Even though I cannot put my finger on the reason why, I find myself crying out with the Psalmist, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” I know, I know, it is not true and it is not reality. I know that as a child of God He is always “right there.” He is the omnipresent God and I have His Spirit in me—but still, at times, I’ve felt this way. How about you? And no matter what you say, when you feel distant from God it is much harder to live your life with joy and confidence. Charles Spurgeon said, “The presence of God is the joy of His people.”
So what do we do when we find ourselves in this condition? Here are a few thoughts:
- Pour out your heart to God. He already knows everything about you and your situation, so you don’t need to pretend with Him. Cry out to Him. Pour out your heart. He is there. He will hear and and He will answer. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
- Dive into the Word of God and let His Words wash over you and renew your mind to a thinking that is true and right. You are struggling with believing and “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) You cannot get enough of His Word.
- Obey what you know. There are a lot of things you don’t know, but you do know enough to take the next step of obedience—take it. Believe and act on what you know to do. “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” My dad, often challenged by the writings of Oswald Chambers, used to say to me; “When you can’t see your way clear, obey your way clear.” (John 13:17)
- Give thanks to God. When you begin to praise Him for who He is and what He is doing you’ll soon find yourself in His presence and full of joy. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)
The longer I live the more I treasure the Psalms. They find me where I am and take me to where I need to be. I hope these words encourage you when you “feel distant from God.”