Tag: When God seems distant

When God Seems Far Away

When God Seems Far Away

As a Christian, it is inevitable that you will most likely have seasons of your life when you feel far from God. There are times when you simply feel like Jesus is far away for no reason at all. You find it difficult to pray. Or you pray and cry out to God but it seems that God is deaf because He doesn’t answer. You’ve lost motivation to get into His Word or you read your Bible but it does not speak to you. You seek God but it seems as if He has hidden His face from you.

If you have experienced either of these situations, let me assure you that it is completely normal. I don’t know a single Christian who hasn’t felt this way in one way or another. There will be times in the life of every Christian, when even though you are walking by faith and there is no known sin in your life, God seems far away.

You’re Not Alone

David, the man whom God called “a man after My own heart,” had that experience which he expressed in Psalm 13:1-2. There is no indication in these verses that David sinned and yet out of the depths of his heart he repeats four times the haunting cry, “How long?” While David’s enemy was about to get him, God seemed unavailable (Psalm 13:3-4). It seemed as if God had forgotten David.

Jesus understood more than David did how it meant to be forsaken by God. Jesus’ last three hours on the cross as He was bearing upon Himself the sins of the world, was characterized by silence and darkness and God’s seeming deafness to the pleas and cries of His Son (Matthew 27:45-46). Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 as an expression of the worst horror of human misery; namely, the feeling of being forsaken by God.

When God Seems Far Away

Often times we overlook the fact of Jesus’ humanity. On the cross, Jesus expressed the ultimate cry of desolation and despair which is enough for us to know that He understands how painful and heart breaking this experience can be. The cry of desperation is our response to how our circumstances look to us – God seems so far away and has forsaken us.

Has this ever happened to you? You desperately called out to God for help, but He seemed to be on an extended vacation. What are you supposed to do?

Call to the Lord and Trust in His Unfailing Love

Psalm 13:5-6 tells you what to do when God seems far away. David stopped crying out in anguish. Instead, he praises the Lord and finally rests in the joy of knowing that God will answer him. When God seemed far away, David learned to call to Him and trust in His unfailing love.

Did the Father forsake His Son and remained distant? No! Perhaps God looked away from the sin Jesus carried when He was dying on the cross but did not actually abandon Him. Jesus was innocent and had done nothing to forfeit the favor of God.

When God Seems Far AwayIn times when it seems God has turned His back, we must learn to trust the fact that He loves us with an unfailing love. Let us have confidence in God’s promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), even though it may seem that way for a while. There will be times when we have to wait for God’s answer to our petition and we are uncertain how long it would take. But the problem is that we are often in a hurry when God isn’t but His timing is always perfect.

Seek God especially when He seems Far Away

It’s very unfortunate that many Christians do not grow to maturity because when God seems far away from them, they do not call out to Him. Instead, they just shrug their shoulders and go right back into the world. Let us learn from David who called to God despite feeling being forsaken by Him. We must seek God especially when He seems far away.

When God Seems Far AwayDid you know that the real test of your faith is not when God’s presence is real and when you see God at work in your life? The real test of your faith is when God seems far away and you are left wondering why. Do you seek God when you come to the point where you can no longer feel God’s presence near you? Or do you look somewhere else for a quick fix?

Seek the Lord and You will Find Him

God gives us a divine promise that when we seek God with all our heart, we will find Him (Jer. 29:13; Deuteronomy 4:29). Jesus also promised not to cast out anyone who comes to Him (John 6:37). So even though God seems distant, just keep seeking Him. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

Oh and by the way, while you’re seeking God, you might feel as if you’re doing all the seeking but the truth is, God Himself has seeded within you the hunger for Him. Your longings for God are proof that He is actively working in your life. It might seem like this is due to the influence of friends and circumstances, but in reality God is just using them as means.

