“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 23:23-24
Comfort, challenge and awe are all found in our holy God! They are all good things!
Comfort. Our God is nearby no matter where we are, no matter what our circumstances, no matter what we are feeling, no matter how difficult, sad, frustrating or fear-bringing our lives may be at any moment in time. Our God is omnipresent for all of us. Our God is intimate with each of us as individuals. God’s Word declares His truth: I am nearby. I am with you always. Take a moment and be comforted. It is a good thing.
Challenge. Our God sees everything. Our God knows everything. Our God sees and knows each one of us – in every place, in every relationship, in our every thought, in our every word, in our every action – in every moment of our lives. God’s Word declares His truth: There is no secret place away from Me. You can never hide from Me. Take a moment and be challenged. It is a good thing.
Awe. God’s sovereign and holy presence fills all of creation – all that is seen and unseen. God’s sovereign and holy presence fills all that exists. God’s Word declares His truth: I am sovereign. I fill and rule over all things in all ways at all times. Take a moment and be filled with awe. It is a good thing.
As we allow God to lead our lives, to truly be our Savior and our Lord, God’s comfort, challenge and awe all become, more and more, very good things in our lives. Because our God is nearby, because our God sees and knows everything, because our God is the sovereign ruler of all that exists, we cannot hide any of our sins from Him. Because our God is nearby, because our God sees and knows everything, because our God is the sovereign ruler of all that exists, we cannot keep any bitterness or unforgiveness towards anyone hidden from our God. And that’s a good thing because both sin and unforgiveness destroy us – destroy our peace, our hope, our relationship with God and with other people in our lives.
As we acknowledge that our God truly is nearby, sees and knows everything, and is the sovereign ruler of all that exists, God’s Spirit calls us to humbly and sincerely confess our sins. And in that confession, we are given the full-measure of God’s loving forgiveness. Our Lord Jesus Christ has already conquered the power and pull of sin through His death on the cross and through His eternal resurrection! And that is a good thing!
As we acknowledge that our God truly is nearby, sees and knows everything, and is the sovereign ruler of all that exists, we are set free from every bondage that has kept us captive to our bitterness, unforgiveness, shame, pride and fear. Jesus Christ has come to set us free – free to live a life of love, mercy, compassion, courage, strength, peace and trust in Him! And that is a good thing!
May we all be comforted, challenged and filled with awe at these truths declared by our Lord! They are all very good things!