After Words - Sermon notes
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May 23, 2018, 4:28 PM

April 22 - Why do I feel far from God?



“‘Why?’ is a question I promised myself I would never ask. But why can’t things finally straighten out? Are our lives just so not Christian or are we not doing the right things? I know God is real, I’m just not feeling Him. I’m so tired. I know He carries me, I am just having trouble feeling Him any more.”

 

I encourage you to continue to ask “why?” now and then. This is the reason we have chosen the theme for 2018. We need to question our faith, our world, sometimes even God once in a while. Why do we do what we do? Why is life like this? Through the questions we find the answers.

I assure you that you are not alone in your questions or your feelings. There are probably times in every person’s life when we just don’t feel God’s presence. We don’t feel loved. We wonder if there is any good in the world.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”

Although the passage says “temptation” I believe the concept applies to all feelings. What you are going through is the same thing many people go through. And like with temptation, God will not let you go through this emotionally challenging time without being present with you, and He will not let it go on beyond what you can tolerate.

So, we can all go through those times when we wonder why things are wrong and when they will all straighten out. We can ask if we are doing the right things.

In Matthew 24:6 Jesus tells us, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.” While we are likely not talking about wars, the message is that there will always be those times when there is trouble and conflict. We will always experience some sort of emotion and psychological challenge to our faith, our well-being, and the peace of our lives. As in 1 Corinthians 10:13, this is nothing new and nothing unique. What each of us must do, however, is trust in God’s presence, and hold fast to our faith and belief in the ultimate goodness and grace of our Lord.

In John 16:33 Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Whenever we feel that we are far from God, whenever we experience a time when we don’t feel God’s presence, we need to remember that God is always constant. God told Joshua – and us! – in Joshua 1:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” a promise that Hebrews 13:5 reminds us of.

When we feel far from God then it is us who have moved away. We have allowed life and troubles to get in the way and block our view of God. It is up to us, then, to seek out God, to look for that presence, and to ask God to remind us that He is with us. There is nothing wrong with confessing honestly to God that you do not feel His presence and that you would like to feel it again. God will respond.

Philippians 2:12-13 encourages us, “as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” We have responsibility for doing what we need to do to welcome God, accept God, find God. We need to be committed to a life of peace and goodness.

You will be able to make it through these times of questions and not feeling God’s presence. We all will. God loves us and values us. He is with us in all things even when we can’t feel it.

God encourages us in Isaiah 43:1-3: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

 


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