What to Do When You Feel That God Is Far Away

Last Sunday, I watched on YouTube a convicting message by David Jeremiah about gratitude versus thankfulness. I’d like to write about much of what I learned in a post closer to Thanksgiving, but for today, I wanted to share one of the lessons that most stirred my heart.

(In the mean time, if you’d like to watch Dr. Jeremiah’s message in full, click here.)

I’ve often heard others say that God feels far away. Their prayers seem to go nowhere and mean nothing.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? – Psalm 22:1

I’ve occasionally had those sorts of feelings myself, though I know that my fickle emotions are no indicator of God’s presence, or of his ability to answer my prayers. Of course, if I’m harboring sin in my heart, that’s a different matter.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. – Isaiah 59:2

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. – I Peter 3:12

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Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

But if, as the hymn says, there’s “nothing between my soul and the Savior,” I trust that he will hear and answer my prayers in a way that will be best for me.

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. – Psalm 145:18

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? – Luke 11:13

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. – John 14:14

Yet, in spite of my faith in God’s promises, I do yearn to sense – not just believe in – his presence, and I understand those that long for that sensation as well.

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Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Addressing that point, Dr. Jeremiah shared the wisdom of author and speaker Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. She focused on the following verse:

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. – Psalm 22:3

To dwell in the presence of God, she says, meditate upon and apply that verse. Praise and thank God, and you’ll get closer to his “address,” in the praises of his people – in your words of praise to God.


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10 thoughts on “What to Do When You Feel That God Is Far Away”

  1. We just had a similar sermon on how when God seems far away it just may be that we cannot see what he is doing. God is doing a thousand things in our lives and we only see a little. Then he talked about playing hide and seek with his young son. He said he would duck down on the ground and cover his head. His son would come up and push and pull at him. Because his son didn’t feel he had found Dad until he had seen his face. And sometimes that is what God is inviting us to. When he seems far away maybe he is just encouraging us to keep searching for him until we see his face. For that is what will benefit us the most.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When I feel out of touch with God, or that He’s too far away (same sort of thing, I suppose), I’ve come to identify that situation as an indicator that I need to get away. I’ll figure out a time and place in which I can step away from regular commitments and focus solely on why I feel out of touch, and strengthening my bond with God. Those “time-outs” have been a tremendous help! — Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a wonderful idea! The distractions of everyday life certainly do take their toll on my relationship with God at times – that’s why I must have my time with him in the morning, before all of those flood into my thoughts.

      Like

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