I feel like God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are strangers and I can’t seem to hear anything they say to me. It’s so frustrating because I feel like I’m inadequate and that it’s impossible to feel confident in my beliefs when I want more than anything to be confident. I’ve been trying to read the bible and pray and I can hear them sometimes but I’m never sure if it’s just me thinking and lying to myself or if it’s them actually answering me.
You are not alone in feeling like this. If they are being honest, every Christian goes through times when they feel like you do. It’s even in the Bible, in Psalm 10:1 the psalmist says “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”
The important thing to remember is that just because you feel something doesn’t mean it is true. That same Psalm 10, in verse 17, says “You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.”
When you are in a period of feeling like you can’t hear, our instinct is to run around, which of course just makes more noise. It’s like if you are stuck in quicksand, as i’m sure you often are, jerking around just gets you in worse. You have to take a deep breath and relax, even though that feels like the last thing on Earth you should be doing.
In 1 Kings 19, the prophet Elijah is listening for God to pass by a cave he is in. He expects something loud, but God is not speaking in the wind, or fire, or earthquake, but in a “still small voice” (verse 12). Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God.” You in a much better position to hear God in the calm and the quiet.
If you feel like you aren’t hearing God, your first thought might be that you need to do more. Instead, try doing less. Cultivate some quiet so that God will be what remains.
-Matt from The Bridge