Believers in Christ are usually familiar with the teaching that God is always with us. It is among the most beautiful promises in the Bible.
Oddly, this is one of the hardest things for me to believe in the Bible. My emotions and logic often tell me otherwise. In times of depression or discouragement, it feels as though God’s presence has left, that you’re actually alone. Or that it is illogical for God to forgive yet again after the umptillionth time you’ve sinned or that He can possibly be with everyone at once.
I can think of many reasons why God should not be with me. I am really a rather bad person compared to him (a huge understatement). He is holy, I am not. I am a sinner, He is not. I am the creature, He is the Creator. He is infintely big, I am infinitesimaly small. He is everything that is good, and often I think and act everything that is evil. Why would God even be concerned about this insignificant little life, much less manifest His spiritual presence? God with us? Doesn’t make any sense to believe anything of the kind. No wonder many people are Deists or live as though God is there or doesn’t see.
But here is the question: who dictates what God does? What our speculative opinions say about God, or what God says about God? Consider what God inspired to be written in the Scriptures about Himself:
“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” (Hebrews 13.5b)
Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. . . and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.18a, 20b).
God lead David to write, “You hem me in— behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Pslam 139.5-10 NIV).
God says in Paul’s letters as well,
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? “(1 Corinthians 3.16)
“So we, who are many, are one body in Christ” (Romans 12.5a)
“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you have died to this life, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3.2-3 NLT).
Lastly, Romans 8.33b-39 “God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or perseuction, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword? . . . But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This is what God says about Himself. It surprises me that any Being can have that kind of unconditional, deep love and faithfulness. It sounds too good to be true! But God has always been much bigger than our expectations. When we glimpse the revealed reality, the truth about God’s presence, oh how it overcomes these other emotions and reasons why He isn’t there, replacing them with the emotion of unhindered joy and mind of total conviction! It must be true – God is with us and indeed loves us – always, all the time, at every moment of every day, no matter what happens.