Jan 25 2013
Email: Why Do I Feel Far Away from God?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Brant,

So I have been feeling really far away from God reasently. I've tried praying and reading my Bible but nothing is changing. Do you have any advise? 

Thanks,

Maddie

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Hey Maddie!

A couple thoughts about this:

I have felt like this before.  MANY times, and sometimes... for years.  

I've thought, "Maybe I'm sinning so much, and maybe that's the problem." And I had people even questioning whether I was really a Christian at all.  But I don’t think that was it.  I was honestly calling out to God for forgiveness, honestly calling out to him for some kind of sign, or reassurance that he was the there – all that.  

And you know what?  I'm a stronger believer now. 

Turns out, the "feelings" element of our relationship is a wonderful thing, but FAITH is not founded on that. If we're dependent on it, we begin to mistake feelings for reality.  We are called to actually TRUST God. 

You can hear the words "trust God" or "trust Jesus", and they start to lose their meaning after awhile.  But now, now that you have no warm, God-is-here feelings, you really DO have to trust him, and what he has promised you.  "I am with you, always," Jesus said.

Always.  He's with you, whether you feel it or not.

I even think, now, that the loss of that God-is-close feeling helped me understand him more, and my faith is more mature.  

Some of my "heroes", the people I admire for their faith, have gone through the same thing, sometimes for decades.

This is not a reason to despair.  It IS a reason to re-think what a relationship with God might look like.  Remember, God blesses us in many ways, not just feelings.  And – this is REALLY important – God wants us to want him for HIMSELF, not for the stuff he gives us.  

As a father, I "get" this.  I want my kids to love ME, their loving dad, and not just for the fact that I give them stuff like, say, food, a phone, college, or even warm, protected feelings.  I want them to love me not for what they get, but because they freely can love someone besides themselves.

And THAT, of course, is real love.  If they love ME, I'm thrilled. In our relationship with God, valuing his GIFTS higher than God, himself, is actually idolatry.  He's a jealous lover. And he's good. He knows the "stuff", even feelings, aren't, ultimately, what we need.  What we need is him.

So be honest with him, call out to him, even be open about your anger or frustration. But TRUST him, and know that he may be taking you to a place you haven't been before.

One last thing. Someone gave me a brief example on this:  If I'm in a large room with you, and I'm yelling our conversation, you can hear me just fine.  But if I whisper, just barely whisper, you can only hear me…

...if you come closer.

I think there's something to that.  And I think there's something maturing about just KNOWING God is good, being reminded by other believers that he is good, and serving people, even without the feelings. 

Okay, one REALLY last thing.  I mean it this time, since I have a meeting to go to:  Our feelings are just plain untrustworthy, anyway.  

They're dependent on so many things that have NOTHING to do with the subject of our feelings.  Like, am I sleeping enough?  Have I eaten well today? Am I hydrated? Have I had too much (or not enough!) coffee?  Am I exercising? What's happening to me, physically, right now? Am I tired? Have other things happened that have been really stressful, like a break-up, or a move, or a death in the family, or even something good, but big and stress-inducing, like a recent trip?  Many reasons to be suspicious of our feelings.

So many factors. Everything changes.  

He does not.

God bless you, Maddie!

