What do you do when you don’t feel loved by God?
All it takes is the “perfect storm”.
The right set of circumstances mixed perfectly with the right length of time, and most anyone will start to weaken, to question what they think they absolutely know deep down in their hearts.
I know the Bible.
I grew up in the church.
But I have to admit, there was a time when I started to have the dialogue with myself on what I understood about God’s love for me.
I began to question the facts as they were perceived through my circumstances.
How do you handle it when life hurts?
I had been suffering……and it seemed for too long. Throw in some hard times in my younger years and I was ripe for a pity-party.
If You love me so much, I sure don’t feel it right now.
Why are You allowing “this” to go on so long?
Are You not pleased with me?
Have I done something wrong that I’m not aware of?
Why do I feel abandoned, rejected, if You love me like You say You do?
These questions and more swirled in my head as I struggled to keep my perspective during that season.
Sometimes, feelings have to take a back-seat to facts. I learned that I cannot allow myself to process God through my circumstances, but rather I should process my circumstances through what I know to be true of God.
How do we respond when we don’t feel loved?
There was a sobering truth to be learned. Love does not always FEEL loving. It is more than an emotion. Love needed to be viewed as a fact, even when the feeling was waning.Love does not always FEEL loving. Click To Tweet
Feelings can be fickle.
Love is more than a feeling, it is a commitment.
That was my takeaway.
What does the Bible say about God’s love?
As I read in Mark 1:9-13, I am reminded of this lesson about love.
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
It can be conflicting to read how Almighty God voiced from heaven His love and pleasure of His Son, yet in the next moment, Jesus was sent into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for 40 days. This was not an accident but under the approval of God the Father and under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
It would be very easy to ponder this from my human perspective.
Why am I driven away if You love Me?
Why do I have to suffer if You are so pleased with Me?
This doesn’t feel like I have Your approval.
What does Scripture remind us about love?
These two verses right next to each other in Scripture teach me what I need to remember about love, and especially God’s love. Love is not based on mere feelings, but the fact of commitment. It cannot be judged by appearances alone.
Just because Jesus suffered according to God’s direction and under His approval does not mean that He was being punished by God or no longer loved by Him. The fact remains that God WAS pleased with Christ and loved Him.
That is the truth that trumps appearances. Isaiah 55:8-9 explains this conflict from judging God through the lens of circumstances.
‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’
He cannot be understood from man’s limited perspective. That is the fact that explains the conflict.
I am reminded by my own actions as a parent. When I would take my children to the doctor and they would receive a shot for their health, they did not think me loving at all! I appeared to be anything BUT loving.
Yet what I was allowing and approving of was more than they could comprehend. There was no way of explaining the facts to them so that they would ever agree with me on the matter at their age. They were incapable of seeing the situation the way I saw it.
My children did not FEEL loved by me in those moments.
But they were!
What I needed them to do was to trust me in spite of the circumstances they could not understand.
What is the truth you can take with you today?
And that, my friends, is what I learned during my own moments of not feeling loved by God. As His child, I needed to trust God beyond what I could understand. He has already proven His love for me by sending His only Son to die for my sins, and I had received that salvation as a Christian. John 3:16 says,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I may not FEEL God’s love for me, but it is still a fact proven irrefutably on Calvary.I may not FEEL God's love for me, but it is still a fact proven irrefutably on Calvary. Click To Tweet
Feelings are fickle, but facts are facts. God has pledged His love and commitment to me for all eternity. So when I am sick of my circumstances or feeling abandoned, I look back at the cross that set me free when I was nine years old, and I remember- I am dearly and desperately loved, always will be.
And so are YOU, dear friend…..