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Get a free download from Austin Stone Worship! Download the song “Jesus Lifted High” here!

7 Questions To Ask Yourself When God Seems Far Away

Jul 20, 2015

When God seems far away, here are 7 questions that you can ask yourself.

Who Went Where?

If someone says that they feel God is far away then I ask, “Who went where?  Did God move or was it them?”  God promises to never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5).  God never leaves us or forsakes us even when we forsake Him and leave Him for a season.  God is faithful to His word but we are not always so faithful to our promises.  God never breaks a promise but we sometimes do.  If God seems far away, ask yourself this; where could He possibly have gone?  Who moved?  Was it you or was it God? You know it must have been you.

Do I Have Unconfessed Sin?

We will never lose our relationship with God but we can lose our fellowship with Him if we have unconfessed sin.  Imagine you angered your spouse by sinning against them but then you refuse to apologize and confess your sin to them.  Have you lost your marital relationship with them?  No, but you have lost the fellowship you once had with them but the good news is that it can be restored so if you have unconfessed sin then God might indeed seem far away but at least you can do something about that and it is found in 1st John 1:9 which says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Problem solved.

Is His Silence His Rejection?

The obvious answer is no to this question.  Every one of us have periods where we feel that God is silent but from my experience, when God is most silent, He is frequently working behind the scenes, unseen by human eyes, so I suggest you keep talking to God (praying) and not cut off that communication link. This also means you need to stay in His Word every day.  Jesus said if you abide in Him which also means abiding in His Word, He will abide in you (John 15:5) and in fact, it appears that Jesus ties in our prayer requests with this saying “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).  The point is that we cannot take the silence of God as an answer from God or that He is rejecting you or turning down your prayer requests, so keep talking to Him daily (in prayer) and keep abiding in His Word ever day (the Bible).

Where are you God?

Many people say this; “Where were you God when…” and just fill in the blank.  Many tragedies happen in life every day around the world and people might say “Where was God?” but God is in the same place where He’s always been; on His throne in heaven.  Just because God allows suffering doesn’t mean He is punishing someone by the many tragedies that happen.  We cannot take the loss of a beloved family member, a loss of a job, or any other painful thing that happens as God’s punishment for something we’ve done.  God does discipline every child He loves (Heb 12:5-6) but that doesn’t mean that every problem we experience is the discipline of God.  We simply don’t know.

Why isn’t God Hearing Me?

Some people might believe that God is not hearing them anymore but the Scriptures say otherwise like Psalm 34:15 which says “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.”  Even the Son of God felt abandoned and forsaken (Matthew 27:46).  Peter writes that He cares for you (1st Pet 5:7) so a God that cares is a God Who hears.  God cares for even the tiny sparrow (Matt 10:29-31) so we know with absolute certainty that He cares so much more for us.

The Wicked are Prospering, Why not Me?

This question has come up for many of the biblical writers and so it is no surprise if you ask this question.  Read what the psalmist said in Psalm 73:1-8 "Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped. I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They scoff and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. They mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.” Ever felt that way? I know I have from time to time but their day of judgment is coming (Heb 9:27).  Jeremiah also asks “Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive” (Jer 12:1b).  Habakkuk wrote “Will you wink at their treachery? Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they” (1:13)?  God will avenge all who are wicked, regardless of their prosperity today as “each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Rom 14:12) so “leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Rom 12:19).

Is His Silence His Absence?

The short answer to this is no!  Psalm 139:7-9 is clear “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!  If I take the wings of the morning  and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea” and “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you” (Psalm 139:11-12).  Read Psalm 139 and see if there is any place that God is not.  The point is that if you ask “Is God’s silence His absence” you can know for certainty that He is everywhere you are and at all times.

Conclusion

Don’t be discouraged when God feels far away for He is everywhere at all times and never leaves you or forsakes you.  This is stated in so many places in the Bible so don’t trust your feelings, trust God’s Word for our feelings can lie to us but God never will.

Article by Jack Wellman

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