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Old 10-28-2004, 12:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default When you feel like God isn't there

What do you do?
I feel like I have become quite apathetic. I have felt like God isn't there or isn't listening for so long, that I can't be bothered to keep trying to find Him. It makes me sad to think I have lost hope.
I think I am dealing with a lot of anger towards God. I am angry that my life never gets easier. I am angry about all the suffering- both for myself and everyone. I prayed everyday for 10 years that God would ease my physical and emotional pain- but they both just keep getting worse. I know 10 years isn't that long a time in the long run- but it feels like forever.
I know that sounds selfish, but I have come to a point where I don't know how to keep going. I am not sure what to do about it. I always thought that I was meant to help people- that I should devote my life to others. But how can I do that with all the pain I am constantly in?
I'm sorry for this ramble- I guess I am just looking for suggestions. I want my faith and hope back- I just don't know how to get rid of this jaded feeling.
Thanks for reading this
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I don't have all the answers Vicky but I do know that you aren't alone in being angry at God or questioning if He's even still there. I had those same thoughts and feelings when my best friend died several years ago. Here's what finally helped me. Get angry with God. Tell Him exactly how you feel. If He's God then He knows what we are thinking and feeling anyway so it's not like we are hiding it from Him. If God created us to have a relationship with us then I think He'd rather have us angry at Him and talking to Him about it than not talking to Him at all. In the Psalms (which is basically a collection of songs or poems to God), David openly showed His anger toward God. How did God respond? God called him "a man after My own heart" ~ Acts 13:22. But David not only expressed his anger, he also sang praises to God. I think God just wants our hearts. He wants us to take everything we are thinking and feeling, good or bad, and go to Him with it.

Now the tough question...why has He let your pain go on for so long? I don't know. I know in my own life, other people, not God, were the ones that were responsible for my pain. The way I see it, God won't take away a person's right to make the choices they want to make. If He did that, then we'd all just be His robots. The problem is, the choices people make always have consequences and sometimes those consequences effect innocent people.

I think it's interesting that you mentioned you wanted to help others but you questioned how you could do that with all the pain you're in. Vicky, God will use that pain to help heal others. I know this from experience. How could I relate to what you said unless I've been there myself? How could I relate to someone hiding in a dark corner afraid and alone if I hadn't been in that corner myself? This is what gives purpose to all the pain I've gone through. I believe God's in the healing business and helping others is where I find my own healing.

Give everything you've got...all your fear, all your hurt, all your pain and anger and disappointments...Give it all to God and watch the healing begin.
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Wow,good answer. That made me feel better.
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Old 10-28-2004, 07:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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hope you find some consolation...One of my favorite verses is: (God says) "Call and I will answer you and show you great and wonderful things that you do not know"...I feel he showed me that verse when I was going through a difficult time...it helped me to know that He wants me to call out to him...it also helps that he promises to answer...
just keep listening.
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Old 10-29-2004, 02:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I agree with what has been said above, and these are some of my thoughts (warning this is kinda long).

I don't know all your circumstances, but I can say that I know how you feel because I've gone through that. There's been times in my life where all I could feel is anger and bitterness toward God. I would say things to God sarcastically in my bitterness because of how my life was, esentially wanting to blame God because I felt screwed in life. I mean, honestly, my natural reaction to everyone around me being blessed by God and having things going well in their lives, while mine seems to completely suck and only getting worse, is to feel angry and bitter.

I don't know why God allows certain things. I don't know why some people are healed of certain things, and others are not. Some of the most faithful people and those who love God are among the most afllicted. They pray for healing, they are living in obedience to God, faithfully giving their lives to Him, but they are not healed (yet). Why is this? I don't know, because I'm not God, and I don't have the whole picture of His plan. We only have a limited view of what God does and His plan, and honestly most of our views are centered around ourselves (whether good or bad).

I can and have come up with many reasonings as to why God allows certain things to happen. One of the hardest things for me to reconcile in my mind is how God can allow all the people (especially children) in different countries (such as Africa) to starve to death, be diseased and so miserable. My heart aches for those people. How can you allow that God? While I can't fully answer the question, I feel one of the reasons is so that other people, who God has given an abundance to, can reach out and give to the starving and diseased people and demonstrate God's love to them. I live in America and have been blessed in more ways than those people in Africa could ever imagine. I have helped to financially support organizations that feed these people and build houses for them because I believe that is what God wants me to do. While I can't physically be there to help them, I can support those who can be.

