Good evening MPBC and Friends: The next IMPACT Bible Study Lesson is titled: “The Far Away Seasons of Life.” Lesson #3.
We have decided to give our next few lessons an overall title, which includes our last two Thursday evening studies.
Our overall topic will be called “The Seasons Series”. We all go through, and we certainly can make it through, various “seasons” of life.
On the past two Thursdays we talked about how all of us will experience “grieving seasons”. “Everyone” will always have several of these in their lifetime!!! It’s guaranteed.
But, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning”. There is a “time to weep, and a time to laugh”. You just give the “Son” enough time, morning is coming!!!
On this evening, we want to begin talking about, what we will call the “Far-Away Seasons”. There will be times in your life, when God seems far-away. Times when it is hard to “feel” God’s presence. Times when you feel “all alone”.
Now, you shouldn’t feel like you’re the only one who has ever felt this way. Even Jesus felt this very same way!!!
1). Matthew 27:46b- “…..My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
MOTTO: “If you feel the same way, it’s okay”.
QUESTIONS: Has anyone ever felt spiritually “alone”, you felt kinda like God had disappeared? Have you ever had a problem, or perhaps several, and you didn’t feel like God, nor anyone else, was there/around to help?
Have you ever felt like asking God, “Have I messed-up so bad, that you don’t even want to be “my friend”?
Now, someone may be saying, “I didn’t know that God even wanted to be my friend”?
1). James 2:23- And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
2). II Chronicles 20:7- Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
3). Isaiah 41:8- But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
“Three” times in the Bible Abraham is called God’s friend. God wants to be your friend as well!! And Jesus, His Son, wants to be your friend.
4). John 15:15- Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
God has friends. The question is, are you one? Does God have any “friends” left?
Notice, it doesn’t say that “Abraham” called God “his” friend. No, just the opposite. “God” called Abraham “His” friend. Are you a friend of God? God wants to be your friend.
5). Proverbs 18:24- A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
This is the kind of relationship that God wants to have with you.
So, we want to explain “why” at times you may feel abandoned by God. We shall talk about: “What to Do When God Seems Far-Away”? For you definitely will, if you haven’t already, have this type of experience!
Our anchor (main) scripture, our guiding scripture, that we will focus on throughout this topic will be:
6). II Chronicles 32:31b (AMP)- “……God left him alone only to test him, in order to know everything that was in his heart.
MAIN POINT: God will “intentionally” allow you feel as if He has moved away from you. To allow you feel as if He has left you. You will come to a place, if you hadn’t already, where God seems far way.
So, we will focus on “three” things: God’s Promise. His Presence, and His Purpose.
- His Promise- This is God’s Omnipresence
a). Promise # 1- Hebrews 13:5b- “…..for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
b). Promise # 2- Matthew 28:20b- “…..and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
You may ask, “What if I mess up, and mess up really bad? Won’t He leave me then?
Let me tell you “Why” He will never leave you. It goes back to the question that Jesus asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus substituted His life for any bad mistakes that you may make. On the cross Jesus was allowing God to, “Punish Him, so that you do not have to be punished”.
God forsook Jesus, He left Jesus alone on the cross, so that He doesn’t have to ever forsake you because of anything bad that you might do.
- His Presence- This refers to our conscious presence.
Before we explain God’s Purpose, we must have a very good understanding of God’s Presence.
God doesn’t ever disappear!!! He’s too big to hide. But sometimes our eyes are simply too small to see Him.
At certain times, God has been known to play “hide-and-go-seek”. He hadn’t actually left, the only thing that has changed, is that He is now requiring that you try to find Him. He wants to see how much you really want/desire Him. This may be referred to as the “silence of God”.
1). Jeremiah 29:13- And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
2). Proverbs 8:17 (AMP)- “I love those who love me; And those who seek me early and diligently will find me.
FIRST FIVE STAR SENTENCE: When you can’t “feel” God; “find” God.
When God plays “hide-and-go-seek”, He removes your “awareness” that He’s there. That’s why you don’t “feel” Him.
When you don’t “feel” God, many times it’s intentional on God’s part. Why? So that you can tell whether or not you’re guided by “faith” or “feelings”.
SECOND FIVE STAR SENTENCE: When you don’t “feel” it; “faith” it.
He’s trying to get you to the point where, you will say, “If I don’t “feel” Him, my “faith” assures me that He is here. At this point, it is all about “faith” and not “feelings”.
- His Purpose
1). II Chronicles 32:31b- “…. God left him alone only to test him, in order to know everything that was in his heart.
Let us now talk about the “purposes” for which God allows you to not be able to feel His presence.
a). He want’s you to live by “faith” and not by “feelings”.
God will give you the opportunity to walk by “faith” and not by “feelings”. This is always hard to do.
b). He want’s you to trust His promises.
You will find yourself thinking, “This does not make “natural” sense”. That’s because it’s a “supernatural” opportunity. Anytime God withdraws His conscious awareness, it always gives satan an opportunity to tempt you.
c). There are four things that God will not force you to do. You must “choose” to do these things:
1). He will not force you to love Him.
2). He will not force you to obey Him.
3). He will not force you to trust Him. This involves what you “think/believe”.
4). He will not force you to have faith in Him. This involves what you actually “do”.