When You Don’t Feel God

Most of the time I didn’t feel God was when I was struggling with habitual sin. It was heart-wrenchingly painful and I felt so far from God. I would do the same things, over and over and over again no matter how much it hurt. But, sometimes, we feel far from God even when we pursue him. Why?

“Emotions can enhance our relationship with God, but they should never determine it.”

A quote from a wise camp counselor. It’s true of any relationship. We should have emotion in our relationship with our wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends. But emotion comes, and emotion goes. Relationships that are tested by not “feeling like it”  are those that grow through adversity. Go ask someone who has been married for 25 years and they will tell you that love is not a “feeling”, it’s a choice. We may not be excited, but we choose to be interested.


Daniel prayed for twenty-one days and did not see God’s answer until the twenty-first day. On the first day, God sent an angel to help Daniel but the angel had been detained by a demon for three weeks. (Dan. 10:12-13). It was after all this that the angel came and strengthened Daniel so he could speak and not be unconscious any longer (Dan 10:15-19).

Sometimes we pray that God would reveal Himself to us, show Himself to us. And we miss out on the fact that God may answer our prayer with a “Yes”, “No” or “Wait”. Sometimes, He is sending help, it just hasn’t gotten there yet. He doesn’t give us what we want when we want it. But, if we seek Him above all else, He gives us what we need when we need it.

What Do We Already Have?

I remember praying for a “best friend”, someone who would listen to all I would spout and care about me more than anything else (except maybe their family). I prayed and prayed and prayed and I didn’t seem to get an answer. I had one friend that I had gotten really close to that was kind of a “best friend” for a time. He, along with some of my other closest friends left college. My sister also left for college. And that is when I realized my “best friend” was there all along. Sure, she wasn’t a bro friend who would do guy stuff with me, but my sister was (and probably still is) my best friend. Sometimes, we pray for God to reveal Himself to us, but we miss out on what He is already doing in our lives. One of my friends gave me a great question to combat this: “What has God been doing in your life?” Consider that question. You will see how He has worked through things that didn’t make sense, made beautiful what was ugly and took your broken pieces to make something more beautiful than before. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe you are still waiting on answer.

Our Responsibility, God’s Responsibility

Seek Him in His Word

Our responsibility toward God is first to pursue Him in His word (Ps. 19:7-11, Job 23:12, Ps. 119:1-15, Ps. 119:105, Ps.19:1-14)

Can we say with Job:

“I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12)

Is our desire for God’s word more than for the very food that we need to live?

Can we say with David:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Ps.19:14)

Do we long to have a right heart before God?

Can we plead along with David when we sin:

Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.” …..

…”Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” (Ps.51:2, Ps. 51:10-12)

These passage also reveal that we need to pray, to plead with God as the only one who can carry us through all the pains, problems, shame and difficulty of life.

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Ps. 61:1-2)

This leads to a peace that surpasses understanding. David was being chased by tens of thousands of soldiers trying to kill him (Ps.3:6). Yet, we find Him saying these words:

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.” (Ps. 3:3-6)

And in Psalm 4:8:

“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Action Items

To be continued…

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