Other times I believe God says no to peoples prayers because He wants to build their character in a specific area. Sometimes I believe God wants to grow someones faith. Sometimes I believe He wants to draw a person close to Him, and does so only when they have fallen so far down that no one else, and nothing else but God Himself can lift them up out of the hole they are in. At this point they realize their absolute need for Him. I am reminded of Paul who pleaded with God three times to take away the "thorn in his flesh". God's answer was no, and "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I honestly believe that God can use you and your life in a special way to reach others, no matter how screwed up you may feel. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I don't think it matters what your talents or abilities are (or lack thereof), but of the miraculous ways in which God can move through you with your willingness. I don't know if you've heard of Ginny Owens, but she is a Christian music artist that is blind. She has an incredible weakness - blindness, and yet God has used her to reach others. If God can use a blind person to reach others, why can't He use me? I can't sing well, but God has given me (and gives everyone abilities) that they can use.

I don't know what "denomination" you are, or what you feel most closely represents what you believe, but do you read the Bible? Do you make an effort to seek God often (daily if possible) through His Word? Because if you sincerely desire to better understand God and to work through your feelings, I hope that you would try that if you aren't already. Reading my Bible, praying and making an effort to develop my relationship with Jesus Christ is the only thing that has enabled me to find peace in my life, to get past the periods when I feel like you do, and to have the strength to keep going in life. Because honestly, I've felt like just giving up a ton of times.

I hope you have enough patience to read this (I have a few more things to add).

I believe this life is not the end of things (although I have a real tendency to think as though it is when life stinks). Because of Jesus Christ, I have a hope that my struggles with social anxiety (and the many other struggles in my life) will not last forever, and that everything that I go through now that is difficult will not compare to what is to come.
Romans 8:18 says "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
Revelation 21:3-4 says "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'"

When I look at things from an eternal perspective, from God's perspective, it helps to give me peace and hope. While I believe that this current world is not the best possible world, I believe it is the best way to the best possible world in which God's creation, man, freely chooses to follow and love Him and in which God, at His own timing, defeats evil, suffering and death - which ultimately leads to God being triumphant, bringing glory to Himself, and bringing those who love Him an everlasting joy and life with Him. I believe God is sovereign and just, and will make right everything that is wrong in this world. I believe that God loves me more than I can understand. I believe God understands how difficult and painful people's lives (including mine) are because Jesus Himself walked this earth and was afflicted and suffered. So in the times when I feel like God doesn't care, I read what God's Word has to say, which is that God does care, and He is compassionate towards me.

I've gone on too long, but I guess how I would answer your question "When you feel like God isn't there, what do you do?" is this: I turn my eyes and heart to God. I speak honestly with Him. I spend time reading my Bible and praying. I ask God to help me see through my circumstances. I'll read books that take on difficult questions. I'll read stories of people who overcome through God's love and grace. I'll listen to music that worships and praises God and speaks of His love, faithfulness, grace, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, kindness, tenderness, trustworthiness, etc. I'll talk with others (even if it's just by email or messageboards) who share my beliefs and be honest about how I feel. Sometimes getting a perspective from someone else really helps me. The biggest thing to me is to believe and trust God and what His Word says, not what my feelings may be telling me. Hebrews 11:6 says "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." I believe that God will reward you when you earnestly seek Him, even when you may feel like He isn't there, because He has rewarded me in the times that I said "Okay God, I'm going to believe what You say, even though my feelings aren't lining up right now". He's given me peace, hope and joy when I really had no reason to feel these things within my circumstances.

I hope what I've said has made some sense..if anything I just want you to know that you aren't alone in your struggles or how you feel. No matter how you may feel right now, I sincerely believe that God loves you and desires to draw you near to Him, to be there for you and help you through this..even though it's hard.

This is some art I've made that relates somewhat to this topic:


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Old 10-29-2004, 07:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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cool artwork!
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Old 10-29-2004, 01:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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'For he has said: " I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
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Old 10-30-2004, 08:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Thank you everyone.
I need to digest all of this, and since it's 4am I don't think I can do it all that well right now I am going to print this out. I really needed to hear these things. I need to devote some time to this. I have been ignoring it out of fear, but it's time to get out my Bible and do some reading. Maybe dig up a few notes from college even. I have heard so many explanations about this issue, and sometimes it's overwhelming because I just want an easy answer. I know there is no easy answer though- I need to face up to that and deal with the issue.
Thank you all again- this has helped more than you could know.
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Some interesting thoughts to ponder....

Get angry with God, talk to him, let him know how you are feeling, have a relationship with him even if it is stormy at times.....