Best,

Brant

Comments (38) -

1/25/2013 12:22:43 PM
Gary Lipsitz United States
Gary Lipsitz
Brant===I have a whole new appreciation of you after reading your views on being close to God and your experiences===quite encouraging, my brother. Gary Lipsitz PS: I will pay a little more attention to your posts from now on==ty
1/25/2013 12:47:19 PM
Shannon United States
Shannon
Thank you for addressing this so poignantly. This world is so motivated by feelings & emotions that we bring that focus into our relationship with God. I went down to the altar so many times over the years because I just wasn't SURE that I had been truly accepted by Christ. This wrong thinking was based on "feelings" and not truth. I would look around at all the strong emotional Christians around me with their hands raised & think to myself, "I guess I just didn't get what THEY got." I did get Christ, all of him, and he got me, all of me, and my "feelings" weren't the determining factor. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! God is good & he is always with us!!!
1/25/2013 1:38:59 PM
Sarah United States
Sarah
God lets us feel Abandon Sometimes, to test our Strength. We Just have to persevere and stay true to God.
1/25/2013 1:56:30 PM
mary rose United States
mary rose
Hey Mattie..I just wanted to let you know God is getting to take you to another level!! Every morning you set 5 minutes aside. Go somewhere quiet and you won't be disturbed, turn your phone off and just soak in His Love..let Him love you...as soon as those thoughts come into your mind rebuke them and just let Him cover you. Press into Him...He's got a plan Smile
1/25/2013 2:10:23 PM
Janelle Cox United States
Janelle Cox
Brant, I agree! It's amazing that you posted this today, as I just spoke to a youth group service about "Feeling Far From God" last Wednesday.  I explained that we will all go through various times of feeling far from God-- not feeling the closeness or passion or sometimes not even feeling the love, like we used to.  One reason, could be that God is giving us some time to mature.  Perhaps He is allowing us to go through affliction so that we can try out our faith in Him.  Sometimes we may not feel Him where we are, because He is leading us to a new place-- like when he led the Hebrews out of Egypt as a cloud of smoke and pillar of fire.  He had to move away for them to follow.  They had to walk through the wilderness to come to the land of Promise.  Like a baby that is learning to walk, God will hold our hands for awhile, but eventually he'll have to step back and let us make our steps towards Him.  When we do this, we gain strength, balance, and growth.  Like making a sword, a weaker metal is blended with a stronger metal through the process of fire and then being suddenly cooled in cold water, then heated again, then cooled again, until it can withstand the rigors of battle.  We go through times of fire for refining, and times of cooling off for strengtheing.  
""Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10
"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.  So when your faith remains strong thru many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."     1 Peter 1:7
There are times, however, that it may be us who are not in the proper state to feel the closeness with God.  We are like sponges.  Sometimes we find ourselves full of the little bits of the world-- tv shows, people, places, that bombard us with impure images, violence, hatred, bitterness, un-belief, idol worship, lying, gossip, fornication... We don't think that these things affect us bc we don't "participate" in these things, but they do because they are in our mind.  The human mind works like a serious of highways and roads.  The more a thought or image is allowed to take a course in our mind, the wider the "road" or path, and the easier it is to go down that same path again and again.  In fact, this very premise is what the advertising industry is based on.  
Sometimes it may not even be things like that. Maybe it's worry about money or relationships that consumes us. Maybe it's schedules, business, our own agenda that we are focused with.  And suddenly we are so full, like a sponge full of water, that when we try to a moment to connect with God, there is absolutely no room to soak anything else up.  We need to squeeze out the world, so we can soak up God.   We are like seeds, sometime, that spring up full of joy when watered by they Word and Worship, but then we allow the thorns of the world to choke it out of us, until we feel weathered and all dried up-- distant from God.  
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5
Either way, when we feel distant, whether He is allowing us to build faith and gain strenth and maturity, or whether it's because we have allowed a million tiny pieces of the world to get in the way, we should continue to read the Bible, pray, and earnestly seek God, despite that lack of feeling Him.  He is there. You will feel Him again.
1/25/2013 3:43:43 PM
Karen United States
Karen
Hi Maddie,
I have also been where you are. Doing so many things in church being very involved, like that saying goes, "so close yet so far away." Like many have said, its not through feelings in which we can say God is close or far, However, i came to realize that it is only through really knowing God will i be able to really understand and know God. But how can i really know God if i cant see him? its through his word! and there i realized was my problem, i didn't really know his word, Gods heart, throughout the entire Bible, God's heart is there, we just have to really understand the scriptures for what they really are, and not what we want or think they are. I would like to keep more in contact w/ you so that we could encourage one another if you would like? Smile
1/25/2013 6:37:03 PM
Dee United States
Dee
How do you trust? How does faith work? I want to so bad but my life tells me different, Im so lost and alone!
1/25/2013 8:26:05 PM
JR United States
JR
Dee thank you for asking those questions. I'm going to answer your questions and also pose a question to you afterward. I hope it will encourage further discussion. A friend on Facebook posed your questions and asked for thoughts then asked me to respond here. I will try to check back later.

