Anytime it feels like God is far away, remember these tips and hold on to His words.
I don't know about you but I have. I have definitely had those depressing times when it was so tempting to give up and abandon all hope, but I pulled through and I know you can too. Here is how.
Remember that it is normal to feel this way sometimes and you are not alone in this. In Matthew 27:46, Jesus Christ, the Son of God cried out, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” He was not the first to feel this way in the Bible.
King David, who was described as 'a man after God's heart,' also had this moment of weakness. In Psalm 13: 1-4, he said:"How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed against him"; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved." (Psalm 13:1-4)
These two figures are extraordinary men yet they had moments where they felt separated from God or simply could not feel His presence at particular moments. So, in those moments remember that you are not exceptionally bad or weak, it is just a moment of weakness and it will pass.
Also, relationships have different moments. As Philip Yancey, an American Christian author, wisely said, "Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other."
Secondly, put your trust/faith in facts (His Words) not your emotions. Emotions are simply feelings, they are not based on facts. More importantly, they come and go, just because you are hungry right now does not mean you will be hungry for the rest of your life.
In those weak moments, when you feel separated from God, run to the facts (His Word). Why? Because feelings are fleeting but God's words remain the same yesterday, today, and forever. Remind yourself of His promises and remember that we walk by faith not by sight.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” This promise is repeated in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” I know it's not easy but you have to hold on to these words, not your feelings. Build your faith with His words.
Next, take a thorough look at your life. In moments when I could not feel God's presence in your life, I examined my life. What am I doing now? What did I do in those moments when I felt closest to Him? Am I still reading His word, making out enough time for Him or have I been distracted?
The Bible says that sin is capable of separating us from Him. Isaiah 59:2 - “but your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.” Sometimes, it is not that God is far off, it can be that our sins have taken us away from Him. Have you been guarding your heart against sin or have you relaxed? If you have unknowingly let sin into your life, go to Him with a repentant heart and ask for forgiveness.
1 John 1:9-10 says, “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
Then, let us learn to praise Him through the storm. In Psalm 13: 1-4, we see David cry out in his moment of weakness. However, he goes on to add, "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me." (Psalm 13:5-6) He could have spent all his time complaining but he chose to praise God instead.
We have to learn to emulate David in those moments when we can't feel God's presence in our lives. I know it can be so easy to praise Him in good times, then whine and complain when we are faced with difficult times, times of weakness and depression, but we have to learn to praise Him instead. James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him."
Romans 8:38-39 says, “I am sure that neither death nor life, angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of god in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Hold on to these words the next time you can't feel God's presence in your life.