What happens when a Christian loses a sense of intimacy with God for an extended period? Bishop N. T. Wright suggests,
I have to say that being a Christian without having at least something of that intimate knowledge of God who is at the same time majestic, awesome, and holy sounds like a contradiction of terms.
I agree, but such oxymorons exist, and I are (sic) one of them. And I’m hardly alone. Scripture is replete with believers who became alienated from God. Some were restored in this life; many weren’t. The same holds true in the subsequent history of the church.
During times of crisis and suffering when we’re most likely to feel abandoned, Wright insists that believers can expect the Spirit’s special intervention:
But the point is that it is precisely when we are suffering that we can most confidently expect the Spirit to be with us. … as Paul says toward the end of his great Spirit-chapter, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Many would point to the book of Job as proving this overall assertion. God watched over his servant, preserved him through horrendous trials, and blessed him in the end.
What kind of encouragement can we draw from Job when undergoing trials of our own?
Less than you might think.
More in my next post.