What do we do when when God is silent? How should we respond when when God seems distant or far away? St. John of the cross called these times “The dark night of the soul?” These can be trying times. But God uses them for good in our lives—to grows us and stretch and strengthen our faith in him.
Isaiah 8:17 “I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.”
God is real no matter how you feel…
St. John of the Cross referred to these times as “The dark night of soul.” Henry Nowen called them “The ministry of absence.”
David, a man after God’s own heart, experienced feelings of God’s distance many times. He cries out in the Psalms asking God why, when, how, etc. repeatedly.
God promised He’d never forsake us, But he never promised we’d always FEEL His presence.
One of the deepest acts of worship we can offer God is serving & trusting Him when we don’t FEEL His presence.
It is true that sin separates us from God. We can become distracted or caught up in behaviors or ways of thinking that hurt our walk with God. So I encourage you to lay your heart open before God. Ash Him to reveal anything in your life that needs to be dealt with and confess it and repent of it. But sometimes God’s distance has nothing to do with sin. It’s simply God giving us a chance to trust and obey without feelings… an opportunity to demonstrate that we will trust, serve and worship God whether we “feel” God or not.
3 Tips for Keeping Eyes on Jesus when don’t feel Him:
1. Tell God how you feel.
2. Focus on who God IS. Remind yourself of the FACTS.
3. Formally Trust God to keep His promises.
While “Dark Seasons of the Soul” aren’t fun – As you mature you will look back on them as times that you grew in powerful ways.
Mountain top experiences are fun, but the fruit always grows in the valley.
This talk was inspired by Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life.