What to do When You Feel God Hates You
When You Feel God Doesn’t Love You
It is not uncommon for many women to believe that God cares deeply for other people, yet have difficulty applying God’s love to their own lives.
For this reason, many find themselves on a seemingly never-ending treadmill of performance-based activities to try to earn God’s favor. If we are honest with ourselves, it sometimes seems like His approval is somewhere ever out on the horizon, far beyond our reach. Today, let’s look at what to do when you feel God doesn’t care.
A Faulty View of God
How do I know if Jesus loves me? Let’s start by looking at a biblical comparison God Himself makes. He compares Himself with our earthly parents in several passages. He states, for example, that our fathers disciplined us but that we reverence them, showing how He is similar in disciplining us since we are His children.
In another passage of Scripture, it says, ‘which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ Luke 11:11-13
We see here that a good parent gives his child something useful when he or she asks for food to eat.
The question that begs asking then is, “What if a father or mother does NOT do this? What if we were given a proverbial scorpion when we asked for an egg?”
It might taint our view of God.
In Isaiah 49:15, it says, ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?’. It seems almost unthinkable that a mother could abandon her suckling child. And yet, to answer that question, the rest of verse 15 says, ‘Though she may forget, I will not forget you!’
Psalm 27:10 contains a similar theme when it says, ‘though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.’
Even the world of secular sociology recognizes the vital role that parents play helping to form a person’s ideas of God. It has been frequently noted that people whose fathers abandoned them or died early in their lives often have atheistic views and struggle to feel close to God.
In the same way, when we felt our parents were cold, distant, or uncaring, we may unwittingly have transferred these attributes to our concept of God. And yet, nothing could be further from the truth! God is a tender Father who will never leave us nor forsake us, and we are entirely secure in the hands of Jesus and the Father.
A Faulty View of Forgiveness
Another misconception people frequently harbor that causes us to doubt God’s love is the feeling of being unworthy of God’s love.
This can be because of some past sin or indiscretion that we feel is insurmountable. Like Adam and Eve, we may be hiding from the presence of God because we do not feel we can ever truly approach Him. We cover ourselves in garments of fig leaves, hoping this will keep our lack of innocence out of His sight.
But, thankfully, our feelings are not facts, and we have the Word of God to point us to the truth. 1 John 1:7 says, ‘but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin’.
Many of us forsook our sin and asked forgiveness long ago but just cannot seem to walk in the freedom offered to us. Like with Adam and Eve, God is reaching out to us in the garden in the cool of the evening, saying, ‘where are you?’
He wants to talk to you. Psalm 103:12 tells us what has happened to your sins. It says, ‘as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’ Isaiah 38:17b says, ‘in your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back’. They are removed, they are forgotten, and they are covered.
God assures of His love in that He gave His Son for us while we were still yet sinners. This means that before we ever tried to do anything to deserve His love, He gave everything for us. His love is not based on anything we have done, and it is a free gift that we can accept freely.
The Bible says in Revelation 22:17, ‘And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ This can be you.
If you struggle with feeling like God doesn’t love you, I encourage you to:
1. Spend more time saturating your mind with His word. He will reveal Himself to you as you, in faith, show up to let Him speak healing to your heart.
2. Daily speak the truth of the gospel (and specifically, the forgiveness that Christ purchased on your behalf) to your heart. I promise as you do this, your confidence in His love will take off! The resource I used to do this very thing is our Praying the Promises of the Cross. It’s powerful.
3. Finally, place your feelings under the truth of God’s word. Though our feelings may tell us one thing, only God’s word can be trusted to tell us the TRUTH. Learn to bring your feelings under the umbrella of God’s word and He will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
God bless you as you seek Him, and may He pour His love lavishly in your heart.
This 31 Day Reading Plan on God’s Love
Our Praying the Promises of the Cross Challenge