Is God Still On The Throne?
Each day on earth is closer to our last, but each day in heaven will never be closer to our last.
The words just tumbled out of my mouth. It was one of those occasions when you say something that just a nanosecond ago had jumped into your mind, and before you can apply a filter it’s already out of your mouth.
“Is God still on the throne?” I asked.
A friend of mine was sharing his heart about a very difficult situation in his life. It had been a lengthy struggle. It seemed like there was no way out; he felt hopeless. He was asking for input.
I am pretty sure my response surprised him. I know it surprised me.
“Is God still on the throne?”
Given the seriousness of his trial, his distress over it and his willingness to trust me with his feelings, you could say my response was flippant, if not dismissing. I just poured out my heart and THAT’s all you have to say?!
I certainly didn’t mean it that way and, thankfully, it was not received that way.
As we both processed my words, it became clear that God was trying to teach my friend and me something very important: our trials and what we believe about them does not change who God is.
Our trials do not take God by surprise. He’s not sitting in heaven thinking, “Oh my, what ever shall I do?” and hoping that we won’t notice that he is flummoxed.
No, our God is infinite, able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. And, we often forget just how awesome and indescribable he truly is.
When we doubt that God is still on the throne, we focus on our problems instead of his greatness. When we doubt that God is on the throne, we focus on the chaos and hate that is so pervasive in our world.
The doubts begin to snowball:
- Will God really do all that he has said he will do?
- Am I willing to trust his plan, even when things look hopeless?
- Am I willing to let God determine the outcome of my situation…or do I need a certain result in order to feel safe, loved, satisfied, vindicated?
- Do I trust his timetable or does it need to be my timetable?
- Am I willing to ask him to change my outlook so that I can have peace, hope and joy in the midst of this?
- Maybe I’ve seen him move in other people’s lives…but, do I really believe he’ll come through for me?
I have struggled with these very questions, greatly and often. The Bible tells us,
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)
If we are to have faith in things that are not seen, we must give up our hope in what is seen.
A Question of Faith
So, it truly does become a question of faith: Are we willing to believe in God’s promises even though we do not yet see the evidence of those promises, or are we going to believe what our circumstances tell us?
I have found that when I turn to God’s Word and read what it says, my problems become temporal and smallish. I become focused less on hardship and more on hope, my eyes fixed not on earth but on eternity.
Each day here is closer to our last, but each day in heaven will never be closer to our last. Which life carries more importance, this one or the one to come?
These last paragraphs are declarations about who God is and his promises to us, taken right from Scripture. I encourage you to read them aloud. Speaking God’s promises back to him – we should do this confidently yet humbly – is a powerful way to build our faith and defeat the enemy’s attempts to discourage us.
Father God, you are eternal, the Ancient of Days. You are the one who opens the heavens like a curtain, who breathes stars and calls them by name, who holds the dust of the earth in a basket, who weighs the mountains on a scale and gathers the waters of the sea into jars.
You are the one who said, “Light be.”
You made me in your image, knew me even before you formed me in my mother’s womb. You call me by name, call me your friend and smile over me. You jealously love me, wanting me to desire you above all else.
You have promised to care for me, to meet my needs and to never leave me. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without your consent, and you have said that I am much more valuable to you than a sparrow.
Your plan for me is a good plan. You are ever present, mighty to save, rejoicing over me with gladness and quieting me with your love. I do not need to fear, because you are with me. You take me by the hand. You comfort and protect me. You are the one who fights for me.
You are my healer. Your peace surpasses all understanding. You pour out your Spirit on me.
You are the one who is ready to forgive and who saves everyone who calls on his name. You have promised to blot out my sins and look on them no more, to cast them as far as the east is from the west.
You have told me to come boldly to the throne and that when I call to you, you will answer and will tell me great and hidden things that I have not known.
God, you have said that you do not change, and that it is impossible for you to lie. You will do what you say you will do. The grass will wither, but your Word will stand forever. It shall not return to you void, but shall accomplish all that you sent it to do.
God, you are love. You sent your son not to condemn the world but to save it. When Jesus left the earth, he went to heaven to prepare a place for me, a place where there are no tears or pain or sorrow, ever again.
Your Word promises that if I profess Jesus to be my Lord and allow him to perfect my faith, that one day I will stand before you in heaven and hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
God, I choose to believe in your promises, even though my situation may seem hopeless. God, you are and will forever be, on your throne.