Day 14: When God Seems Distant

It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life—when he has provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant.

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Friendships are tested by separation and silence..

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“Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other.”

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To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation—times when it feels as if He has abandoned or forgotten you.

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MIA: “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 for 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?.. it feels as if your prayers simply bounce off the ceiling. In utter desperation, you cry out, ‘What’s the matter with me?’”

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But often this feeling of abandonment or estrangement from God has nothing to do with sin. It is a test of faith—one we all must face: Will you continue to love, trust, obey, and worship God, even when you have no sense of his presence or visible evidence of his work in your life?

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Yes, He wants you to sense His presence, but He’s more concerned that you trust Him than that you feel Him. Faith, not feeling, pleases God.

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“Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”

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A friendship based on emotion is shallow indeed.

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When you feel abandoned by God yet continue to trust Him, you worship Him in the deepest way.

–Excerpts from Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren (Chapter 14)

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