How do you trust? Well, trust is something that is built over time. This is not exclusive to relationships with friends. How do you trust any of your friends? You compare what they say to what they do or what happens. So, if you're asking how to trust God, compare what He says (His word) to what actually happens.

How does faith work? The Spirit of God convicted me of my sin and when I reached back to God when He was calling me, I could tell I was different. How do you know that you didn't just fart and feel different because of that, right (pardon the crude way of saying it, I just feel like its a good illustration)? I feel like that's a valid question. The short answer is that it wasn't something that went away after a few minutes. Almost Ten years later I still remember the difference and feel the change that took place that day. Faith is believing something you can't see. When you sit in a chair you have faith the wood the chair is made of will hold you. You can't see the strength of the chair's parts. When you go to breathe you have faith that air will be there but you can't see it.

So, how does that apply to faith in God? Why do you have faith in your chair or the presence of oxygen? Because based on your experience it is there when it is supposed to be. Well, based on my experience with God, He has always been there when He is "supposed to be". Read the Old Testament and look at the story of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednigo. Look at the story of Daniel. Look at the story of Moses. Look at the life of Paul in the New Testament. If you read the promises in the New Testament and compare them to what happens when you do what God's word teaches, you will find fulfillment. I have. God has never left me hanging, so I have no reason to believe He won't be there. When I mess up, I read the word (which my experience tells me is truth, which is why I have faith) and it tells me that as sin increases, grace increases equally. So I repent and can literally feel the weight of my mistake and guilt lifted off of me.

Why should you have faith? Because you're searching for something. You need hope. If you read the bible you'll read that God loves you. You'll also read that we all mess up. In the Old Testament you'll see that God's people had to make offering for their sin. It was outlined pretty specifically in the first five books of the bible. If you keep going you'll read that our sin separates us from God because God is perfect and sin cannot stay in His presence. What you'll see next is that because God loves us and wants to reconcile us to Him (bridge the gap between us and Him created by our sin) He came to earth in the form of a man (His son, Jesus), lived a perfect life, fulfilled hundred of prophecies in the Old Testament, then died for us. When He was crucified He took on our sin. Three days later He rose from the grave having defeated sin and when He came back our sin didn't. He effectively paid the price for our sin with His life becoming the final and ultimate sin offering. When He was taken back to the Father, Jesus told his disciples that He's going to prepare a place for us and will come back for us.

When you hear that does it resonate inside you? Do you want to believe it? Every person has a soul that recognizes truth. Are you unsure why God would do that? That's normal.

