“For God has said, ‘I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.'” Hebrews 13:5 (TEV)
It’s easy to worship God when things are peaches-n-cream in your life, but when circumstances are not always pleasant, what do you do?
Praising God in spite of your pain, loving him when he seems distant, or thanking him during your trail can be a challenge. You may even ask yourself, “if God is my friend, why is he treating me this way?”
The truth is, friendships or often tested by separation and silence; you won’t always feel close to your friend, but when you’re friends, you know that’s your friend.
And it’s the same with God. Philip Yancy was wisely noted,
“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.”
by Philip Yancy
So, why does God pull away and seem so distance?
Familiarity breads complacency! In order to mature a friendship, God WILL test you with; periods where you feel as if God has abandoned, or forgot about you. He literally feels a millions miles away.
But let me give you a few examples of what’s really going on
David probably had the closest relationship with God besides Jesus; yet, David frequently complained of God’s apparent absence. Here’s what I mean,
“Lord, why are you standing aloof and far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?” Psalms 10:1 (LB)
“Why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain so distance? Why do yo ignore my cries for help? Psalms 22:1 (NLT)
“Why have you abandoned me?” Psalms 43:2 (TEV)
Of course, God had not left David, and neither will he leave you. He’s promised in his word,
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Psalms 37: 28
But God never promised that you would always “feel his presence.” Actually, God has admitted that he will hide his face from. Here’s how Floyd McClung describes,
“You wake up one morning and all your spiritual feelings are gone. You pray, but nothing happens. You rebuke the devil, but it doesn’t change anything. You go through spiritual exercises…you have your friends pray for you…you confess every sin you can imagine, then go around asking forgiveness of everyone you know. You fast…still nothing. You begin to wonder how long this spiritual gloom might last. Days? Weeks? Months? Will it ever end?…if feels as if your prayers simply bounce off the ceiling. In utter desperation, you cry out, ‘what’s the matter with me?'”
by Floyd McClung
The truth is, nothings wrong with you. This is a normal part of God’s test and maturing phase of your relationship with God, which every Christian goes through. However, the most common mistake among Christians today is “seeking an experience” rather then “seeking a relationship” with God.
Seeking feelings of closeness does not constitute grounds for a relationship. Just as it takes effort and time to build a relationship with family, friends, co-workers, church members, or anyone else, it’s the same with God. You must spend time with God in order to have a relationship with God. It’s that simple!
So, when you come across these times of spiritual separation, droughts, or whatever you call it,
- “remember what God has already done for you!”
- Find the good in everything negative!
- And keep seeking the face of God!
Because when God answer you, “your relationship will never be the same!”
Book: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren