Things You Need to Know When You Don’t Feel God’s Love

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I received an email telling me that no matter what she does or how hard she tries, she just doesn't feel God's love. This is my reply...

Earlier this summer I received the following email from a reader…

 I’ve had a problem all of my adult years.  I’ve been unable to feel God’s love.  He is always very remote for me.  I have almost constant feelings of guilt.  I try to be a Christ-like person, but too often fall short in my thoughts.  I have a very difficult time getting rid of unChirstlike thoughts,  When someone hurts me, I try to forgive, yet I ruminate on the injury.  I just can’t stop the thoughts so I feel like I’m displeasing God. I feel his disapproval.  I read scriptures to help me.  I have many memorized.  I have whole chapters of scriptures memorized.  I pray and read the scriptures daily.  I do good things, yet those feelings remain.  I attend church every Sunday.
I just wondered if you had any suggestions.  Maybe it’s lack of faith on my part and I just need to accept that God loves me as I am.  

I replied to her email with the following…

I’m so often humbled by God’s timing as He works in our lives. I found myself nodding as I read through your words because I can so relate to times when I long for an extra measure of the feeling of God’s love and He seems silent.

One thing I know for sure – God loves you and He is with you! You are seeking Him and He promises that He will be found by those who seek Him. And that He is with them.

I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me! Jeremiah 29:11–13

“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

These are the verses I hold close when I don’t feel God’s love or His closeness in my life.

I’m certain of this as well. It is Satan, the enemy of our souls, who wants you to doubt God’s love and presence; he is the one who wants you to doubt God’s forgiveness and continue to struggle with guilt.

God promises that if you and I repent … He forgives us. He promises His love and presence. I remind myself that even when I don’t feel Him with me. He is.

A Scripture I turn to and trust is Psalm 139.

Lord, You have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from Your presence!

You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
You are still with me!
v. 1–7, 16–18

You are are seeking Him and doing all the things you should be doing to grow closer to Him. You are doing the things that honor Him and please Him. Try not to let your feelings get in the way – He is pleased with you and He loves you! You can trust His promises.

Thank you so much for reaching out! It is always a blessing to hear from one of my readers.

God bless you! Deb

I’ve thought about this email exchange often since and wondered if you might also have times when God seems silent … when you don’t feel His love. So, I made a list of things I want to do when my feelings and faith fall flat.

I received an email telling me that no matter what she does or how hard she tries, she just doesn't feel God's love. This is my reply...

Things to Do When You Don’t Feel God’s Love

1. Be Honest with Yourself and with God

I love that you and I can turn to the pages of Scripture and find many examples of men and women who honestly struggled as they walked with God. Even David, the “man after God’s own heart” honestly voiced His feelings of emptiness and longing.

Lord, how long will You forget me? Forever?
How long will You look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Psalm 13:1–2

2. Take it to God in Prayer 

And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. 1 John 5:14

You and I can be confident that God wants us to seek Him, to grow in faith, to trust His love, and to experience His loving presence. When we pray to know and love Him more, we can be assured that He will not only hear our prayers … He will work in our lives to grant our request.

3. Live Your Faith Until You Feel God’s Love 

When you and I can’t feel God’s loving presence – it’s important to remember feelings are just that … they’re feelings.  They are not necessarily the truth.

God is always with us. So, even when our faith feels small—God is near.

I love the account in Mark 9:17–29 – Jesus’ disciples had been trying unsuccessfully to deliver a boy from an evil spirit.

As Jesus approached them, the father of the boy pleads, “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

Jesus answered, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’? Anything is possible if a person believes.”

And then my favorite part…

The father instantly cried out, “Lord, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Jesus responded by healing his son.

I believe the most important thing you and I need to remember is…

Things to Know When You Don't Feel God's Love by Deb Wolf @ Counting My Blessings

God’s love is a fact not a feeling!

God is love!
1 John 4:8

Our feelings don’t, they won’t, they can’t, change God’s love.

While you and I were still sinners – God sent Jesus!

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:9–10

He promises His love is never-ending.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22–23

And that nothing can separate us from His love.

 I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38

So, where does that leave you and me?

Thanking and praising God – for His faithful forever love!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

That’s a prayer and a promise to hold close to our hearts each and every day!

 Leave your prayer requests…

and stop to pray one or two of the requests listed.

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  1. Oh, Deb, what wonderful comfort you offered this hurting soul! Truly, God is a fact not a feeling, and the verses you shared here certainly attest to that.

    1. Thank you, Martha! I am always blessed by your kind encouragement! Sending you big hugs, my friend!

  2. You can never go wrong with the Word. I remember struggling with this in college and all I saw was John 15 – to obey meant I loved God. So to do as He’s asked me helps me feel love (eventually) – usually worship music will cause me to tear up nowadays! I used to solo – not sure I could now – such a softy in my old age. To believe is what pleases God and sometimes I believe very little, but then remember Ps 103 – He knows we are but dust! There you go! I ask Him to remind me every time I’m relying on myself instead of Him and to create in me a sense of my sin so that I appreciate His grace and mercy deeper and better. You are a good mentor, Deb.

    1. That’s great advice, Sue! To keep doing and trusting, and when times of doubt creep in to lean into Him asking in prayer for a greater sense of His grace and mercy. Big reasons to give Him our thanks and praise. Blessings, Sue! I so appreciate you!

  3. I’ve been there before, and I love your response to persevere through a tough season, and to remember the truth about God’s amazing love for us no matter what we’re feeling. My feelings have been in the way of my faith before, and I thank God for showing me the truth. Eventually, my heart caught up to where my head was.

    1. Oh, I agree, Laura! I’ve been there too! I’m so thankful for God’s patience with me and for His willingness to draw me close and point me to His truth. I still have so much to learn but I don’t ever want to stop seeking, listening, and trusting. Many blessings!