I know you mentioned its hard for you to believe because your life tells you different, would you be open to sharing what tells you different? If you don't want to air your baggage online for everyone to see, I understand, I would encourage you to call in - I believe the station has pastors around the clock there to pray with you or talk to you and just tell them you've been here and that you're having trouble with a few things and want someone to talk to. I am hitting the notify me when new comments are made button so hopefully it will. Ill do my best to come back and check.
1/25/2013 8:47:17 PM
Dee United States
Dee
I really really want to believe, so I know my daughter is in a better place, w/ my dreams of our future as a family... Best explanation of faith I've heard... I was told to ask God to show himself to me in a way that I'd understand, still waiting... Long story short, I'm 40 and my life is just another sad story, so I'm lost on what to believe and how to trust
1/25/2013 9:27:34 PM
Janelle Cox United States
Janelle Cox
Faith and trust begin with a choice.  You have to decide to CHOOSE whether you will put your trust in something.  To this world, God's grace and salvation seem foolishness:  
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." I Corinthians 1:18  
The world cannot fathom such a love and grace.  Nor does it want to acknowledge its sin or need for a savior.  However, no matter how anyone denies, God has given indisputable proof to everyone so that they may KNOW the truth in their souls:  
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."  Romans 1:20
Therefore, look around you. As JR pointed out in the comment above, we learn to trust by the evidence of the Truth.  Look at the truth of creation.  Look at the truth of the love of Jesus who died so that we may receive forgiveness.  Look to the truth of the Bible.  The world has tried over and over again to disprove the Bible-- creating theories, spinning "scientific" stories, defining the universe which cannot even be measured... in spite of all their attempts, the Bible has never once, nor never will been proven wrong!  
The teachings of Jesus and the life He calls us to lead are about love, forgiveness, salvation! He offers LIFE, true life, to the lonely, the depressed, the desperate, even the doubtful.  God is there reaching for you.  
How do you have faith, you ask? Take that first step.  CHOOSE to believe in this moment, and again in the next moment, and again in the next moment.  Choose again and again and again! No matter how many times you feel you have failed, choose to trust in God's love and plan for you, again! THAT'S FAITH! When Peter walked on water, he had faith that he could, because he CHOOSE to trust in Jesus.  Jesus said, "Come", and Peter did.  It's a choice.  
Sometimes that choice is easy. Sometimes that choice is difficult; especially when your life is a storm.  I know from personal experience...  My life has been full of hardship.  I was neglected and abandoned at a very young age, and then adopted into a home where I experienced abuse.  I lived my whole childhood in fear, loneliness, and despair.  I had no self-worth.  I felt that no one could possibly want me or love me... I became self-destructive and suicidal as a teenager.  I knew the truth with my mind... I had been to church my whole life.  But I didn't believe that anyone could love me, even God, and so I didn't grasp His love because I had chosen not to.  But then one day, I had nothing else. I was at the bottom of the bottom.  I cried out to God for help.  It was small and desperate.  And then God said, "Come". So I chose to come to Him.  It's been a choice ever since.  I choose to believe even when I don't feel it. I choose to believe though the world around me thinks me foolish.  No matter what, I hold tight to God as my anchor.  Those times of dryness or feeling far from Him, never last long; I am soon restored, stronger and with more joy and sense of worth than ever before!  He has NEVER let me down! He will never let you down, either!
Jesus simply says, "Come". So, make that small step right now! Make it again and again and again! Choose! You will soon, very soon, feel and see Him in your life. You will have your evidence.  Your trust and faith will grow. I promise! and more than that, God promises!
You will be in my thoughts and prayers, Dee. I don't know what is going on in your life right now. I understand the loneliness and despair, the doubt and distant feeling, so I know that I can pray with an honest heart and with the confidence of the Holy Spirit, and I will! You are not alone! Just choose to trust!
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. But in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13

1/25/2013 9:36:17 PM
Janelle Cox United States
Janelle Cox
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--"  John 1:12
1/26/2013 7:13:08 AM
Just me United States
Just me
Dee, it took me 50 years...hang in there. Don't try so hard to find faith within yourself, GOD is the one who will provide the faith you are seeking to believe. It took 52 years for me, so all is not lost. (((hugs))) Hang in there, honey, He's coming for you, I just know it.
1/26/2013 7:19:42 AM
JR United States
JR
Dee, how are you expecting to understand God? How are you looking for Him? One thing I have been learning more and more the last couple weeks is that if I don't see God's hand in my life or God's presence around me, I'm not looking with the right perspective.

The bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. So, our faith is what we hope for (the hope I mentioned earlier in the promise Jesus made to His disciples before He went back to the Father) and the evidence (our belief and experience) of what we cannot see. Just like we believe that oxygen will be there when we need a breath (our getting a breath is that substance) or when we see the branches on a tree sway we believe that there's wind moving it that we can't see, or that I have a brain in my head. The thing is, we can't see any of these things, we can just see the effect of them.

