Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t make his existence more obvious? Why doesn’t he make it easier for everyone to know he exists? To ask it another way, why does God seem so hidden? That is a great question. Here are a couple of my thoughts.
So why would God not make his existence more obvious? After all, that would end the debate, right? And God could certainly do that! Like it has been said before, God could make his existence undeniable by spelling out in the night stars “I am God, and I exist”, or he could stamp every atom in the universe “Made by God”. So, why hasn’t he?
I don’t pretend to know the mind of God or anything, but maybe we are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Maybe God is not so much interested in you believing that he exists. Perhaps God is not interested in our intellectual ascent that he exists. Maybe he is more interested in a relationship. You see, there is a big difference in believing that God exists, and believing in him, trusting in him, and having a relationship with him.
Satan believes that God exists. But he is not interested in believing in him, having a relationship with him, or loving him. In Mark Ch. 1, the demon asks Jesus, “What have you to do with us Jesus? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God”. The demons know exactly who God is. They know for certain that he exists. But what good does that do them? They don’t want to have a relationship with him. So the simple knowledge that God exists is not going to make everyone suddenly fall on their knees and worship God! Some people have been running from God their entire lives!
Some people argue that God’s existence should be more evident, and then they would believe. If they could just see God perform a miracle, then they would believe! Really? The Israelites didn’t! They watched God perform miracle after miracle in freeing them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, they knew for certain that he existed, and what did they do? They rebelled at the first opportunity, the first trial, the first obstacle they faced.
So even if God made his existence undeniable, it doesn’t necessarily mean people would want to have a relationship with him! Again, the Israelites didn’t! Satan didn’t! Many of the Angels didn’t! And rather than believing Jesus when he performed miracle after miracle, did everyone believe in him? No! Not only did they not want a relationship with him, they wanted to kill him!
So you see, there is a big difference in believing that God exists, and believing in God, having a relationship with him, trusting in him. I don’t think God is interested in having us believe that he exists. I believe he is interested in having a relationship with us. And I believe he has orchestrated things, set things up in a way, so that he doesn’t violate our free will to choose, but in a way that will ultimately lead to the maximum number of people being saved.
Maybe we have built up our own expectations of what God should do. Or maybe, if we were God, here is what we would do. Well, you’re not God. And fortunately for all of you, I’m not either. But we shouldn’t impose our expectations upon God, and then question his existence when he doesn’t meet those expectations. We should trust in him, trust that he knows the best way to bring the maximum number of people to a belief in him.
Some people argue that there is no evidence for God, and so the reason he seems so distant and hidden is because he doesn’t exist. But is that true? Is there really no evidence for God’s existence? Sure there is. There is the creation of the universe, the indescribable fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of life, the resurrection, the experiences in our life that defy explanation, scripture, prophecy, etc.
I agree with the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, who basically said that God has given enough evidence for those who seek him with all their heart to believe, but not so much as to compel those who do not seek him. There is enough light for those who desire to see, and enough obscurity to those who have a contrary disposition. God is not going to make his existence so overwhelmingly obvious as to compel us, and by doing so, violate our free will. That is not the way God works, because that is not the way love works. Love can’t be coerced. It must be freely given.
So if you struggle during times of testing and the trials of life that we all go through, and you are wondering where God is in the midst of them, why he seems so distant, just know you are not alone. We all experience those feelings. We all have those questions. Yes, even us Christians! We all wonder sometimes, God, where are you?
And virtually all of the great men of the Bible had their own doubts and struggles, even though they knew God existed, and had a relationship with him. David wrote in the Psalm 10:1 “Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” That was David, a man after God’s own heart!
Ravi Zacharias once wrote that “Perhaps the reason God seems so far away, is because that is where we have put him”. And for many people, he was exactly right.
So I encourage you to reach out to God, make a sincere, consistent, heartfelt effort to draw closer to him. Because the good news is the bible teaches us in James 4:8 that if we will draw near to God, he will draw near to us.