A friend who knows my passion for baking bread gave me a year long devotional titled Fresh Bread: And Other Gifts of Spiritual Nourishmentby Joyce Rupp. Within days of beginning to read it, the question, “What does the God’s presence in our life mean to us?” challenged me. As I contemplate the answer, four things come to mind.
If the universe is a cosmic accident and we are one of its byproducts, then we are simply accidents with no purpose. As a result, life has no significant meaning.
If, however, God intentionally created the universe and we are products of God’s intentionality, then we were created for something. We exist on purpose and for a purpose. Therefore, life has very significant meaning.
Similarly, our intentional creation means we also have value. Our value increases astronomically when we add to this God Himself, as Jesus, chose to leave heaven. He came to earth, lived as a human being, and ultimately died so that we can be reconciled with Him. For that reason, all who place their faith in Jesus will enjoy His presence for all eternity.
Certainly, no one ever willingly sacrifices his/her life for someone or something of little value. As a result we can have confidence in knowing Jesus chose to pay the penalty of sin by giving His life because He valued all of humanity more than we can conceive.
We Are Loved
God in our lives is a sign that we are loved. And that love is beyond our comprehension. Furthermore, we are loved, not on the condition of what we do, but unconditionally because of who we are. And that means that no matter how many poor decisions we make, what bad things happen to us, or the catalyst we may be for bad things happening to others, we are still loved.
Contrary to what some may think, God’s love does not remove the consequences of our poor decisions and sinful choices. But it means we don’t fall into an endless pit of condemnation. Rather, we fall onto the soft bed of love.
As Moses faced the end of his life, he gathered all of Israel together and encouraged them to continue in all the Lord had for them. Moses told them, “[The Lord] will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deut. 31.6)
David states the same thing in different words:
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
God’s presence means we are never alone. In our darkest hour, our greatest disappointment, our deepest suffering, our most hopeless moment, God is still with us. He walks with us and knows the extent of our profound sorrow, pain, and suffering.
Above all, God’s presence means we are never without hope, even when circumstances seem utterly hopeless. With God there is always hope, always expectation of a better tomorrow for you, for me, for every lost soul.