Keep an Awareness of God and the Enemy at All Times

When God seems far away
Photo Credits: The Beacon

When I gave my life to Christ, I gained the most wonderful and most powerful Friend in the whole wide world. However, I also gained a fearsome foe – Satan and his demons. Yes, Satan is nothing compared to God as he’s not as smart and not as powerful; he is nevertheless, a superhumanly powerful, evil genius. He uses the power of deception to fool new believers into doubting God’s power and reality in their lives by trying to manipulate their feelings.

As a new Christian, I felt nothing at first. Although I enjoyed the music during praise and worship and loved the messages/sermons delivered by the speakers, I did not really feel like I was in contact with God. I looked around me and saw people crying, singing, worshiping in tongues and enjoying God’s presence. And I thought, Why am I not feeling it? What is wrong with me?”

I only realized later on that it will take some time for a new Christian to receive more and more evidence and awareness of God’s presence. Like the growth of a tree, much of God’s work is not immediately obvious. It takes time to realize that God is right here with us and is actually working in us and through us. Well, the enemy will do anything in his power to deceive us but other than the power of deception, he can do nothing else.

As I continued to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus, I began to feel His nearness and constant presence in my life. I learned that communication is key to keeping God close at hand. Spending more time with God will keep us conscious of His love and His presence with us all the time.

Feelings Vs. Reality

We may feel different when we go from a valley to a mountaintop experience, but little or nothing in us has actually changed. All that happens when we’re on a peak is that we can see further with our own eyes. Being highly conscious of God’s love will keep us aware of His constant presence in our lives. One important thing we need to realize is that feelings and spiritual reality often do not coincide.

When God Seems Far AwayIn times when we can’t see God’s love and goodness and we feel nothing, we need to learn that although the weather changes, people change or feelings change, God remains solid rock, totally true and dependable forever. God wants us to learn to trust Him rather than trusting our emotions. God has promised to love us, be with us, forgive us and hear our prayers, but not once has He promised we will “feel” anything. So stand on the promises of God and not on what He has not promised.

Despite what we feel during periods of spiritual loneliness, God’s faithful presence with us is an unchanging and eternal reality. We are never alone because Jesus promised that He will be with us always even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20). This doesn’t mean we will never feel like God is far away because throughout Scriptures we see experiences of spiritual loneliness.

Conclusion

In times of difficulty, men reason, If there is a loving Father God, why does He seem far away?” “Why does He allow bad things to happen?” 

The story of the disciples on the boat at sea gives us a picture of the natural reaction of humans when we feel like God isn’t there (Matthew 8:23-27). The disciples are on a boat, and a storm suddenly appears. What did they do? They immediately panicked because Jesus was asleep. They woke Him up and Jesus rebuked them as if He was saying, “Guys, did you think I wasn’t present just because I was asleep? I was still there with you and I was fully aware of the storm.”

God will never leave your side, even when you feel like He’s so far away. He wants to assure you that He is with you, He has always been and He always will be. He will never leave your side – whether you feel that way or not. What a comfort that no matter how we are feeling, good or bad, God is above it all.


Recommended Resource:

When Heaven Seems Silent: How to Wait on God’s Promises Through Pain, Disappointment, and Doubt – eBook
By Mark and Tammy Endres

We know God’s plans and timing are perfect—but what do we do in the meantime? Why does God make us wait, knowing it can be so difficult? Why doesn’t He act when time seems to be running out? Why does He answer some prayers in a moment and yet fulfill other promises after having us wait days, years, or even decades before the promise comes to pass?

Mark and Tammy Endres have asked these questions and more. Though Mark was born with only one functioning hand, God has told them—again and again—that His plan is for complete healing. In When Heaven Seems Silent they share the lessons they have learned as they wait—lessons that have forever changed their perspective of God and how He works in the lives of His children. Through their inspiring story you will discover how to:

·          Hear God’s voice
·          Overcome disappointment
·          Wait without anger or offense
·          Face your emotions
·         Hold on to God’s promises, and much more!