With all the chaos and the confusion going on in the world, many are asking where God is. And although many Christians are confident that God is there because He promised never to abandon His people, there are some who falter in their faith because they can't feel His presence or His love.
This brings me to the question asked by this article's title: is it normal to be a Christian and still not be able to feel God sometimes? In short, yes.
Friends, as Christians we are told to live by faith and not by sight. Faith is defined in the Bible as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (see Hebrews 11:1). Faith goes beyond what is obvious and can be seen, as well as what is felt.
Men and women of faith all had their own times of weakness. David, for example, had his own down times. In Psalm 13, we read how he expressed his longing for God's salvation:
"How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed against him"; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved." (Psalm 13:1-4)
Even the Lord Jesus was unable to feel His Father while He hung on the cross with the weight of our sin (see Isaiah 59:2, 53:4-6). Consider Matthew 27:46 which says,
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?""
Faith that surpasses emotions
Friends, it's pretty normal for us Christians to not be able to feel God sometimes. Our relationship with Him isn't based on a feeling; neither does it require us to feel Him. Faith goes beyond feeling – actually faith should command what we feel.
Consider what David declared towards the end of Psalm 13, after crying out for salvation:
"But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me." (Psalm 13:5-6)
Consider also how the sons of Korah use their faith to battle what they feel:
"I will say to God my Rock, "Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" As with a breaking of my bones, my enemies reproach me, while they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." (Psalm 42:9-11)
Trust in God, not in feelings
Friends, we must learn to trust in the Lord, not in our feelings. We might not be able to feel Him sometimes especially when we're in the midst of trouble, but He will always be there just as He promised.