When God Seems Far Away

Maybe you’ve experienced days, weeks and even months when God seemed far away. You pray, but you don’t hear His answer. You read your Bible but no revelation seems to come. You try to worship or praise, but you feel empty.

Unfortunately, I’ve felt that way many times in my life. Thankfully the Bible is full of such experiences. This is a reoccurring theme in David’s life. I was reading one of his prayers and noticed a question David asked God that I had not seen before: “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?”[1]

David wrestled with his thoughts. He recognized the battle he faced in his mind, just as you and I face each day. When I didn’t hear from God, I would dig for answers with faithless questions like:

  • Where is God?
  • Why can’t I hear Him?
  • Why won’t He answer me?
  • Has He forgotten me?
  • Have I done something wrong?

My negative thoughts captivated my heart and imprisoned me.

I struggled to have a right perspective—a view of God’s truth. Before the self-assaulting thoughts came to the forefront of my mind, I knew His promises. I believed His truth.

  • He loves me with an everlasting love.[2]
  • He is faithful and just.[3]
  • He will never leave me or forsake me.[4]
  • He has given me a future and a hope.[5]
  • Nothing and no one can separate me from His love.[6]

But the prison bars rose and imprisoned me with each unbelieving, doubting thought I allowed inside. I could no longer see the truth. I no longer felt His presence. I can no longer heard His voice. I’d built a barrier in my mind. I’ve believed a lie.

But from deep within me, I get a grip and refocus. Like David, I come to my spiritual senses. My eyes are opened. The light of God’s truth makes it way in, and I remember. I remember His goodness, His mercy and truth. I remember how He’s faithfully worked behind the scenes on my behalf—over and over again—most often when I couldn’t see Him, hear Him, or feel Him. Yet, unknown to me at the time, I was experiencing Him.

That little glimpse of light gave me what I need to break free. I went to the Word and began to renew my mind. I removed the barriers my deceitful thoughts created with God’s promises.

I can hope again. I may not yet hear him, or have the answers I desperately need. But I know He is there—as He has always been.

David closes Psalm 13 with these words: “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,” and I echo David’s words.[7]


[1] Psalm 13:2 NIV

[2] Jeremiah 31:3

[3] 1 John 1:19

[4] Deuteronomy 31:6

[5] Jeremiah 29:11

[6] Romans 8:39

[7] Psalm 13:5-6 NIV


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