(This “Application“ column goes with the Bible lesson for May 24, 2020: “I Catch No Glimpse of Him!“)
By David Faust
Certain things are rare, but you can find them if you know where to look. If you want to see polar bears, you can find them in countries that ring the Arctic Circle. Looking for penguins? Go to Antarctica. Redwood trees? They grow in California. Koalas? Go to Australia.
Travel to the right location and you can find rare works of art. Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, and his Last Supper is on display at a convent in Milan, Italy. The famous portrait Whistler’s Mother was painted in England by an American-born artist and sold to a French museum, but to see it you must travel to Abu Dhabi where it’s on display.
Rare treasures are difficult but not impossible to locate. But where can you go to find God? That’s the question Job asked. In the midst of his suffering, Job wondered about God’s whereabouts and exclaimed, “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments” (Job 23:3, 4).
Have you ever wondered where you can find God? I have. In stressful times, piercing questions flood my mind.
Can I find God in nature? Yes. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:20).
Can I find him in history? Yes. Down through the centuries, men and women of faith have borne compelling witness to the reality of God’s presence and power.
Can I find him in Scripture? Yes. If I open my spiritual ears and eyes, I can hear his voice and see his revealed truth in the written Word. “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Can I find him in other people? Yes. Individuals who love well—whose lives overflow with genuine grace and truth—display God’s character and make his presence known.
Can I find him in my mind and conscience? Yes. It’s reasonable to consider God the First Cause—the Uncaused Cause—the architect of a universe far too orderly and complex to have happened by chance. The apostle Paul said the requirements of God’s law are written in our hearts (Romans 2:15). C. S. Lewis observed in Mere Christianity, “When you argue against Him, you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all. It is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
But will all of the rational arguments for God comfort me when my life falls apart? For many of us, including Job, the issue isn’t finding God in nature, history, logic, or even Scripture. The question is, Can I find him in my suffering?
Here is the bottom line. I can find him in Jesus Christ, the God-Man who endured grief beyond measure so that all my sorrows will one day be removed. I can find God in the Suffering Servant—the “man of suffering, and familiar with pain” whose punishment brings me peace (Isaiah 53:3, 5). My piercing questions find answers in the One who was pierced for my transgressions—who sacrificed, served, and suffered in order to find me.
Personal Challenge: Imagine you’re having a conversation with a non-Christian friend and the topic turns to how you can possibly know God. In your journal or a sheet of paper, write out how you would respond.