Is God Far Away When He Feels Far Away?

Faith at its heart is objective — it’s about someone who is there, irrespective of how I feel

“People can be tempted to give up on God, looking for a quick a fix, weighing God’s closeness by a feeling, experience, or sense. And, God may give a sense of his presence. He may show up in some way that’s visible and evident in what happens—a change of circumstances.”


So Crushed in Spirit

There’s a passage in the beginning of Exodus 6 where Moses goes to the people bringing words of hope and promise. It says that people could not even listen to him. They were so crushed in spirit and so under the weight of their harsh slavery.

It’s interesting that Scripture captures both the subjective experience of being internally broken, crushed, and distraught, and it captures an external experience: that there was something objectively hard in their lives.

They couldn’t even hear.

Sharing in Christ’s Suffering

So, the experience of God feeling far away is a common one.

What is so remarkable in how the Bible approaches people in suffering—fully cognizant that they feel God is far away—is that over and over again it says “he’s near, he’s in it, and he’s going through this with you.”

In saying that Jesus is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, it’s saying he was actually the one that suffered and was tempted in all ways as you are, went through the afflictions of what it means to be human. He went through betrayal, mortality, physical pain, being mocked, and humiliated. He’s with you, and he’s not going to forsake you.

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