My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. Psalm 22:1
There are times of trouble that come into our lives. Times of pain. Times of confusion. Times when we feel we are drowning in losses. Time when we have lost our way. Times when there seems no solutions.
At such times we can begin to feel that God has forsaken us. That the heavenly Father has rejected and abandoned us. That in addition to the practical struggles and painful experiences, in addition there is that sense that we have been forgotten and forsaken by our maker. This is a common feeling for many people in the middle of such times of intense struggle.
This feeling adds terror and anxiety to our already difficult times. This takes from us a fundamental hope. That God cares for us even when all is lost.
How can we regain that sense of God’s presence in the midst of overwhelming problems?
There is no simple answer to this question. But some things that may help are:
1. Focus on times when you felt the presence of God most intensely in as much detail as you can.
2. Preach the gospel to yourself that God committed HIMSELF to you in the person of Christ Jesus to such an extent that HE died for your sins and was raised from the dead to assure you that you are forever HIS child. Remind yourself that your relationship with God is based on his unconditional and free mercy alone and that nothing in all creation can separate you from HIS love in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:28 to the end of the chapter). Trust in Jesus alone to assure you that God is forever with you.
3. Develop some self talk that helps you to focus on foundational truths about God’s love for you. The ones that I use are:
God is good
God is great
God is full of undeserved grace
God cares for me and is with me in this world of grief
God will use all my grief for gain eventually.
By repeating this to myself six times in a row out loud this can calm my spirit during tough times and remind me of the reality which is greater than my feelings of doubt.
Ultimately Christ was forsaken in my place (which is why HE cries this out on the cross) that will never be forsaken by God. His suffering has assured me that I am safe in God’s eternal embrace.