If you look around you, the bible says that God spoke and things were. Look at all the scientific theories of how everything got here. What is the probability of two particles colliding in nothing (because there was apparently nothing...except two particles?) and colliding and exploding and creating a universe with planets and stars an comets and people and animals, people somehow knew how to interact and be primitive people? What are the chances of the planet we living on being perfectly distanced from the sin so life is sustainable? What are the chances of the land and sea containing all different creatures? The chance is incredibly small. What if, just what if, all this was by design, not chance. What if there's a reason that things were made how they were, the planet we live on perfectly distanced, the stars and comets all to declare the greatness of a creator and show how awesome He is, that He spoke and all this cool stuff was here. What if there's a reason you came out the way you did when you were born, not just random chance (the bible says God put you together inside your mother's womb)? What if you didn't come here by chance, and that you came here to understand?

I first would like to present to you a molecular structure called laminin. What laminin does (in my understanding) is acts like a bonding agent. It's in everyone's body. It literally holds together the cells that make up our body. What makes it so interesting is that if you look at it under a microscope here's what it looks like:

http://www.snopes.com/glurge/laminin.asp

We believe God put us together and the cellular structure that holds us together is in the shape of a cross. Chance? It's such a small molecule that you can't see it just using your own eyes, but its there, just like the wind, just like the oxygen in the air you're breathing. If you believe it exists its by faith in the sources telling you about it.

Now that we've looked at something so small you can't see it, I'd like to show you something else cool. There's a telescope in space called the Hubble (sp?) telescope. NASA uses it to take pictures of galaxies and stars away. There's another particular star that points to creation as well. They call it x-structure. It's in the whirlpool galaxy, over 23 million light years away. We built a super high powered telescope and here's what it shows us.

http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/pr1992017a/

You are welcome to research this stuff. You'll find plenty of proof of it and that its not something someone photoshopped to deceive you.

So, we have this as evidence of intelligent design, not chance. These are real things that point to the truth of the story of creation. If you follow on through the Old Testament in the bible and research it as a historical document you'll find a whole lot of truth in other history books. A few years ago they found a shield in the desert with the seal of Nebudchadnezzar. The guy who threw Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednigo into a furnace and God delivered them from it.

You can find history books that will validate most of the Old Testament. Using our understanding of faith, we have faith that the chair will hold us when we sit down because it always has, we have faith that when we go to take a breath that there will be oxygen to breathe in because there always has, we have faith our heart will keep beating because it always has.

I have faith God's word beyond the Old Testament is true because it always has been before, so why wouldn't it be going forward?