Or that maybe our pain and woes, emotional, physical, spiritual etc. is for a reason....That only by hitting rock bottom sometimes can things be made clear to us......

Those are some good ideas worth thinking about.....Thanks!!
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Old 10-31-2004, 05:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicky View Post
What do you do?
I feel like I have become quite apathetic. I have felt like God isn't there or isn't listening for so long, that I can't be bothered to keep trying to find Him. It makes me sad to think I have lost hope.
I think I am dealing with a lot of anger towards God. I am angry that my life never gets easier. I am angry about all the suffering- both for myself and everyone. I prayed everyday for 10 years that God would ease my physical and emotional pain- but they both just keep getting worse. I know 10 years isn't that long a time in the long run- but it feels like forever.
I know that sounds selfish, but I have come to a point where I don't know how to keep going. I am not sure what to do about it. I always thought that I was meant to help people- that I should devote my life to others. But how can I do that with all the pain I am constantly in?
I'm sorry for this ramble- I guess I am just looking for suggestions. I want my faith and hope back- I just don't know how to get rid of this jaded feeling.
Thanks for reading this
To all who have voiced this same opinion of being abandoned by God ….the one we love and put our faith and trust in. I too am one going thru these feelings and sometimes get to where I ask myself …why keep going? But there is something there that just tells me that I must!…I think of what Job went thru and others who remained faithful to God and in the end reaped the reward. I feel like an Israelite wandering in the desolation for years….though this has only been going on a few months…I continue in prayer and try always to walk with the Lord and tell myself that God is working His Sanctification in my life and to be thankful and rejoice in these trials as hard as it is…and just keep telling myself to continue in my faith no matter what. I dont have all the answers I just know that I must put my total trust in God and depend on Him to carry me thru….if anyone would like to share fellowship I am more than open….or even just to share feelings in regards to this journey into darkness we seem to be on. With all love in Christ……Frank
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Glad I found this
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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You need faith. Gods puts obstacles in our lives for us to become more grateful and stronger people. Do not let go of your faith, god is just testing you. We all go through struggles. Have you noticed that people go through things and at the end, they are more humble people? They are more kind, more loving, and ext? Difficult situations in our life make us better people. You are not searching for god enough. How will God help you, if you are not trying to find him? Have faith love. Have faithhhhh.

He wants you all to himself, he wants you to find him! He wants to have a relationship with you.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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When I feel God isn't listening, I try to get really quiet and listen for him. Most of the time it's because I'm talking over him.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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He has made us in His image so He knows us better than anyone. He understands our feelings and problems. Read the stories of the prophets in the bible and what thry went through. Some of them were sold, lost their families, almost lost their lives...but still they held on to God. The only one that could save them. So steadiness, trust and faith are the key to survival. It's ok sometimes to be mad if you don't understand but try to stay on God's side so that you may built up a stronger more faithfull relationship with Him.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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You know the story of Job and Paulus said in the bible:
Colossians 1:24
Now I have joy in my pain because of you, and in my flesh I undergo whatever is still needed to make the sorrows of Christ complete, for the salvation of his body, the church;

Suffering helps always more than joy.

If you cannot help people directly, you still can pray. Praying is the fuel of the Church and the most helpful activity a human can make.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicky View Post
What do you do?
I feel like I have become quite apathetic. I have felt like God isn't there or isn't listening for so long, that I can't be bothered to keep trying to find Him. It makes me sad to think I have lost hope.
I think I am dealing with a lot of anger towards God. I am angry that my life never gets easier. I am angry about all the suffering- both for myself and everyone. I prayed everyday for 10 years that God would ease my physical and emotional pain- but they both just keep getting worse. I know 10 years isn't that long a time in the long run- but it feels like forever.
I know that sounds selfish, but I have come to a point where I don't know how to keep going. I am not sure what to do about it. I always thought that I was meant to help people- that I should devote my life to others. But how can I do that with all the pain I am constantly in?
I'm sorry for this ramble- I guess I am just looking for suggestions. I want my faith and hope back- I just don't know how to get rid of this jaded feeling.
Thanks for reading this
Refuse "NO" as an answer. In the face of apparent defeat declare out loud for 5 to 15 minutes a day "It is my divine destiny to succeed. And it is God's business to help me. I expect and claim his divine help now!" It has been said that he only is beaten who admits it.

Here are some more prayer affirmations: "I AM a part of all that is good, and good shall be victorious."

For self-confidence: "God loves me, God lives in me, God breathes through me. I am God's child and He loves and helps me all the time!"
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