For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord. –Jeremiah 29:11-14
I received an email that read in part: “I feel condemned no matter what I do. From what I’ve seen, it seems so much easier for others to allow Jesus to change their lives than it is for me. I have no appeal for anything in life as it is. I feel that if God really loved me, the least he could do is end my life. I’m not expecting a response. I do expect you to fail me just as I feel God already has.”
This person feels shut out by God. How about you? Have you ever felt abandoned by God? Does it sometimes seem like all of the breaks go against you? Do you have a desire to feel close to God, but feel like your prayers just bounce off the ceiling?
Feelings are important, no doubt. But sometimes our feelings, while very powerful, don’t actually reflect reality. Sometimes feelings can be completely wrong! Salvation is more than just a feeling. It’s based on a relationship with God. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Notice that the verse doesn’t say anything about your feelings rather, “…if you believe… you will be saved.” Also, in the New Testament book of Romans, we read, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1). Later in the same chapter, we read that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).
If you’ve ever felt a sense of abandonment by God, you’re not alone. In fact, most Christians experience this feeling somewhere along the line. But God is always present and His love for you never changes. He loves you just the way you are. You are unique. According to Scripture, you are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). God’s love for you is unconditional, unchanging and unending. If you are willing, God will actually use these dark moments to help refine and build your faith.
Today, remember that God is with you — even if it seems hard to believe. Choose to live by faith and not by sight.
1. When in your life have you felt that God is far away?
2. If you knew that a friend was struggling with feeling abandoned by God, how could you help?
Romans 8; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:7