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Dec 11, 2019 1770 Antony Kalapurackal
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God is Real

Tempest-tossed

I stared into the darkness surrounding me. Tears were rolling down my face. I lay prostrate in the living room of my apartment, broken before God. Nothing seemed right to me. Did I make a mistake? Did I irresponsibly gamble with the future of my family?

It had been almost two years since I migrated to Australia with my wife and children, leaving all other family members and a secure job behind. It was a leap of faith. I had a strong conviction that the LORD wanted us to take this step.

I believed the LORD would lead the way and provide us with the means to settle down soon. After all, it was His decision. However, everything seemed to be going wrong. I had not even found a decent job yet. In addition to the financial struggles, I also faced health and personal issues.

I felt my hope slipping away. Would there ever be an end to our adversities?

Then, a most devastating thought crossed my mind: “Does God really exist? Is this all stupid?”

At that moment, a most illogical prayer rose from the depths of my heart.

“God, please exist!”

How to Sail Through Difficult Times?

Trials and tribulations are inevitable in Christian life. Many situations arise that challenge our faith and hope—even saints go through this phase in their lives. A book of letters written by Mother Teresa of Calcutta reveals that she was deeply tormented about her faith and suffered periods of doubt about God. What makes a true Christian different is his purposeful choice to obey, even when nothing seems right for him. This choice is the most challenging yet the most rewarding one.

C.S. Lewis, one of the most notable Christian writers, explains this beautifully in his classic novel, “The Screwtape letters.” In this, the senior demon, Screwtape, advises Wormwood, a younger and less-experienced demon as follows:

“Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring but still intending to do our Enemy’s (Jesus) will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished and asks why He has been forsaken and still obeys.”

This is easier said than done. Choosing to trust God is indeed challenging when you are going through difficult times. God understands how we feel. When He came to live among us, He shared our human feelings and demonstrated how to respond when all seems hopeless. On the cross, Jesus cried out in despair, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mathew 27:46b). Then, He chose to commend His spirit into the hands of God the Father (Luke 23:46).

Open Your Heart

Fervent prayer helps us survive difficult times. There is immeasurable power in a truthful and intimate prayer. However, intense, truthful prayer is possible only if you have freedom to express yourself. That is why I am grateful that Christianity uniquely encourages us to approach God with the freedom of a son.

The book of Job demonstrates God’s response to this honesty. Job never tried to use gracious words to address God during his tough time. Instead, he opened his heart to God and even questioned Him. God did not get angry with Job but, rather, He was furious with Job’s friends, who played the role of God’s advocates and blamed Job for not giving God due respect. They failed to understand the depth and intimacy of Job’s relationship with God.

There was an end to Job’s suffering but his life was no longer the same after his conversation with God. In the same way, God will listen to your anguished pleas. He will attend to your needs and transform your life if you are open to His presence. Often, the way God answers our prayers surprises us and comes at a time we do not expect. Sometimes, we do not realize how our prayer has been answered until much later. For God has promised that He will never abandon us and that He will answer every prayer.

Time to Turn Back

Let us return to the prayer I prayed during my tough time. Did God answer my prayer?

Yes, He did.

He came into existence!!

He came into existence not as a being (He has been there all the time and He is the reason for all being) but into existence in my life. He came to be with me and I felt His presence in my trouble and pain.

“And He made my mourning into dancing and sorrows into Joy” (Psalms 30:11).

Yes, there are trials and tribulations in Christian life, but our victory is achieved when we unite them to Christ.

So, dear reader, if you are going through a tough time, hold on. You are almost there.

“For there is still a vision for the appointed time;

it speaks of the end and does not lie.

If it seems to tarry, wait for it;

it will surely come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).

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Antony Kalapurackal

Antony Kalapurackal serves in the Editorial Council of Shalom Tidings. Antony lives in Brisbane with his wife Vinita and children Abiel, Ashish, and Lucina.

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