Does God Feel Distant? – Psalm 145:18

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Have you ever felt like God was far away, hiding His face or unwilling to answer your prayers? We have probably all felt that way at times. Even David, the man after God’s own heart, sometimes felt that way. He says so in Psalm 13:1. He asks, “How long wilt Thou forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?” Again in Psalm 10:1, David writes, “Why standest Thou afar off, O Lord…?” In the Old Testament era, God had a unique relationship with the nation of Israel. They were to be His special people who would represent Him to a world who did not want to even retain the knowledge of God in their minds (Romans 1:19-32). To be God’s effective witness, they were to be a holy people who walked consistently close to Jehovah. When they, too, rebelled in unbelief, God’s judgment fell on them to draw them back to the Lord. In this context, God’s prophet told them, “…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). But, when God was distant from Israel, it wasn’t the Lord who had moved, it was Israel.

We need to learn the lesson that David eventually learned: not to trust our feelings, but to trust the promises of God. The Book of Psalms echoes an amazing truth: “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart…” (34:18). “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth” (145:18). Jeremiah 23:23 confirm the same principle: “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?” So, regardless of what our feelings are telling us, we need to believe God’s promise that He is always near and ready to commune with us. Even to the lost, the Apostle Paul told them, “…seek the Lord…though He be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27).

Dear believer, God is not far from you. We sometimes drift away from Him. But in His unconditional love, He is always near and ready for close fellowship with those who have trusted Christ alone for eternal life. Believe He is near. Reach out to Him in prayer and read His Word. If you do, eventually your emotions will confirm how close the Lord is. But don’t trust emotions—trust God’s promises!

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."