In continuing with our series on ‘Questions’, today we looked at the question, ‘Where Is God?’ This is a question that has deep resonance through the ages, and in this present bewildering time, many feel confused about God’s presence in the midst of our suffering and pain.
The simple answer to the question lies in God’s omnipresence: He is everywhere. But in exploring this question, we have to look at both God’s transcendence and His immanence, truths which Scripture hold in perfect tension. God’s transcendence means that God is exalted, above, beyond us. He is ‘other’, not the same as us. He is far greater than us. The Bible often talks in terms of God being ‘exalted’ or ‘lifted up’ (see Ex 15:1,21; Ps 46:10; Ps 57:5, 11; Ps 92:8; Ps 97:9) This is not so much a geographical location for God as the reminder that He is Lord. Two key verses are Ps 115:2-3 (‘Why do the nations say, “Where is their God? 3 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.’ ) and Deut 4:39 (‘the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below.’)
God’s transcendence can lead us to feel that He is so far above us that He does not care about us and is indifferent to our suffering. Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s immanence means He is near us (Phil 4:5); He has promised always to be with us. (Matt 28:20; Heb 13:5) God is closer than a brother (Prov 18:24); He is ‘God with us – Immanuel’ (Matt 1:23). We have the assurance of God’s word that when we gather in His name, He is there with us. (Matt 18:20)
The truths of God’s transcendence and immanence mean that we have a powerful and mighty God who is always with us, tenderly caring for us and sustaining us at all times. Whether we feel His presence or not is ultimately irrelevant. What is true is that the answer to the question ‘Where is God?’ is that He is ‘here’ with us and His presence makes all the difference.