View a printer-friendly copy of this outline in Adobe Reader.  Follow this link to comment on the sermon, or to read what others have said.

Here is a link to the sermon audio at our iTunes podcast.  Here is a link to the sermon audio in the mp3 file format.  Here is a link to the sermon audio in the wma file format.

In God We Trust: Are You Sure?
Psalm 118:1-6


      God is real no matter how you feel.  Remember that.  And here’s why:  It’s easy to worship God when …

          things are great

          you are surrounded by others of like mind

          you walk on a quiet beach or sit on top of a mountain

      Those times, however, may be the exception rather than the rule.  My life isn’t always great; my voice (more times than not) is alone rather than joined in chorus; and my mountaintop experiences are rare compared to nights in the valley.  Hence the question,

How do you worship God when you don’t “feel” like it?

How do you keep a relationship when He seems far away?

      We’re talking about the deepest level of worship and relationship.  – To be able to praise Him in spite of pain … - To thank Him in spite of trials … - To trust Him when you don’t understand … - To love Him when He seems a million miles away …  That kind of faith isn’t easy.


I.         Friendship is Tested by Separation

A.      What’s true in human relationships is also true in our spiritual relationship.  The point:  You have to work at your relationship with God and — you won’t always feel close to Him.  And that’s when worship and faith gets difficult.

B.     There will be times when you will feel that God has ignored, abandoned, and forgotten you.  And you’re not the only one!  Ps.10:1; 22:1-2; 43:2A; 89:46.

1.      Truth: God had not turned His back on them anymore than He will turn His back on you (Deut.31:8; Heb.13:5).  But that doesn’t mean you will never have feelings of separation.

2.      Have you ever prayed and felt nothing?  Or gone through low tides when you felt God was distant?  At those times we’re tempted to ask, What’s wrong with me?  The answer:  Perhaps nothing.  It may be a natural and normal part of developing your faith and relationship with Him.

3.      Key truth:  Beware of basing your faith upon feelings because … your feelings will betray you!

II.       When God Seems Distant

A.      Job … There were times Job felt disconnected from God (23:8-9).  His feelings of abandonment had nothing to do with sin, but were a test of his faith.  And your faith may be equally tested.  Will you continue to trust and obey when you don’t feel His presence?

B.     A common mistake — seeking an emotional experience rather than seeking Him!  If the feeling happens we conclude that God is with me.  If it doesn’t, we conclude that God doesn’t care about me.

Maybe God removes our feelings
so that we won’t always depend on them.

1.       There were times when Job didn’t feel close to God.  Same with David.  Yet even though their feelings were absent, their faith remained!

2.       Feelings and facts are two different things.  Sometimes there is beautiful harmony, but sometimes (due to our emotional state) the feelings are AWOL.  And that’s when you have to focus on the facts.

3.       The fact is:  God is always near.  His presence in your life is too profound to be measured by your emotional ups and downs.  I believe God wants you to sense His working in your life (Phil.2:13), but more—I believe He wants you to trust Him even when you can’t feel Him.

C.     There will be life-situations that will stretch your faith to the max — and if you go by feelings …God seems to have abandoned you.  Hence, the question:  How do you praise Him when your life falls apart and Heaven is silent?  How do you “fix your eyes on Jesus” when they are filled with tears?”  You cry “Why?” and … there is only silence.  You do what Job did.  And David.  You have to walk by the facts when the feelings aren’t there.

III.      4 Things You MUST Do:

A.      Tell God how you _____.  Job did (and held nothing back), 7:11.  God is such a trusted friend that you can tell Him anything.  He can handle your anger, doubt, fear, grief, confusion, and questions.  Like the trusted friend with whom you can share your heart, so it is with God.

1.       As parents seek open dialogue with their children, so our Father wants the same from us.

2.       Until we do, He will continue to feel distant.

B.     Focus on His unchanging _________.  Regardless of your circumstances, confess the facts you know to be true.  You know God is good, that He loves you, and that He knows what you’re going through.  In other words, never doubt in the dark what God has revealed in the light!  Job19:25 “For I know that my redeemer lives”

C.     Trust God to keep His ____________.  On those days when you come up empty, discipline yourself to rely on His promises — not your emotions!  In other words, don’t be troubled by trouble (Job 23:11-12; Rom.8:28).  God is for you even when you don’t feel like He is.

D.     Remember what He has done for you ____________.  If God never did another thing for you, He still deserves your best because …  2 Cor.5:21; Isa.53:6; John 3:16


      Your feelings will betray you!  There are times when God seems distant because He is distant!  It’s not that He has walked away, but you have!  Sin removes us from a relationship with Him, Isa.59:1-2.  Thus, you may feel disconnected because you are disconnected.  But that isn’t God’s fault — it’s yours!

“For I know that my redeemer lives”


Glory to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Franklin Church of Christ