Then Job answered and said,…
There are many senses in which we may speak of "finding God"; and in one or other of these senses it may be we have all of us yet need to find Him.
1. Some there are who will confess at once that they are at times — not always, not often perhaps, but sometimes — troubled with speculative doubts about God's existence. So many thoughtful, earnest men around them seem to regard it as an open question whether the problems of nature may not be solved on some other hypothesis.
2. Others dislike controversy, and would rather not enter upon the question whether they have found God. These are Christians, and the first article of their creed is, "I believe in God."
3. Some are ready timidly to confess that again and again they have found their faith in God's presence fail them, when they have most needed it.
4. A happier group, by a well-ordered life of devotion, and daily attendance on the ordinances of the Church, are keeping themselves near to God. And yet even these may have a misgiving that they are growing too dependent on these outward helps for the sustaining of their faith. Job's words may well awaken an echo in all our hearts. "Oh that I knew where I might find Him!" There is comfort in the fact that holy men of old felt this same desire to find God in some deeper sense than they had yet attained to. If they felt it, we need not be unduly distressed if we feel it also. How then are we to seek to find God? Intellectually or otherwise? Not to mere intellect, but to a higher faculty, the moral and spiritual faculty. When we speak of knowing a thing intellectually, we mean that we know it by demonstration of sense or reason. When we speak of knowing a thing morally or spiritually, we mean that we either know it intuitively or take it on trust. We do not mean that the evidence in this latter case is less certain than in the former; it may be far more certain. Scepticism in religion is simply that failure of faith which is sure to result from an endeavour to grasp religious truths by a faculty that was never intended to grasp them. But how am I to know what is a Divine revelation, and what is not? He who is in direct correspondence with God, holding direct intercourse with God, will not need any further evidence of God's existence. If any here would find God, let him first go to the four Gospels, and try to see clearly there what Christ promises to do for him. Then let him take this promise on trust, as others have done, and act upon it. And if perseveres, he will sooner or later most surely find God.
(Canon J. P. Norris, B. D.)
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