When God Seems Distant
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
The darkest moments along the path of God are those when we feel God has forsaken us. All of God’s children experience these moments, and David was no exception. Throughout Scripture we see many saints feeling abandoned—the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, Elijah fleeing from Jezebel, and Habakkuk upon his watchtower.
Christ experienced poignant separation, evidenced in the words He spoke from the cross. Deserted by His disciples, rejected by His people, and condemned by the government, He hung alone and forsaken. He felt the ultimate pain when He carried the sin of the world, and God turned away from Him. This separation between God and God had never before existed. Such separation seemed impossible. In response, the sky darkened at midday and the earth shook. The darkness lasted only three hours, but no other hours in all history held such divine terror.
That period of terror and darkness ultimately brings great joy. All the rejection we deserved was poured out on Christ. Our sins separated Him from the Father, but His sacrifice guarantees that they will no longer separate us from God.
The Father will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). Sin may harm our fellowship, but because of the cross it can never separate our souls from God.
Final Thought: Rest today in the assurance of God’s continual, loving presence.
CJ Harris is the managing editor for Positive Action, where he helps plan, develop, and launch Bible curricula for churches and schools. Having served as a youth pastor and Sunday School teacher, he has a passion for teaching young people about the glories of their God. A bit of a history buff, CJ received his Ph.D. in Church History in 2011, based on a study of Reformation-era missions philosophy. He and his wife—also a student and teacher of history—have two sons.