We all have times in our lives when God feels distant, when He seems silent, and when we can’t see Him working. These times can last for a day or for a season, and one of the biggest challenges we face during these times is Satan lying to us.
He whispers things like:
“Don’t waste your time praying. God’s not listening.”
“God’s forgotten about you and your situation.”
“God isn’t working. He’s left you on your own.”
No matter how long these times last, it’s absolutely crucial that we keep our minds focused on truth so that we don’t easily fall for Satan’s lies. I realize this is easier said than done. I’ve had seasons of what felt like silence from God, and it was so much easier to tune into the constant flow of deceit from the enemy’s mouth than it was to shut him up and tune back into Truth.
I’ve also had days that were filled with discouragement from the moment I opened my eyes, and for no apparent reason.
Actually I recently had one of those days. It was one of those days where you just want to throw in every figurative towel and call it quits, but you’re not sure why. You wake up feeling frustrated, discouraged, and restless. You try to get yourself going, but everything you try to do doesn’t work out. You feel scattered, agitated, and then even more scattered and frustrated as you try to help yourself feel better and nothing works.
When this happened to me the other day, I wrestled with these feelings and tried (and failed) to go about my normal routine, until I finally realized that there was no reason for me to feel discouraged or agitated. Nothing had happened to make me feel this way. I recognized that it was a spiritual attack designed to make me want to give up, to quit, to not even try, and most sadly, to make me believe God wasn’t working and didn’t care what was going on in my life.
I started praying. I told God He felt distant, and I asked Him to send me some encouragement.
His answer came back:
“Encourage yourself in Me first.”
I immediately began praying and then dove into the Scriptures the first chance I got to look for some truths and promises I could pray back to God. After spending some time praying and reading Scripture, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart, reassuring me and refreshing my spirit. By the end of my prayer time, He’d drawn me in so close and even given me some inspiration on something I’d been stuck on for a while.
He encouraged me after I encouraged myself in Him by seeking Him first.
(So often, I want Him to just zap me with encouragement, and while He does work that way sometimes, I’m finding that He’s often waiting for me to come to Him, to spend time with Him, to talk with Him, and to listen to what He has to say about whatever’s going on in my life at the time.)
If God seems distant to you right now, please know that no matter how you FEEL, you’re not alone or forgotten. The Lord is standing with you and He will strengthen you if you give Him a chance! (2 Timothy 4:17)
I want to share some verses that can be used as affirmations on those days when you’re under attack and feeling alone. I encourage you to not just think them to yourself, but to actually say them out loud to yourself:
“I am not alone. The Lord is always with me.” (Psalm 16:8)
“The Lord is standing with me and strengthening me.” (2 Timothy 4:17)
“I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)
“Even when I don’t understand my situation, I know I am surrounded by God’s favor.” (Psalm 5:12)
“The Lord has created this day and given it to me. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
Bonus Tip: Turn your affirmations into short prayers!
“Thank You for being with me and never leaving me.”
“God, please stand with me and strengthen me today.”
“I’m standing firm on Your Word today, Father.”
“Thank You for surrounding me with your favor, God!”
“I’m choosing to have joy today, Father. Thank You for another day!”
Also, praying Scriptures back to God is so powerful. If you’ve never tried it, start with Psalms and pray some verses to Him. Here are a few passages I’d suggest:
“Answer me when I call to You, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.” - Psalm 4:1
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” - Psalm 16:11
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.” - Psalm 139:7-10
I hope this post is a helpful starting point for your own time of seeking and leaning into Him. Comment below if you have any Scriptures or affirmations you pray to encourage yourself; I’d love to add them to my own list!
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Hi! I'm Abigail, your real-talk Christian life coach and faith mentor. I believe we're on this earth for a reason, and I LOVE helping people realize and own that truth so that they can reach their God-given potential in all areas of life. Let’s be friends on Instagram or Facebook!
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