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When God Feels Far....



Some days, my faith feels so strong. I'm rocking the 5:20 am Bible study, praying often throughout the day, and feeling included at church. Things are going well in life, and so is my relationship with the Lord.


Other days, my faith doesn't feel so strong. It's hard to get up in the morning, I feel too distracted to pray, and I'm struggling to love others. Everything seems overwhelming, including my relationship with the Lord.


My emotions are a rollercoaster, and some days, so is my relationship with the Lord.


And on those days, when my faith doesn't seem so strong, and God feels oh-so far, I tend to try to hurry through my Bible study and brush the struggle under the surface. Most people don't talk about the days that God feels far, so I don't want to think too much about it or I don't want to admit that it's hard. But I'm learning that it's okay, to feel whatever I'm feeling, as long as I don't stay in it. It's okay to feel whatever I'm feeling, as long as I use it to glorify God. It's important that I sit in the uncomfortable place of feeling far from God and learn how to work through that.


Friend, if you feel far from God, I want to tell you that it's okay! You are not the only one who feels this way. I know it's hard, I know you feel alone, but trust me, God has not left you. He hasn't abandoned you. He isn't ignoring you. He's not silently watching from Heaven as you struggle through the everyday.


I promise that He is right here with you. He loves you and cares about you. He's not uninvolved in your life; in fact, He wants to be apart of everything you do. He's watching you, yes, but He's carefully planning out the details of your life. He has never left you, and He never will.


Even though God feels far, He's not. I want to say this as gently as possible, but the truth is, your feelings are too fleeting, too inconsistent, to define or determine where the God of the universe is or what He's doing. Our minds are too finite and small to understand God's plan or why we have to endure such pain to get to a so-called "happy ending". We struggle to wholeheartedly believe that God is present in the pain and rollercoaster of emotions. We often take our feelings as truth, but friend, our feelings are not the truth. Jesus is the truth, and He promises that He will be with us, always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20).


It's okay that you feel far from God - we're humans, and our faith won't be perfect. But please, don't stop trusting that He loves you and is with you. Please don't stop believing that He is a personal, relational God that is active in every part of your life. Please don't let your feelings dictate what you believe about the God who has proven His faithfulness to you time and time again.


We have to wrestle with this feeling that God is far. We can't ignore it, but we also can't let it run our relationship with Jesus. We have to seek Jesus, harder and more passionately than ever before, and surrender all of these thoughts, feelings, and struggles to Him. Christ is the only one who can help us overcome this belief or feeling that God is far and bring us to a place where we understand that He is with us all along. No matter how we feel, we must be committed to pursuing the Lord and continuing to lay our lives down at His feet, so that He may work in and through us.


If you're struggling to feel close to God, here's what I would encourage you to do:

  • Pause. Simply be still, turn off the music and the distractions and make space to truly talk to Jesus and hear from Him. Remember, prayer is a two-way street, so don't forget to listen too.

  • Fill your mind with the truth (like worship music, written Bible verses around the house, etc).

  • Talk to your Christian community about it! You don't have to go through this alone - they can pray with you and encourage you as well.


You might not immediately "feel" better, but trust me, as you seek the Lord in the midst of however you feel, He is working in you. As you commit and surrender to Jesus, you will also begin to see His work in your life, despite your feelings.

 

No matter how you feel - Jesus loves you, and He's never left you. I know it's easy to become discouraged and give up, but don't lose hope. He has a beautiful plan for you, and He's so intricately a part of your life. Keep seeking Him, and trust that He is faithful.


How do you handle feeling far from God? Are there any Bible verses that encourage you when you feel that way? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

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