Sometimes I wonder if God has abandoned me.
There. I said it.
That isn't a thought that brings a smile to my face. It isn't the feel good part of my spiritual walk. It definitely isn't something I like to admit. But I am willing to admit that sometimes I don't feel God's presence because I know some of you are feeling the same way.
"Last year I was really close to God, but now it's like I don't hear from Him at all anymore. I just don't know how to get back to that close relationship with Him."
"I just can't seem to stop sinning. I keep asking God to come and be the center of my life again, but I'm afraid He just can't hear me anymore or He has become completely cut off from me. Maybe He gave up and I am on my own no matter how much I want to start over again with Him."
"I get disappointed when God doesn't answer my prayers or when He doesn't answer them the way I think He should. I know God can do big things, but I just don't understand why He won't do the big things I ask for."
I hear comments like this all the time. Some of you share my secret fear that I'm the first girl in history that God has ever broken up with. Others feel like they must be doing something wrong because their prayer life is as stale as last month's bread. Others hint that God must be mad at them or too busy or that He's gone deaf.
I've been a Christian for 15 years now. I've had more than my share of spiritual dry spells. If your relationship with Jesus feels like a desert these days, I want you to know there's nothing wrong with you. Many of us have been there.
But I won't give you permission to stay in that desert. Every time we feel like God is far away we have a choice to either believe His truth or continue to suffer under the shadow of lies.
Let me be more specific.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, more anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:37–39).
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unserachable things you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3).
That sort of settles it, doesn't it? God's truth is:
- He will never leave us or forsake us.
- He is always with us.
- Nothing can separate us from His love.
- He answers our prayers.
The bottom line is that our feelings deceive us. God has promised to be Immanuel (God with us). His Word teaches us that He cannot lie (Titus 1:2), and He does not change (Hebrews 13:8). When we feel like God has abandoned us or turned a deaf ear toward our prayers or that we can never be close to Him again, our feelings have deceived us.
When these feelings come, we don't have to just ignore them. We shouldn't feel ashamed to express them out of fear that it makes us look less spiritual or "with it" than the Christians around us. But we should take action to live out God's truth.
Doesn't knowing He is always there give you the motivation to run toward Him? Doesn't knowing He will answer you make you want to seek Him in prayer? Doesn't the truth that you cannot be separated from His love give you the freedom to stop wondering if He's mad at you?
If you are feeling far from God right now, I urge you to purse Him. He's spent eternity doing all that is necessary to have a relationship with you. Reciprocate. Spend time with Him in prayer. Get to know Him in His Word. Don't wait until your feelings prove what He has already promised. Choose His truth, and find rest and peace in the fact that He isn't going anywhere.
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