God's Presence

How I wish for the months that have passed
and the days when God watched over me.
God's lamp shined on my head,
and I walked through darkness by his light.
I wish for the days when I was strong,
when God's close friendship blessed my house.
The Almighty was still with me,
and my children were all around me.
Job 29:1-5

God's Presence
Max Lucado

Their question--What hope do we have of surviving a stormy night?

My question--Where is God when his world is stormy?

Doubtstorms: turbulent days when the enemy is too big, the task too great, the future too bleak, and the answers too few.

Every so often a storm will come, and I'll look up into the blackening sky and say, "God, a little light, please?"

The light came for the disciples. A figure came to them walking on the water. It wasn't what they expected. Perhaps they were looking for angels to descend on heaven to open. Maybe they were listening for a divine proclamation to still the storm. We don't know what they were looking for. but one thing is for sure, they weren't looking for Jesus to come walking on the water...and since Jesus cam in a way they didn't expect, they almost missed seeing the answer to their prayers.

And unless we look, and listen closely, we risk making the same mistake. God's light in our dark nights are as numerous as the stars, if only we'll look for them.

"When Jesus comes," the disciples in the boat may have thought, "he'll split the sky. The sea will calm. The clouds will disperse."

"When God comes," we doubters think, "all pain will flee. Life will be tranquil. No questions will remain."

And because we look for the bonfire, we miss the candle. Because we listen for the shout, we miss the whisper.

But it is the burnished candles that God comes, and through whispered promises he speaks:

"When you doubt, look around; I am closer than you think."

READ Matthew 14:25-33

* What are the tough questions we face when we are dealing with doubt?

* Describe a time when God has come to you or someone you know in a period of darkness?

* On what do we base our expectations of how God will help us?

* When Jesus walked on the water, why do you think Peter wanted to go to Jesus on the water rather than asking Jesus to come to him?

* How do you think faith enables miracles such as Peter standing on water?

* After having witnessed Jesus' power and miracles, why do you think the disciples were still amazed when he worked a miracle?

* What kinds of things make you doubt God?

* What are your expectations of how God will meet you in life?

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus; Max Lucado, General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers

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