  4. Jennifer Rader says:

    Thank you so much, I too feel the same way. And especially since my dad passed last year. We didn’t have the best relationship but I was there at the end and I’m still filled with guilt not being there through my earlier years.

    1. You’re very welcome1 I’m so glad you were able to be there for your dad at the end of his life. Focus on that. I’m sure he was so blessed to have you close at that time that the rest was no longer important to him. And through Jesus, you are forgiven and loved. I’m praying for you today and asking God to hold you close and give you a greater sense of His perfect peace and amazing grace. God bless you!

    1. Thank you, Calleen! I believe we do! Praise God, His love is not dependent upon our feelings! Blessings!

  5. I could definitely use this encouragement Deb. It’s much easier to trust God’s plan when I can sense Him. Yet, there are times when He needs me to rely on faith alone, and these are amazing words and verses to remember.

  6. This is one of the reasons my feet need to stay planted in the Truth. I can come up with all kinds of theories in my own mind about why God should NOT love me, but returning to His Word reminds me that His very nature is love. None of my theories are stronger than a foundation of truth.

  7. Great post Deb, Jeremiah 29 is one of my favorites too!

  8. Its amazing to hear that God loves you more than you love yourself. But it takes FAITH and PATIENCE to experience the love of God.

    1. It does, Anthony! It takes leaning into His truths, standing on His promises, and resting in His love! We are so blessed that He wants us to know Him that intimately. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to say, “hello.” God bless you!

  9. Kristin Breland says:

    Late to this post, but this blessed me more than words can describe. Perfect timing to run across this as I’ve felt “distant” from God during a hard spiritual time. Thank you for your act of obedience and writing blogs like this one. Found comfort not only in your words, but the comments as well. We’re never really alone, are we? God bless YOU! ❤️

    1. May God bless you, Kristin. I’m so glad you visited and that this blessed you. I so appreciate your kind encouragement!

  10. Stacy Banks says:

    I have struggled with my belief in God for a long time. I talked with a Chaplain today and he saved me. But…how do i know God hears me as I have always felt like he doesn’t. I need Him in my life as me and my husband are going through a very rough time and we both need guidance and some kind of good luck. We don’t want riches or extravagance. We just want a decent life and I want to believe that He is with me but it’s so very hard when I feel so lost.

    1. Stacy, thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comment. I am praying for you and I am so blessed to be one of the first to welcome you to the family of faith. You know God hears you because He promises to hear you and He keeps His promises. “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12–13 Just keep seeking Him … through His Word and prayer. He will meet you there. And please keep in touch, I look forward to getting to know you! God bless!

  11. Corina Dowgos says:

    I have struggled for years with wounder if God is with me and if he loves me. I always had self doubt and questioned my own intuition. My grandmother always said trust your intuition it is your inner guidance a compass for when your lost and alone. Everything you need is already inside you, you only have to believe. “Of course!” Being young I didn’t understand what my grandmother was trying to tell me. For year those words stayed with me. I remember in my teen years I came across a poem “Footprints” When I read it I balled my eyes out. At that moment I understood everything for that brief moment I was filled with greatness. I just new it was God way of reaching out to me and saying I’m always with you and always love you! You just have to believe. What my grandmother was trying to tell me was each of us have a spirit inside of us that is our guidance and compass. we all have a mind, body, and soul. It is our job to understand it, connect, and believe. Now, in my adult years my life hasn’t been easy, but I know I’m not alone and I am loved! In today’s world we are disconnect from ourselves too busy with everyday life. We just need to reconnect with God! Today when ever I can I talk to God. I tell him everything. God wants what we want to be connected with us to share in our lives. I think of it like a best friend that won’t tell your secrets! (Lol) I call it God and I Time! When ever or were ever I need him, want to share my day good or bad and I even ask him how his day is going. I haven’t got a answer yet! I won’t give up! We have to invite God into our daily lives open ourselves fully God is waiting on us. Let God in. I do feel at peace and calmer.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing some of your story, Corina! It is such an amazing blessing to know that Jesus helps us carry our burdens and covers us with His peace. God’s amazing grace in giving us Jesus is our greatest blessing. Thanks and God bless you!

  12. I always used to feel love from God in my heart. Since the lockdown in U.K. I haven’t felt anything really although I still love Jesus very much so I have t lost my faith. I occasionally feel something usually when I pray but it’s been a whole year now! Have I got a dark night of my soul or something else?

    1. These lockdowns have been so hard for many of us, Janet! It’s especially difficult for those of us who love being in fellowship with other people God uses them to encourage us and fill us with hope. I’m praying for you and asking God to bless you and encourage you with His peace and hope. God bless you!

      1. Thank you so much for your kind comments. I want to go to the little church in the next village but it is closed. It’s so unfair when you want to go to a certain church and it’s locked up.

        1. I’m sorry, Janet. I’m praying that it is open now. I’m so thankful that more of our churches are opening. I believe God is going to use this time to grow His kingdom. God bless you!

          1. Thank you Deb.

  13. Hello. I hope that you are well and in good spirit. As much as I would like to agree with your angle on this particular issue, I have to deviate from the way you are interoperating some of it. Please know that I am also a committed Christian but my own personal experiences with this particular human issue is leading me to believe that it is not always a one size fits all type of solution. I say this not to discredit you own person experience but only as food for thought so to speak. Again, I wish no harm and bid you peace.

    1. Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to join the conversation. I would agree. This is not a one-size fits all to-do list but rather some of the things a person can do based on God’s Word when they find themselves in difficult season. I do appreciate your kindness in sharing your thoughts. May God be with you and bless you.