What To Do When You Don’t “Feel” God

Let’s be honest. We all have those seasons.

 

Dry. Tired. Lost.

 

You think God doesn’t love you. You haven’t felt His presence or joy in days or months. You keep asking yourself, “what am I doing wrong? Am I being punished?”

 

Everyone goes through the desert. In fact I’d be hard pressed to find a Christian who hasn’t gone through that season of spiritual emptiness.

 

Too many times we want to zip through the valleys and only dwell in the mountaintops. The truth is without the valleys there’d be no such thing as mountaintops. Also we shouldn’t blame God when it rains in our life. Without rain, nothing grows. He knows, He is near, and we can trust that He is good and He is our Father. Instead of praying that God would take us out of the desert, we should pray that God would teach us while in the desert.

 

Whenever we have those dry spells though the enemy likes to creep in and spread a few lies in order to isolate us from our faith family and make us run from the open arms of God. Below are three things I’ve learned and have to remind myself of every time I’m in one of those seasons.

1. Stay in church community. Don’t go lone ranger.

Whenever we feel unloved by God, or like we have no “power or strength” from him our first inclination is to run. We feel dirty. We feel unwelcome. We feel unloved. We isolate and hide. The best thing we can do when that is happening is to intentionally surround ourselves with our brothers and sisters of the faith. They can pray for us. They can encourage us. They can share their similar stories. We are all in this together. Trying to weather a storm as a single tree will leave us completely shredded and uprooted. But if an entire forest is weathering the storm they all bend together and come back up together.

2. When you feel like praying the least, is when you should pray the most.

D.A. Carson said sometimes when we don’t feel like praying we have to “pray ourselves into prayer.” I’m terrible at this one. Whenever I feel dry I have not one molecule in me that wants to pray. That should be the first indication that is when I need it most. Set a time and keep it. Be silent. Be still. Ask God to speak to you through His word. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it feels like He isn’t there. But sometimes He shows up when you least expect it.

3. Be honest, transparent, and real with God and others.

I remember when I first became a Christian I thought I couldn’t be honest with God. I thought I couldn’t be mad at Him. I thought I couldn’t scream at Him. One day though after a set of events where it felt like God had “failed” me, I couldn’t take it anymore. I lost it. I threw my bible across the room and said, “this doesn’t even work anymore!” And it was in that moment I heard a quiet whisper saying, “now that you’ve dropped the charade, we can get somewhere.” It wasn’t until I was completely transparent with God that I started to see just how beautiful He truly is. We don’t need to always have a smile. We can cry. We can yell. We can be frustrated. And the best part of that is God actually wants us to cast all that stuff on Him (1st Peter 5:7). Has it ever shocked you how explicit and raw the Psalms are? Somewhere around 80 percent of them are laments. They aren’t all “worship” songs. Until we are fully transparent with our loving Father, we’ll never feel the weight of burden and anxiety off our shoulders.

 

What about you? What do you do during the dry seasons? What has God taught you in those times?

 

For further study below are a few books written to those in the valley:

 

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  • Chris Ramos

    i know exactly how you feel, and what you are talking about. i am feeling the same, it is confusing, and uneasy to live outside god’s guidance, that fire, joy, sight, the word within yourself. i feel like i can’t do anything right anymore, i feel dangerous to myself and others at times because of my agitation of not feeling, seeing clearly enough in god. i feel dead at times. i try to live without god, but none of it feels good. its difficult to describe god, and living in spirit, but i know im not in it, like i previously was, and it hurts. i feel like i am running myself ragged in hopes to be with god again. i feel like idk where i am, i feel like i keep screwing up spiritually. one thing i know is god transcends all. i think the biggest problem is not being able to see our own self worth to god, within god. we know that god is beyond us, but we are stuck in ourselves and our pains for god that it blinds us from god. i just want to say i love you, and i can tell you love god so much you would hurt for god’s love. its not even a religious matter, its spiritual. we are all in this together no matter religion, race, any of it. i wish i could give better advice, but all i can give is my love to you, and my understanding of your pain.

