Distance from God is something that all Christians experience from time to time. Sometimes it might feel like prayers are unheard, but we must remember that we know they are heard (1 Pet 3:12). There might also be times when reading the Bible feels unfulfilling, but every word you read is from God so reading the Bible is beneficial even when it’s not felt (Ps 19:7-8).
The answer to overcoming a perceived distance, i.e. when God seems far away, is to remember that this is a feeling and feelings can lie to us. We must remember what we know to be true. Jesus has promised that He will never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5). The feelings of God being distant is usually because of circumstances, emotional struggles, confusion, or some other challenge or difficulty in daily life. Continuing to seek God, in prayer and by reading the Bible will increase one’s knowledge of His presence, and restore the feeling of communion with Him. When we feel something that is not true (i.e. God is distant), we must return to the truths of God’s Word that we know to be true and steadfast.
The apostle James says to “draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). Because God is already near (He is omnipresent), this means that when we draw near to God we will be blessed by feeling His presence, His love, His grace, and all the other good and perfect gifts from the Father of Lights (James 1:17).
Promises of Closeness
Read the promises that God made to His people of old, knowing that these promises hold true for you also:
Josh 1:9 …Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Deut 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Isa 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Zep 3:17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Mat 28:20 …lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Christian apologists Alex McFarland and Shari Abbott answer some of life's many questions concerning the gospel, faith, and the Bible by sharing Truth for a New Generation and Reasons for Hope found only in Jesus. For more information about apologist, evangelist, author, and religion and culture analyst, Alex McFarland, visit www.alexmcfarland.com. For more information about Shari Abbott, executive director of Reasons for Hope* Jesus, click here.
Truth for a New Generation (TNG) serves nationwide, featuring a multi-year conference tour and student-led club program to equip teenagers, parents, grandparents, and others who lead them to live for God. TNG's mission is to creatively communicate a compelling Christian worldview to the next generation by giving answers to tough questions, based on the truths of Scripture, and to build up the Body of Christ to stand strong and boldly proclaim the gospel in the world. For more information and resources visit www.truthforanewgeneration.com.
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