Sunday, September 25, 2011

When you feel alone and God seems distant!

How often do you doubt that God is real and that he exists?  You loose faith especially in times of trouble and you feel all alone.  There are times when you feel that you have no one to turn to and that you are completely helpless.

When God seems distant, you may feel that he is angry with you or is disciplining you for some sin.  In fact, sin does disconnect us from intimate fellowship with God.  We grieve God's Spirit and quench our fellowship with him by disobedience, conflict with others, busyness, friendship with the world, and other sins.

But often this feeling of abandonment or estrangement from God has nothing to do with sin.  It is a test of faith - one we all must face:  Will you continue to love, trust, obey and worship God, even when you have no sense of his presence or visible evidence of his work in your life?

The most common mistake we make in our belief today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God.  We look for a feeling, and if it happens, we conclude that we have worshiped.  Wrong!  In fact, God often removes our feelings so we won't depend on them.  Seeking a feeling, even the feeling of closeness to God, is not worship.

When you start out with your journey with God he gives you a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self-centred prayers - so you'll know he exists.  But as you grow in faith, he will wean you of these dependencies.

God's omnipresence and the manifestation of his presence are two different things.  One is a fact;  the other is often a feeling.  God is always present, even when you are unaware of him and his presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion.

Yes, he wants you to sense his presence, but he's more concerned that you trust him than you feel him.  Faith, not feelings, pleases God.

Situations that will stretch your faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found.  This happened to Job.  On a single day he lost everything - his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned.  Most discouraging - for thirty seven chapters, God said nothing!

How do you praise God when you don't understand what's happening in your life and God is silent?  How do you stay connected in a crises without communication?  How do you keep your eyes on God when they're full of tears?  You do what Job did:

"Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:  "Naked I came from my mother's womb,  and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;  may the name of the Lord be praised".

Tell God exactly how you feel.  Pour out your heart to God unload every emotion that you're feeling.  Job did this when he said "I can't be quiet!  I am angry and bitter.  I have to speak!"  He cried out when God seemed distant:  "Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when god's intimate friendship blessed my house."  God can handle your doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion and questions.

Did you know that admitting your hopelessness to God can be a statement of faith?

Focus on who God is - his unchanging nature.  Regardless of circumstances and how you feel, hang on to God's unchanging character.  Remind yourself what you know to be eternally true about God:  he loves me, he is with me, he knows what I'm going through, he cares, and he has a good plan for my life.

Be assured God is always with you for He resides in you!  We cannot drift from the love and care of an ever-present God.  People who think He has forsaken them and who cry out for His presence are crying out in ignorance of the fact the He is always and everywhere present with them.  In truth, they cannot get out of His presence, even if they try.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit?  Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If  I ascend up into heaven thou are there:  if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou are there.  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;  even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

(Psalm 139: 7-10)

Speak to Him, thou for He hears;
And spirit with spirit may meet;
Closer is He than breathing,
And nearer than hands and feet.

Our Prayer!

"We thank you Father for living in us and for giving us your love, strength, guidance and joy.  We praise your name in all circumstances and we know dear Father that you are with us even if we do not always feel your presence with us.  We place our complete trust and faith in you and we know that no matter what problems we face in our lives,  you will guide us, help us,  protect us and love us at all times.  You alone are worthy of our praise.  You alone are our God, our Beloved and our All.  Amen!"

© 2011 Debra Heylen All Rights Reserved.
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