“I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold." Job 23:8-10 (NLT)
God has promised repeatedly, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5 GNT).
Yet God has not promised that you will always feel his presence. In fact, God acknowledges that sometimes he hides his face (see Isaiah 45:15).
There are times when he appears to be missing-in-action in your life.
This is a normal part of the testing and maturing of your friendship with God. Every Christian goes through it at least once. It is painful and confusing, but it is absolutely vital for the development of your faith.
This knowledge gave Job hope when he could not feel God’s presence in his life. He said, “I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold” (Job 23:8-10 NLT).
When God seems distant, you may feel that he is angry with you or is disciplining you for some sin. In fact, sin does disconnect you from intimate fellowship with God. You grieve God’s Spirit and diminish your fellowship with him by disobedience, conflict with others, busyness, friendship with the world, and other sins (see Psalm 51; Ephesians 4:29-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Jeremiah 2:32; 1 Corinthians 8:12; James 4:4).
But often this feeling of abandonment or separation from God has nothing to do with sin. It is a test of faith, one all believers must face: Will you continue to love, trust, obey, and worship God, even when you have no sense of his presence or visible evidence of his work in your life?
The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God. They look for a feeling, and if that feeling happens, they conclude that they have worshiped.
But God often removes feelings so you won’t depend on them. Instead, he wants to draw you into a deeper relationship with him.
Talk It Over
PARENTS and Child Care Volunteers: Please plan to join us for a brief meeting after service on January 23rd. We will meet at the front of the sanctuary.
Men's Lunch: Men meet for a time of food and fellowship every 1st Tuesday of the month at noon at Flat Tire Diner (4700 Old Hickory Blvd, Old Hickory).
GYM: Our gym will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:00am for anyone who wants to walk.
YOUTH BUNCH TO LUNCH will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday. Teens will meet after worship for lunch and fellowship.
Special Guest: Join us on February 13th as Rondy Smith, director of Rest Stop Ministries, shares with us about this amazing organization!
WORKERS ARE NEEDED! Please let us know if you can help in the following areas...
CHURCH CENTER: You are invited to join us on the Church Center app! Church Center is a place to connect with small groups and church events, send messages to your group, update your profile, and more! Download from the App Store and connect today. If you have trouble with setting up or updating your profile (make sure your contact information is correct!), see Jenn Houchin.
Food Pantry: The Old Hickory Nazarene location is open on Wednesday from 5:00-7:00 PM. Volunteers and non-perishable donations are needed.
Coffee Shop: Uncommon Grounds is open every Monday-Saturday from 7:00 AM-2:00 PM. Invite a friend and use this great outreach to introduce the church to your friends.
Debbie Woodard leads the Young Adult class in person and via ZOOM for anyone who would like to join. They meet Sunday mornings at 9am in the classroom next to the office.
Meeting ID: 868 1977 8952
Kenneth Ray & Gracie Smith lead the Friendship Class in person and via ZOOM for anyone who would like to join. They meet Sunday mornings at 9am in the classroom down the hall and to the right of the office.
Meeting ID: 846 6822 8046
Brice Rupert leads the teens class (grades 6-12), Kelsey Quillen leads the kids class (grades k-5), both in person at 9:00am. We have kids classes for all ages.
SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP begins at 10:00am in the sanctuary. The services will continue to be live streamed on Facebook and our website home page for those unable to be with us in the church building.
OH|KIDS CHURCH for K-5th grade meets in the kids room downstairs during the worship hour at 10:00am.
Coffee & Community Bible Study every other Tuesday at 9:30am in the Coffee Shop. Next meeting is on February 1st.
YOUTH GROUP meets from 6-8pm. The first hour will be games and snacks and the second will be the Bible study.
Wednesday Night Bible Study with Debbie Woodard is on Facebook Live (from Debbie's page) at 6:30pm. Note that there will be no Bible Study January 26.
Richard leads prayer and devotional on Thursdays at 7:00 PM via ZOOM for anyone who would like to join. You are invited to join the Thursday Night Prayer Group on the Church Center App. You can quickly submit a praise or prayer request and be in prayer for others as requests come in.
Meeting ID: 894 2501 3143