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Why Does it Feel Like God Has Abandoned Me?

When you’re struggling, it can be easy to say “God has abandoned me.” Is that really the case, or is there another reason he feels distant?

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“Where is God when...” 

There are all kinds of ways to finish this thought. Where is God when countries are at war or struck by natural disasters? Where is God when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness? Where is God when the plan you thought you had for your future doesn’t pan out?  

Nothing compels us to question God’s power and presence in our lives quite like a struggle. In fact, it’s in these moments that we often find ourselves asking questions like “why does it feel like God has abandoned me?” 

After all, when you’re going through pain and suffering, it’s easy to feel far from God. But is he the one creating the distance, or is something else getting in the way? 

Why does it feel like God has abandoned me? 

First of all, it’s completely normal to feel far from God when you’re going through something awful. Even Jesus – the Son of God – asked God why he had abandoned him as he died on the cross (Matthew 27:46).  

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Jesus (Matthew 27:46) 

Rest assured, God hasn’t abandoned you – but there are some reasons why it might feel like he did: 

You’ve stopped talking to him 

At some point in your life, you can probably think about a time when you cut off contact with somebody you were once close to. You felt like they betrayed your trust, or that you were no longer safe around them, and stopped talking to them.  

Sometimes we do the same thing to God when we’re facing a struggle. After all, God is supposed to take care of us. He promises to give us everything we need (Philippians 4:19).  

That’s why it’s so easy to feel like he’s left us out to dry when we face hardship. And when we feel that way, we’re often the ones to create distance, not God.  

And you can only stay so close to someone when you don’t talk.  

If it feels like God has abandoned you, try taking some time to talk to him. Plan a time each day, find a place where you can focus, and tell God what’s on your mind. You can think the words in your head, write them down, or even say them out loud as if he’s in the room with you. But just this simple act of talking to God through prayer can start to close the space. 

You’re avoiding the tough questions 

It’s not until we go through a difficult time that some equally difficult questions tend to bubble to the surface. Think back to the last hardship you went through – did any of these thoughts creep in? 

  • Why does God allow suffering?
  • Where is God in the middle of this?
  • Am I being punished?
  • Does God really care about me?
  • If God is so powerful, why doesn’t he stop this right now?
  • Does God not see what’s happening to me right now, or does he just not care? 

These are scary questions. Sometimes we’re afraid to explore the answers because doing so could be like tugging at the thread that ends up unraveling our faith. What do you do when God makes no sense and you’re left with questions you’re scared to find the answer to? 

It’s okay to be afraid of these questions, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask them. God isn’t scared or intimidated by your doubts, so bring them to him. The next time you talk to God, ask him your big questions and invite him to give you clarity and wisdom. 

You’ve let your circumstances get bigger than God. 

This one requires a little action. Make a fist and hold it in front of your face. Close one eye, and move your fist closer to your face, and then further away. Try this a few times and observe how it impacts your surrounding view. 

When your fist is close to your face, it’s hard to see anything else. Your fist isn’t that big compared to everything else in your line of vision, but when it’s right there, it becomes all you see. 

When we’re in the middle of a struggle, it can be hard to see beyond our current circumstances. It takes our focus off the things we know to be true and makes us feel hopeless, even betrayed.  

The single most helpful thing you can do when you feel this way is to remind yourself of God’s promises. Take a look at these two verses from the book of Psalms: 

“O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord? You are entirely faithful. You rule the oceans. You subdue their storm-tossed waves.” (Psalm 89:8-9

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” (Psalm 16:8

Read these words aloud as a prayer. Write them down and put them somewhere you’ll see them often. Commit them to memory so you can come back to them whenever God starts to feel small or distant. Reminding yourself of God’s truth can help you stay close to God, even when you’re going through a struggle.  


If you’re wondering how to get closer to God, one simple habit can make a huge difference.  


LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you! 

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