I can’t tell you how many times I have thought, “Has God abandoned me?”
Perhaps you have felt the same way too. In fact, you have prayed for days, months, or even years for God to remove your situation only to find it worse than ever.
To put it bluntly, your life is hard. Really hard. And you don’t know when it is going to get any better.
Some of you may be dealing with a health crisis, a wayward child, a failing marriage, or a family situation you think will never be resolved.
Others of you may be frustrated with a job issue, lack of money, death in the family, or you have even been booted out of your home.
Whatever the problem, God isn’t moving on your behalf and you are angry. Perhaps you’re even losing hope because He is silent in the midst of your darkest time.
Frankly, it feels like God has left you. And even deeper, He doesn’t love you.
When you are asking, “Has God abandoned me?” remember that many others in the Bible felt the same way as you. Here are some examples: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Ruth, Samson, David, Jeremiah, Ezra, and Esther.
Even Jesus said on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV).
Just like you, each of these people (including Jesus) experienced a temporary feeling of abandonment that passed when the trial lifted.
The truth is you are loved. God is with you even when you are feeling forgotten. In fact, He will never leave you.
Has God Abandoned Me? 5 Truths When You Feel God’s Silence
1. God is fully engaged in the details
In God’s infinite wisdom, He sees the whole picture and knows how each detail fits together perfectly to get just the right outcome at the right time.
He is crafting your story. Truthfully, you are connected to a bigger story that is beyond your imagination.
Be faithful to show up and do your part every day knowing that His providence is at work. God will tie all the loose ends together one day.
In time, every last detail will be resolved according to His will. Trust He is fully engaged in your details when thinking, “Has God abandoned me?”
Matthew 6:26 says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
2. God is sovereign
There is nothing in the universe that is outside of God’s influence or authority. He is not surprised by current events, your family situation, losses, or whatever. Everything passes through His hands first.
In fact, Satan has to ask God for permission to act. If you don’t believe me, check out the book of Job in the Bible.
Each trial is an opportunity to release your will over to the God of the universe and believe He can work on your behalf.
If He can set the planets in orbit, balance the galaxies, create the heavens and earth, breathe life into man and animals, create the oceans…He can manage your little world.
While your pain is real and you may even be frightened, God is bigger and stronger than whatever you are facing.
Remember God is sovereign when thinking, “Has God abandoned me?”
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
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3. God’s timing is perfect
God existed before time. He has seen time from the beginning to the end–the entire spectrum. Our lives are only a small spec on the whole continuum.
Think of Lazurus. I’m sure Mary and Martha were thinking, “Has God abandoned me?” They couldn’t understand why Jesus didn’t intervene on his behalf.
Jesus could have healed him before he died. Instead, He waited four days after his death just to make sure everyone knew he was dead.
So dead that he stunk.
And then He healed him…
I’m sure everyone was like, “Really, Jesus, four days? Did you have to wait until he smelled?!”
Lazarus’ family suffered horribly so Jesus could display His glory. They didn’t understand the greater purpose.
Often we don’t understand God’s purpose or timing because of our finite minds. Trust there is a greater purpose to your pain just like Lazerus.
Remember God’s timing is perfect when thinking, “Has God abandoned me?”
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
4. God loves you
If there is anything I have learned in the last ten years, it is that God loves us. He never does anything outside of His love.
Oh, and in case you think He loves everyone else, let me assure you that He loves you too. Yes, you. You are included.
In fact, He has already shown His ultimate love by dying for your sins so you could live with him forever. Fortunately, it doesn’t stop there. There are other God winks around you if you will start looking differently at your problems
Personally, I have discovered the very character of God’s love through my trials.
He gave me free choice to reject Him. And then the space to feel the emptiness of that rejection. In fact, He lovingly allowed my choices to play out even when it hurt myself or others.
When I realized this, it didn’t take long for me to come running back to Him. I would rather bask in His loving will than out of it even if I don’t quite understand the circumstances at the time.
Remember God loves you when thinking, “Has God abandoned me?”
Lamentations 3:20-21 says, “I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.”
5. God is drawing you to Him
Our God is a God of relationship. He wants to be in fellowship with you all the time. Frankly, He will stop at nothing to get your attention.
Sadly, we don’t always see our trials this way. Instead, we run away and blame God for our refinement, or we are angry we didn’t get our way.
Truthfully, it may be you who has strayed from Him because of your sin.
God is inviting you to run into His arms as a child runs to his daddy. He is always ready and waiting for you. Repent where you have walked away from Him. Allow Him to reengage with you in a sweeter and more profound relationship than ever before.
What you need to realize is this kind of closeness only comes from complete brokenness. It is only in complete humility that we can truly approach Him.
Remember that God is drawing you to Him when thinking, “Has God abandoned me?”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4).
What to Do When You Feel Like God Is Not Listening
You may feel like God has abandoned you or that God is not listening to you. However, I can assure you this is not true. God has a good plan for your life.
God calls us to obedience even when we can’t see the details or know the outcome. We must obey, trust, and keep going on until He gives us the next move.
I have found that fasting and prayer are great ways to get movement when I am stuck. Many times, God will reveal new things to me when I stop and really listen to Him.
Joel 2:12 says, “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
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When God is Silent Through Difficult Times
God’s silence is intentional at times because… well, who knows! And while we don’t understand it, I can assure you that He is hidden behind all events.
Did you know the name of God is never mentioned in the book of Esther? Yet we clearly see divine intervention in the midst of the silence. And, boy, did God ever move when He was ready! (Haman hung, Ester lived, and all the Jews were saved.)
He knows your pain too. And He has not forgotten you.
When I feel God’s silence, I ask Him to help me with my doubt. In fact, I repeat pertinent scriptures on notecards that remind me of His love when I can’t hear Him at the moment.
I read them over and over until I get back on track and believe Him. Sometimes I say it out loud!
Just because God is silent, it doesn’t mean he has abandoned you. This is where many people get tripped up and lose their faith.
Before you give up, remember that God’s economy is different than the world’s system. He uses tragedy, crisis, and suffering to get behavior change. And to show His glory.
When God is silent, He is simply asking you to trust Him until He gives you the next move.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “[Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”(KJV).
Have you ever asked, “Has God abandoned me?” What biblical truths do you tell yourself? Comment below.
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