Most people, and especially children, would never think of reading the Bible when bored or sad. We go for entertainment, recreation or food. Katy, if you can see boredom or sadness as a signal to read the Bible, you are wise beyond your years.
One of the best ways to sense God's presence is to look for him in providential circumstances. We should live life the way we read a good mystery novel, looking for clues. We know that God is always at work. Our challenge lies in tuning our spiritual senses to what he is doing in any situation.
"I sense God's presence when I feel cared about and loved," says Alan, 10. "But during the bad times, it's hard. The only way I can do it is to put a Bible in my hand. It is great to have God's light in dark places."
In a great trial, it's easy to start a pity party. We think our problems are unique and no one understands.
Think again, says the Apostle Paul: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).
When temptation comes, God will provide an escape; however, you have to take it. If you're a diabetic with an addiction to chocolate, your escape might be to avoid going into the candy store at the mall. Saturate your mind with Bible promises and examples of how heroes and heroines of the faith have faced great temptations and overcome.
After experiencing combat, a young Winston Churchill said, "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result." Coming through a great trial successfully can greatly boost your confidence in God, as you sense his presence under fire. Everyone wants to live in that place of triumph where we proclaim boldly, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).
"I remember one time, I was hurting very badly inside," recalls Cecile, 10. "My grandfather had just died. I thought I couldn't go on. I thought of this verse: 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me'" (Philippians 4:13).
"After remembering that verse, I sensed God's presence. After that, I was able to have God's presence without thinking of my grandfather's death."
Who could be afraid of death when the great Shepherd is walking by your side as promised in Psalm 23:4?
Ashley, 10, also lost her grandfather, but says: "I definitely sensed God then. I was sad that I would not see him again, but I was happy he was in heaven." Ashley can receive even more comfort from knowing she'll be reunited with her grandfather in the next life, where death will no longer intrude.
Think about this: We can't control the nature or the timing of our trials, but we can control what we do before a crisis hits.
Memorize this truth: I Corinthians 10:13, quoted above.
Ask this question: If we don't nurture a sense of God's presence during the good times, do you think we'll experience his presence during the bad?
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAREY KINSOLVING