member will ask the question "So Where is your God?” Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus cannot comprehend the peace that we possess even in times of great difficulty.
Whenever I am speaking with people in regards to what they are going through…the challenges that they are facing. I ask them the same question, “So Where Is your God?” Where is God in all of this? Sadly, the answer I commonly get is, “I don’t know?” These are the ones who carry the name of Christian. Its different when I am speaking to an unbeliever or one of a different faith, its an open opportunity to tell them the Truth about Jesus. But coming from a Christian… “I don’t know where God is?”
Maybe there is someone here today who does not know the Savior. Maybe you can't grasp the hope that others have when they are enduring great trials. By the help of the Holy Spirit lets let Him guide us through scripture where our hope comes from. Lets take a quick journey through the Bible and answer the question "So Where Is Your God"?
Lets begin with a very familiar story, I have preached on this story before simply because it’s a good reminder of where we can find the Lord in our times of trouble…
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
“Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Does this sound familiar, have you asked the Lord these same words before? “do You not care that we are perishing?” Of course God cares, in this story God put them in that storm, so that they will believe in the Son that was with them in that boat! Look at the response that Jesus made… “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Now…what was their response… “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” That’s your God!!! He was with you all along!
Those men learned a lesson that we need to learn today. Jesus is with us during the storm. When He sees fit, Jesus has the power to calm the storm. Maybe you are in the midst of a great storm today. Perhaps the doctor has given you some bad news. Maybe you have a marriage that seems to be headed for divorce. Things at work aren't going well. Even worse, some of you don't even have job at the moment. Maybe you are dealing with a rebellious child. There are bills that you can't pay. Your life is filled with uncertainty. So…Jesus is telling you the same thing today, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Has Jesus, not been with you all this time, that you have forgotten where He is?
With all that is wrong in life, we must have the proper perspective. We need to remember that no matter what this world throws our way that we are a child of God. Know that you belong to Jesus. And though the winds are blowing and the waves are crashing in, you are focused on the Lord. Know that your hope and trust is in Him. You know that there is a reason for the storm. You know that you have a refuge in the storm. Jesus was in the eye of the storm, when the disciples were in fear, and panic!
Moving on we will see that God is in the mountain top. Another familiar story…
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So, he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
In Genesis 22 God tested Abraham's faith. The Lord told Abraham to go to a specific mountain. When he arrived, he was to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord. Obviously, this was not an easy task. But Abraham's faith was strong, and he obeyed. When he arrived, he set things in order and pulled out the knife to sacrifice his precious son. Then the Angel of the Lord called out to him and said - v12… “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
Don't you know that Abraham was glad that The Lord was on the top of the mountain. In order for this to take place Abraham had to be obedient and go to the top of that mountain in the first place. God was already there waiting for him! Did God not plan that event from happening? YES, HE DID!
Maybe God is testing your faith as we speak. Maybe God is asking you the same question he asked His disciples… “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Did not God give Abraham a command to go that mountain? Yes, He did! God planned the whole thing. Abraham just obeyed! God gave him a command and he obeyed. Until this day, throughout scripture, Abraham is a man of great faith, simply because he obeyed.
Whatever the specific task, God is calling some of you to step out of your comfort zone. He is testing your faith. He is telling you what to do and encouraging you to trust Him to make a way. When you take that step of obedience there will be some people who will think that you are crazy! They will tell you that you, that you can't do it. They will tell you that you shouldn't do it. They will tell you that it is not worth the risk. You just remember that He (God) Who called you will supply you with what you need. God supplied for Abraham. And God will do the same for you!
Just keep looking up, stop looking down…you have stared down far too long. Remember where your help comes from….
I will lift up my eyes to the hills- From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
As we continue our journey to “So Where Is Your God”, let's look to Daniel Chapter 3 and consider that, God is in the heart of the fire, another familiar story.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. 27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
King Nebuchadnezzar erected an idol of gold and commanded all of the people to bow down and worship it. There were 3 Hebrew men who were devoted to the Lord and refused to bow. They were given the opportunity to compromise but they would not. So, the King commanded that the furnace be heated 7 times hotter than ever before. He then commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be bound and cast into the fire. After this, Nebuchadnezzar looked in the furnace and was amazed at what he saw. The Lord was with them. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came out of the fire unharmed, because the Lord was with them!
More and more we are seeing Christians persecuted here in America. We still have it pretty good compared to some places in the world, but things are rapidly getting worse. Society is spiraling out of control. They call what is wrong right and what is right wrong. We are finding ourselves in more situations where we have to take stands that are unpopular.
If we live by the Bible and are obedient to God's Word, we are going to have to say no to the things of this world. When we do this… we will be called insensitive and politically incorrect. As a result, we may face difficulty and oppression. When this happens there will be some who ask " So Where is Your God?" If and when this takes place we can tell them, "He's In The Heart Of The Fire!"
Let us continue, in Psalm 23 we can see that, God is in the deepest valleys…
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
David speaks of the fact that the Lord is our Shepherd... and we are His sheep. A shepherd often has to lead his sheep through some frightening and dangerous places. David realized that even when traveling through the valley of the shadow of death he had no reason to fear. He trusted the Shepherd to lead him and protect him.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. This Good Shepherd loves His sheep enough that He gave His life for them. Though we face dark times and difficult circumstances He is in control. Because of this we can pass through the valleys of this life with assurance and peace!
Perhaps the most difficult valley that we will walk through in this life is losing a loved one. Yes, we are Christians and we "do not sorrow as those with no hope". But it is hard to say goodbye to those that we love. We still hurt, we still mourn and grieve over the loss.
As Christians we are not immune to death. You can go to Children's hospital or St. Jude's and find Christian parents who are kneeling and praying by the bedside of their child who is dying from an illness. You can go to the local hospital and find a Christian wife who is holding the hand of her husband who only has hours left to live. You can go to the local nursing home and find a Christian husband who refused to leave the side of his bride of 50 years because he knows that soon she will take her last breath.
You can step inside the home of a Christian woman who has spent years caring for her ailing mother and you can see the sorrow in her eyes as each day she realizes that soon she will have to say goodbye. The world looks at us as we cling to the hope we have in Jesus to get us through these valleys and they may be quick to say " So Where Is Your God?" When they do, we can tell them "He Is In The Deepest Of Valley's!”
“So Where Is Our God?” He’s In The Eye Of The Strom, He’s On The Top Of The Mountain, He’s In The Heart Of The Fire, He Is In The Deepest Of Valleys.
God is all powerful and he can do great and mighty things. Sometimes He moves in grand, visible, & outward ways. But often His greatest works are done in the secret places of the heart. God reaches us with that still small voice. Maybe you are enduring difficult circumstances today. You are discouraged and facing great uncertainty. In these times, if you will begin to study the Word of God ...He will speak to you in that still small voice. He can reach you with a whisper! Open your Bibles and hear God speak. You’ll be surprised of what He will say to you.
Maybe in your time of trouble you look to the Word and it is there that God whispers to you the truth of…
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Maybe there are times when you feel alone and you hear Jesus whisper…
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Maybe you need to be comforted and you hear Jesus whisper…
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
The world may see your struggles, but they don't hear Gods voice. And because of this they will ask you "SO WHERE IS YOUR GOD?" When they do you just tell them... "He Is In Here” (In your heart, Living inside you)
In this life there are times when we feel all alone. When we face troubles we may encounter those who question the benefit of our faith. They don't believe in God and they can't comprehend the peace, joy & hope that we possess in Him. There may be times when they look at you and ask " So Where Is Your God?" In these times just keep looking to Him and remember that He is everywhere you go!
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Pastor Richard Santos
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