I know you're looking for hope and I want you to hear this - God has your hope. He has your purpose. Have you read anything that stirs you or makes you feel uncomfortable about your current life situation? If so, I want you to know that that is what we call the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus left He told His disciples He is going to send the comforter (which we called the Holy Spirit). We all have a soul that recognizes truth and when we feel ourselves being stirred inside or uncomfortable about our circumstances, that is the Holy Spirit making us feel that way. It's a way God uses to show us He's real. I'm praying right now that understanding how we have faith in other things helps you understand how we have faith in God. I'm praying that your eyes are opened to the truth that only God can give you the hope, purpose and fulfillment you're looking for. You are God's creation and He wants you to know that. He wants you to know that He loves you so much He sent His son to die for your mistakes so you don't have to deal with the consequences of them. I don't know anything about your daughter's story, but He loves your daughter, too. There's nothing He wants more than to know you, and for you to know Him closely. I'll be praying and watching for a response.
1/26/2013 9:09:06 AM
gnome in tall grass United States
gnome in tall grass
Dee, ((hug)) For me - just that you're asking the questions says God is tugging at your heart. I pray God will soothe your pain and loss so that you will know His love in your heart, mind and soul. As one comment put it 'hang in there'!
1/26/2013 9:27:36 AM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
I feel far away too. Sometimes I believe it's because I am just about the only perso I know that listens to Christian music. I have 2 friends- one lives in Florida( i am in Illinois) she listens to Christian music, but not to klove or air1, she listens to a station that plays about 50 older songs, so usually we can' t talk about the same songs. My other friend mostly listens to regular music, which I listen to none of, ( she sometimes listens to air1, but she dosn't totally know the songs) Music is a big part of my life. That's when I fell the closest to God. Especcially songs that are really relevant to me. I believe when I meet a person that truly understands that music is my life, and will let me talk about it alot, then maybe I will feel closer-closer to know what Gods love feels like.
1/26/2013 12:51:26 PM
JR United States
JR
Jennifer, I'm a musician and music is as much a part of me as it is anybody. What I have to remind myself is that music of any kind cannot replace me spending time with God. I honestly don't like Christian radio and never listen to it (sorry, guys), I'm here per the request of a friend. I think what you are finding is that closeness you feel when you're actively engaged when  you're singing isn't because music is what you love, its because when you sing the songs to God you're worshiping Him, which is exactly what you're created to do.

The problem is, the western church (as a whole) has never really taken the time to explain what worship is and because of that people tend to put it in this box of "it's what we do on Sunday morning for 20 minutes", when really that should just be where it begins. See, worshiping God doesn't require music. Worshiping God doesn't require a radio. Worshiping God can be holding the door open greeting people on Sunday morning at church, spending time reading your bible is a way we worship God, praying is a way we worship God, giving it our best at our job is a way we worship God (unless your job is contradictory to what the bible teaches, in which case you need to find a job), there are tons of other ways we can worship, we just don't see it.

The contentment you're feeling is there because you're doing what you're created to do. I highly recommend picking up the book praise habit by David crowder and reading through it a time or two. It will completely change your perspective on worship and what it is. It was a game changer for me to read it. There were some ideas I had that I couldn't articulate but he put them into words better than I ever could. If you're a crowder fan you will get a glimpse into the quirkiness of his mind, which is refreshing because the book is like his uninterrupted stream of though unedited  

