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!

 

12 Replies to “When God Seems Far Away”

  1. Hi iam not a Christian but I’ve understood that Jesus is the only God in my childhood itself.Iam 18 and got caught into the devils LUST.It haunts me everywhere I go.I call the Lord for help.But at times I feel far from Jesus.I request the helper to help me overcome this devious lust so that I too can become the son of Jesus Christ…Thank you..help me

    1. Hello friend,

      I’m guessing you were raised in a Christian family and you are truly blessed to have a family who loves God. However, let me also say that salvation is individual and becoming a child of God is a personal decision that each of us have to make. What I’m saying is that, no one can force you to accept God’s gift of salvation and no one else can do it for you.

      But acknowledging the fact that you’re lost is a good start because unless a person admits he is lost, he will never acknowledge that he needs saving. If you are really sincere in your desire to get right with God, you must acknowledge you’ve sinned, repent and ask for God’s forgiveness. Ask Jesus to save you and receive Him in your heart as your Lord and Savior.

      Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

      If you want to read more about salvation and Christianity, you can check out this link:
      https://biblical-christianity.com/what-is-salvation-in-christianity

  2. Boy you are right on when you say that sometimes it feels like God is far away from us, not hearing or seeing us.

    I find it easier to work out than I do to spend time reading the word or praying to be honest, but I’m glad there is hope and that I’m not alone.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Hi Jacob,

      Like you, many Christians feel distant from God because they neglect their quiet time. My pastor told us once that “communication is relation.” The more time you spend with someone, the closer you become and your relationship will continue to grow. It’s the same thing with our relationship with God. The more time we spend with God in prayer and worship, the stronger our relationship is. Let us get God involved in our daily activities and we will never be disconnected from Him.

      God bless!

  3. Thank you, Alice, for the post something we need a lot more of in today’s world. I gave my heart to the Lord 10 years ago but I knew almost instantly there was a change in my life. I am a Sunday school teacher for about 2 years now. What I have learned is that everything is in Gods time, not ours. What we pray for today may not come to pass until years down the road. As our grandparents prayed for years ago may just now be answered.

    1. Hello Fred,

      Getting to know a fellow believer in the Lord and about their life always brings joy and gladness to my heart. I’m sure your Sunday school students are so blessed to have you as their teacher.

      One very important point that you have brought up is the fact that when one truly surrenders his/her life to God, change is inevitable. And that only Jesus can truly change a person from the inside out. As we allow God to work in our life, we will be transformed from glory to glory.

      You’re right, everything happens in God’s time and He answers our prayers according to His timetable. And sometimes when we do not receive the answers to our prayers within the time frame that we wanted, we feel like God is silent and is so distant. But rest assured that God hears us and is always looking out for us.

      Blessings to you Fred, your family and ministry.

  4. I love your post. Thank you a lot. My thoughts exactly the same. And I am not the only one who think this way. I know that God promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. And God didn’t promise us that we won’t have any difficulties in our lives. But still, why can’t God make us all happy?

    1. Hi Larisa,

      Thank you for stopping by to read my article. You’re one of the reasons I am inspired and encouraged to keep writing and sharing through this platform.

      You’re exactly right, God never promised us and easy journey in life, we will face challenges and difficulties but only because God wants to mold and shape us to be conformed more and more to the image of His Son. I believe that true happiness is only found in the Lord and if there are times that we feel unhappy with the way things are, we just have to look up, get in the Word and start counting our blessings. 

      Yes, God allows us to go through some hard times but He also promised that His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

      May God bless you!

  5. I like your post. I am a Christian too and true, sometimes I feel that God is so remote and far from reach. That God seems deaf to our pleas or simply HE does not want to give. Sometimes I wonder if HE is listening at all. Sometimes my faith weakens and I begin to doubt if there is a God at all or if it’s only a belief that was forced upon us by our parents, by our families, by the church. 

    When this happens, I take a break from my faith and just stop thinking about these thoughts. After a while, I’d feel better again. In your post you said that when we doubt GOD, we should seek Him. Sometimes this is not easy to achieve.

    1. I believe every Christian has come to a point in her/his life where he/she felt that God was so distant. Imagine calling someone on their phone and you got an answer that says, “Sorry, the subscriber cannot be reached.” Or, “Sorry, the number you’re calling is out of coverage area.” How frustrating can that be, especially when you really want to talk to that person because you miss him so much or you have something very important to tell.

      God has promised us that we can call to Him at anytime, anywhere and He will answer us (Jeremiah 33:3). But how can we be sure He’s listening when we can’t hear Him answering us nor feel His presence and embrace? I totally understand that when this happens, we begin to doubt if God really exists. So what do we do? We have to hold on to the word of God. We need to trust that God will keep His word to always be with us regardless of how we feel.

      Seeking God when doubt starts creeping in is something every believer needs to exercise. Of course, it’s not really easy, is it? How? By delving into His Word, singing praise and worship songs to Him and talking to Him in prayer. And by the way, let us also examine ourselves for any hidden or unconfessed sins and immediately confess them to God. If we are convicted to fast, then by all means we should.

      God may just be trying to tell or teach us something that’s why He seems to be far away and out of reach at times. God bless you Rebecca and thanks for stopping by.

  6. I enjoyed your post. I think as Christians, we can all relate to feeling that God is not near to us at times. But we do know from The Word of God, that He will never leave us or forsake us. We get great comfort in that scripture. We have an enemy that wants to lie to us and tell us God isn’t near, but that just isn’t the truth.

    1. Hello Lisa,

      I’m glad you enjoyed my article.

      I’ve heard from other Christians how at times they really feel disconnected from God. One of my former pastors fasted for 4 days just to hear God speak to him audibly again.

      Whenever the enemy tries to deceive us into thinking that God has forsaken us, we need to hold on to God’s word that He will never leave us nor forsake us, regardless of what we’re feeling.

      Thank your for your comment, God bless!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *