Paul tells us we must subject ourselves to the ruling authorities (Rom. 13:1–7). Yet in submitting to human governments, let us never forget that their authority is not ultimate and that their power is not absolute. In fact, when rulers imagine that they can demand our ultimate allegiance or otherwise rage successfully against the Lord, He sits in heaven and laughs (Ps. 2). Our first duty is always to obey God, even if it means we must violate the demands of men.
When we look back over our lives, we often find that the Lord was conspicuously present during those times when we thought He was absent. During the times when we suffer from doubts about God’s love for us, we should not focus on whether or not we “feel” His presence. The Lord may choose to hide Himself for a time, but He never leaves us. Those with persevering faith trust that God is present and directing their lives even if He seems to be a million miles away.