Be blessed!
JR
1/26/2013 1:04:24 PM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
Yes, JR, but if you don't listen to Christian music, how do you know what I am thinking or feeling? I have a lot of songs that just gives me good, amazing, God chills. Those, to me, are God moments. Like, for example, the song Above All, when it gets to "Like a rose, trampled on the ground, you took the cross, and thought of me, above all." I just feel the most beautiful chills, it almost feels like I understand God, a little bit more.    
By the way, I am not criticizing what you are saying, just I am expressing myself.
1/26/2013 1:13:57 PM
JR United States
JR
No, I follow you, I said I don't listen to Christian radio, not that I don't listen to Christian music. I listen to quite a bit of Christian music, actually, I just don't care for what Christian radio stations in my area play. I completely get where you're coming from. There are some songs I've heard that the first time listening to make me sit and shudder. I completely get that. What I'm saying is broaden your definitions of worship and you will find that "intimacy" you feel when you're singing songs that resonate within you in other environments.
1/26/2013 1:23:15 PM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
What do you mean "shudder?" I said the chills are positive. I know what you mean, but also, I am 14, and my church isn't that involved in much. (I am Catholic, and Catholics aren't that involved in a ton of stuff, for some reason. Sometimes I hate that.)
1/26/2013 1:34:19 PM
JR United States
JR
Yeah, by shudder I mean to tremble in awe of who God is an the way the song is speaking to me or how its exactly what I've been wanting to say to God but maybe didn't have the words to at the time or it moved me. Definitely a positive thing. I'm not going to debate what a church is or isn't doing and what it should/shouldn't be doing because that's not productive and doesn't bring unity in the body of Christ. You're young, I highly encourage you to spend time in the word every day. If you're not right now, check out youversion.com and sign up for a reading plan. If you want to be closer to God, get to know Him. We get to know God by spending time in His word (the bible). It seems to me that you're looking for more, you're just not sure where to find it and that's my suggestion to you.
1/26/2013 3:56:21 PM
Shaun United States
Shaun
I think you hit the nail on the head with the parent analogy. I use the same in studying my own faith and explaining things to others. In nearly every aspect of our relationship with God we can look at our earthly parents and children and how we want those relationships to be.
1/28/2013 3:08:31 AM
Mya United States
Mya
I've been really struggling with this so thank you so much
1/28/2013 4:14:22 PM
Maddie United States
Maddie
hey guys! sorry 4 the late responeses but I am Maddie! thank you all for your help! Smile Karen, I would love to talk 2 u (and anyone else) I would really like someone talk 2 and who can encourage me and who i can encourage me! my email is pinkieroo@gmail.com
1/28/2013 4:59:46 PM
Dannie United States
Dannie
If we are ever to learn to walk, sometimes He must take away His hand. All because we can't feel Him, doesn't mean He isn't right behind us, waiting to catch us if we fall.
1/28/2013 8:38:40 PM
K'LA United States
K'LA
Wow, than you so much Maddie for asking this question and Brant for answering. I am going through the situation you speak of at this very moment. Not feeling like God is around anymore, not knowing if everything that I once considered to be true was a lie, and whether God was going to save me from this or if this is just a role I am supposed to fit into. I feel a bit like Judas, even though that may seem like an exaggeration. God knew ahead time that Judas would sell him out, and he did. I feel sometimes as if God is telling me that I am going to walk away from Him, and then i do just that. But, despite all the despair and anguish I face, the worst feeling is feeling like my mind and my heart are being ripped apart. I feel like my heart knows that Jesus Christ is the one true God, but my mind just doesn't believe it.  I have always had trouble with my thought patterns, but I think the thing that really tipped over the iceberg was taking a hebrew bible class my first semester in college. A HEBREW BIBLE CLASS! Can you believe it, taught by an instructor who was pessimistic and seemed to be agnostic or atheist( I don't think he even knew which one he was, he was back and forth)

Anyways, last night, after I spent the day arguing with my family about why i wasn't so sure I believe in Christ anymore, I woke up in the middle of the night restless and unable to sleep(now this was not an angel waking me out of my sleep, but acetaminophen and caffeine. rather). I began reading the bible which I never thought Id do again, and I heard Brant on Air 1 talking about feeling distant from God. I thought to myself, " Surely he must be talking about the "normal" doubts Christians struggle with", but not doubting Christs existence or His presence in my life. I went about my day until a few hours ago when I remembered the 2 a.m. post it note i scribbled in the dark telling me to read this blog, and I am glad I have. I think today was the first day I began wrapping my head around(not really understanding, but seeing from a new perspective) what it really means to trust God. Might I say, it is so uncomfortable when your spirit is telling you God will bring you out of this and your feelings are telling you there i s no God.  Then when you attempt to read the Word for validity and confirmation,and it becomes in your sight just another book that you've started and finished over and over again- so much, that everything seems almost cliche, and you begin doubting this.

Truth is, I don't know where Im at anymore, some days I feel like hes found me and some days I feel like Ive lost him. I guess God may be trying to mature me, and I keep hope in my heart that this is what it is, but I do have to say it is discouraging when some believers I talk to don't understand, and, almost seem to take it offensively when I explain my doubts. But...hey....what are ya gonna do...
1/29/2013 12:47:53 PM
Dannie United States
Dannie
K'LA - I know exactly what you mean. I'm taking graduate courses in history at a public university and sometimes my instructors make it seems as if He doesn't exist. One time last semester I remember just sitting at my computer facing this terribly dark void of possibility that all they were saying really was true.

