Friday, April 20, 2012

Trust in the Lord.

A few days ago, I received a comment from an anonymous reader, which said:
I have been having a hard time the last few months trusting in God and it's really hard for me to pray to Him I feel like He left and that He doesn't care anymore.What should I do??

I meant to merely comment as a response, but by the time I was finished writing what I needed to say, my reply was way too long to be a decent comment.  Also, I would like to encourage any of my readers who are going through a similar season in your life.

So this is my full-length reply:

Hey friend,

Everyone goes through seasons in their lives when they feel distant from the Lord. Even people in the Bible like Paul, Elijah, and King David, who was called a man after God's own heart, struggled with feeling distant from God at times.  Despite the difficult time you're having, remember that if you continue to trust in the Lord even when it's hard, He will always reveal Himself to you.

James 4:8 says, "Come near to God and He will come near to you."

Hebrews 11:6 says, "He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." 

If you continue to have faith in God and spend time in the Word and in prayer each day, He will show Himself to you.  He will continue to hold you, even when you don't see Him.

I also challenge you to look inward.  Ask the Lord and yourself what things in your life may be keeping you distant from Him.  There may be sin that you need to confess.  James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results."  If you have hidden sin in your life, I encourage you to confess to the Lord and to a friend.  Pray together and ask your friend to hold you accountable.  With a clean heart, it is so much easier to draw near to the Lord.    

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 77.  At the beginning, David is unsure of whether or not the Lord still cares for him.  He says, "Will the Lord reject forever?  Will He never show His favor again?  Has His unfailing love vanished forever?  Has His promise failed for all time?"

Even though he feels frustrated and discouraged, he says, "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.  I will consider all Your works and meditate on Your mighty deeds.  Your ways, God, are holy.  What god is as great as our God?"  Instead of focusing on his distance from God, David begins to earnestly seek the Lord and spend time in prayer and worship.  He continues to praise the Lord, even when He struggles to trust in Him

By the end of the passage, David finds hope in God's promises.  My favorite verse is Psalm 77:19, which says, "Your path led through the sea, Your way through the mighty waters, though Your footprints were not seen."  Even if you don't feel God working in your life right now, He is there.  He is carrying you through each day.  Continue to trust in Him, even when it's difficult. 

I encourage you to spend more time than you usually do in prayer and the Word, even though I know it's hard when you feel like you're praying to thin air.  Instead of allowing your quiet time to dwindle away because of feeling distant from Him, make even more of an effort than you usually do to spend time with Him.  He will respond to that effort.

Strive to follow 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  Be thankful and rejoice in the blessings God has given you.  The more you rejoice in how blessed you are, the less you will focus on your problems and your feelings of discouragement. 

While you make the intentional effort to spend more time in the Word each day, I encourage you to study the book of Ecclesiastes, Romans 8, and Psalm 139.  These are passages that have encouraged me through seasons of distance. 

And remember that this IS only a season.  Your relationship with God is not based solely on your emotions and feelings; at times, you will feel distant from Him, just as you go through seasons in every relationship you have.  As you continue to trust in the Lord, even when it is difficult, you will come to a place where you are renewed and rejuvenated in Him.  He will bless you through this trial if you continue to put your faith in Him.

Trust the Lord, even when it is difficult.  Remember: His love for you is endless.

1 comment:

  1. Emily,
    I want to thank you so much for answering my question. I'm going to take your advise and start reading the bible and try to pray more. Thank you so much, you have help me more than you can ever know.