  • Chris Ramos

    you are not alone, many of us have gone through this, or are going through this right now. continue to live and grow

  • aNto

    that was a dope vid

  • aNto

    i used to dislike this dude, but dude got some dope poems. this really spoke

  • Sheri King Boone

    I feel the same way. I’m just not giving up. No matter what it looks like.

  • Cr5564

    When I feel like God’s presence is not with me I feel like I have maybe done something to offend him. But I don’t give up, I listen to worship music and continually praise him throughout the day by telling him how good he is to us and how great full I am for his salvation and all the suffering he endured for us. It helps to keep seeking him be by watching the Christian channels on tv, hearing the Christian stationstation while in the car, praying, and sometimes falling asleep whIle listening to praise music. Doing all these things help build loyalty, discipline and a stronger relationship with God.

  • Hector Ossandon

    Jesus let me know this, there’s a door out of this desert, and we need to walk through with prayers and dedication to God Word, I am very happy because i was going through a dry season but just a few minutes ago i start to feel is presence in my heart while praying, i start to speak with him, its funny how i feel his love in my hearth, i have tears of joy. Have patience you will grow out of this and become stronger.
    Lord Jesus i thank you because you remove me from the path of perdition, drugs, video games, porn etc, now my live belong to you, i will love you forever, Please put a light at the end of the tunnel for all the person that felt like me Amen.

  • Amanda

    I most recently lost my passion for God. It seemed that no matter what I did and how faithful I was nothing was coming my way. It’s like all my friends and family are being blessed around me and then there’s me, nothing was happening, in fact things were just getting worse. I feel horrible because I know this storm I’m going through doesn’t last long but I can’t help but to be negative. I’m praying that God reignites that fire inside of me that I once had.

  • laurah

    I feel the same way too. I feel like i have sinned too much and God probably hates me right now thus i cant seem to be going anywhere with my life. I no longer have joy in christ, when i think of praying i cant help but tell myself “he isnt going to listen to a sinner like you” i go to sleep and wake up everyday with the same thoughts in my head “you’re a sinner and God hates you right now” but now that i have read this page i learned that i was actually sinning even more by having negative thoughts upon God. Its the negative thoughts i had for him that blocked my blessings and yet i thought it was the sins i had. I shouldnt have condemned God, instead at the point were i felt like the biggest sinner in the world i should have gone down on my knees and realized my sins and ask for my forgiveness and he would have forgiven me, as he forgave so many people in the bible and told taught us to forgive others like the way his father in heaven forgive his sinners… I dont know how to pray and i always thought that because my praying was poor God would probably not listen to me.. im knw going to pray and ask God to forgive me despite my weakness in praying imma still pray the way i know so because he listens to every one and forgives anyone.

  • Jim

    I wish I could say any of this helped, but it didn’t. Christians NEED God, and not just to get to Heaven by the skin of our teeth, but for our everyday sustenence! Despite this, at least for me, I have had NOTHING from God, at least that I can feel, for most of my Chrisitian life. I’ve kept going with it all i don’t konw how, but now I am so far down in a hole, that I simply MUST have at least a sliver of Him talking, inspiring, etc. me. So far, nada, and then when I go to church or prayer groups, all I hear is how much everyoe feels, hears, sees, etc. God, when I get NONE of this. Sooner or later, I will, of desperation, just bail on Him, as I am NOT going to be involved in a one-way relationship. I sure hope He comes, but I’m not counting on it.

    • Raistlin13

      I feel the same way. I feel like I must be doing something wrong. Then I start questioning whether I’ve just conned myself into thinking there is a God. Or why He doesn’t seem to care. I’ve read if there’s a distance then it’s my fault. But I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t understand the Bible, it’s all foreign to me. So maybe I never had God to begin with, or maybe he just doesn’t love me.

  • Jim

    Holly, I know exactly how I feel. I want to be praiseful towards God, and feel His presence, but, honestly, in over 20 years of relationship (If you can call it that) with Him, nada. I have come to the conclusion that I simply must either abandon Him, or accept the fact that He chooses, for reasons I know not, to stay away from me. I admire Sheri Boone who says she’s not giving up, but, frankly, I do not have the emotional, spiritual or physical (yes, it’s draining physically!) power to keep going without a SCINTILLA of a touch from Him.

  • Groud Frank

    How are things 8 months later? I’m curious my sister.