Everytime I've hit that whole though, somehow I've gotten through, and I don't think it was on my own strength, but His. I've come to realize my emotions are not trustworthy and EVERYONE has doubts whether they are willing to admit it or not. I too have tried talking to my family (not about doubts but about how hard my classes sometimes make faith) and they think I'm making a big deal out of nothing.

C. S. Lewis once wrote something to the effect of everyone has doubts about what they believe at some point, it is simply part of a growing process. Like getting interested in a particular job or person and going through a faze where you question whether you really like it, or it is worth it.

Right now, He is teaching me to trust him, no matter what anyone says, even when bad things happen, even when none of it makes any sense. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is totally worth it to know I have Him in my corner, even if I can't feel it.
1/29/2013 12:51:44 PM
Dannie United States
Dannie
One more thing, faith is believing in the absence of proof or feeling. I heard a song on here once a while ago, supposedly taken from a quote found on a wall at a Natzi concentration camp.

I believe in the sun, even when its not shining.
I believe in love, even when I can't feel it.
I believe in God, even when He is silent.
1/29/2013 1:11:20 PM
K'LA United States
K'LA
Thanks, Dannie. I am definitely learning that feelings can't be trusted- from not feeling God's presence, to not feeling good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough(theres too many enoughs, that it makes me wonder, "when is enough ever really going to be enough). Sometimes I get little insecure when I see other Christians around me who don't know what Im talking about, so I assume there faith is stronger than mine and God must prefer to have a better relationship with them over me. But, inside I am believing that he wants me and loves me, even when I dont feel he does or even when I dont love myself. Thank God our salvation doesnt rest on "feeling" God's love, or else I'd be stuck.

I guess at the end of the day I have to be thankful that even if I don't feel Him,  I miss him; instead of not feeling Him because I don't want anything to do with him.
1/29/2013 1:14:40 PM
K'LA United States
K'LA
Missing Him I guess is all the proof that I need that He's still there, I'm still saved, and he will never leave me.

Oh, also, Dannie, that quote is also in the song by Barlow Girls, Never Alone. Its beatuiful and true.
1/29/2013 1:27:31 PM
K'LA United States
K'LA
Haha. I know this is my third consecutive post and fourth altogether but I just reread your post Dannie  about faith being believing in the absence of proof or faith. The reason why I laugh, as IM sure many of you can agree with me, is because it all started when I said, " God, please build my faith". I guess i had no idea what i was saying. I guess i was thinking it was a magical experience and that I would gradually, without struggle, trust him like crazy. People, like me, spend so much time wondering if God's going to answer prayers....pssh...we should be wondering whats going to happen when and if He does.
1/31/2013 1:19:11 PM
McKenzie Ann United States
McKenzie Ann
Loved this thanks Brant!
2/1/2013 4:15:39 PM
Ben Abshire United States
Ben Abshire
The best thing to do is find a way to SERVE.  Your feelings will betray you.  Trust God and just step out and go to work for him.  And then take just a few minutes to remember what he did on the cross for you.  Really think about that for just a minute.  Your hair should stand on end.  Do that daily and you'll find yourself "feeling" a whole lot closer to him.
2/3/2013 4:28:42 PM
Marcela Certuche United States
Marcela Certuche
Nice...first time here. I agree with alot of the writings here, Wow!!
2/12/2013 3:46:09 AM
randall United States
randall
Thanks Brant, you hit the nail on the head!! Love, Prayers, and Peace!! Randall
3/22/2013 1:08:58 PM
Emily United States
Emily
Totally agree here. Feelings can be deceiving. Kind of reminiscent of people talking about marriage, nowadays. Saying "we're in love" means we're meant to marry? Do you REALLY love each other? Or is it just the hormones talking? It's easy to trust God when He's visible. But it takes real determination to stick with Him even when He doesn't show Himself, or at least doesn't seem to be. But someday you look back on everything and see that He was there, all along. Just not the way you thought.
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