Where is God When God Is Not There?

Sad boy alone in a bare room

Psalm 13

1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5 But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me. (NKJV)


One of the most excruciating experiences of human existence is to have to face an overwhelming trial while having a strong feeling that God just isn’t there for you in that dark hour. Have you ever felt that way?

Have you ever had to walk through a valley of suffering feeling alone with no signs of God anywhere?

Do you know what it feels like to sense that God just doesn’t care what you are experiencing and how you are suffering?

Have you ever felt like God is there for everyone else except for you?

I have been a Christian now for over 35 years, and I have served in ministry for over 25 years. Through these many seasons of life I have learned a few things about these lonely valleys of suffering. Please allow me to share a few of them with you.


Important Realization #1:
Even when God is “not there,” He IS there.

I am discovering after having experienced many painful valleys that God truly is there even when I don’t sense His presence. He may not respond exactly the way I want him to, but that is always because His plan is much higher and more sophisticated than I could ever imagine.

He has an amazing way of working for my ultimate good through those dark moments, and relieving the pain momentarily would not allow Him to accomplish that bigger plan in my life. So the pain continues, and God is there, and His purposes are made perfect through those experiences.


Important Realization #2:
I almost never understand the reason for the suffering while I am in the middle of the storm.

God’s plans are so high and lofty that my small mind cannot even come close to comprehending them. If He was to try to sit down and explain why I am going through a particular experience, He would likely begin explaining to me some events that took place back in the 1500s. He would then trace it through the millions and millions of different lives that were all interrelated over the course of the next several centuries. And then that would bring Him to my life and the specific experience today which then also relates to the next century or two of time.

His plan is so complex that He would lose me on the second or third sentence. So there is no way we could ever truly grasp an explanation from the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

Most of the time I never really “get” why I am suffering until a much later time in my life. Sometimes it can take months, sometimes years, and sometimes I never really have a full understanding. Some things will only make sense when I get to heaven and have a chance to ask God personally. But for now I must trust Him.


Important Realization #3:
God always has a purpose, and that purpose is always good.

There is no such thing as random pain without meaning. God uses pain to speak into our world and into our lives directly. He teaches us things through pain that we could never learn through a seminar or book or podcast. Some people reject God, because they can’t think of a reason why God would allow pain or suffering. But just because we can’t think of a reason for the pain does not mean that a good reason does not exist. (Sorry for the double negative there.  I hope you get my point.)

God’s ways are perfect, and His love for us is without end. And every single millisecond of suffering is always for a good purpose in our lives. Always!


Important Realization #4:
It’s ok to doubt God, but never deny Him.

By reading the verses from Psalm 13 above, we can see that even David at times felt like God was nowhere to be found. But he never got to the point where he denied God’s existence. As a matter of fact, he goes on to say in the very first verse of the next Psalm that “the fool has said in his heart that there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)

It’s ok to doubt, but don’t allow yourself to sink to the point where you actually deny God’s existence. That will only end in disaster for you. Instead, hang onto God’s hand as you ride out the storm.

In that dark night of suffering, just close your eyes and hold His hand. You will make it through if you hang on. If you let go, all bets are off. So hold tightly to the Rock.


The Bottom Line.

If you’re reading this blog post, it is not by random chance. God drew you here to receive these words. He wants you to trust Him. He wants you to know that He loves you, and He is there for you no matter how you may feel at this present moment.

Just close your eyes and hold onto His hand.

He will bring you through the darkness.

Run TO God and not AWAY from Him.

Never jump off the Rock in the midst of the storm.

The sun will shine tomorrow, and you will again experience the amazing blessings of the God who loves you.

Trust Him.



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Chris Russell (send me a Facebook friend request!)


32 thoughts on “Where is God When God Is Not There?

      1. i don’t need the comment again. i just need the message for my heavy heart thanks. no peoples comments again please.

    1. greetings to you in the name of Lord Jesus Christ wonderful message brother god is there in our every pain to give is love may god use you more and more for his Glory Aman

  1. Thanks for the reminder of truth, Chris. I know these words have been an encouragement to you as well. I remember you saying years ago to hang onto the Rock during turbulent times, and that is good advice, as always. Blessings to you and your family!

  2. Great lesson. I also have come to the conclusion that my enemy, the liar, deceiver, and murderer, is the one who is telling me those lies and I must pray to be clothed in the full armor of God resist Satan’s lies and draw near to God so He will draw near to me. As you can probably tell, I’ve fought this fight more than once!😘

  3. you cannot believe the timing of this article, it came at a time when i really really needed to read this

    thank you so much

    Debby Weber

  4. I have a friend who is the minister at a local church. He has been on leave for 18 months due to the church being spiritually unhealthy and him being bullied and abused. No where in my human understanding can i get how this situation could happen in a church. I have struggled to believe God will triumph and over 20 years of bad stuff at the church that has affected several ministers and countless parishoners will end in a transformation of the church and how it operates. My heart just breaks for my friend and his family. They fully believe they were called to minister at this church and God will triumph in this situation. I am full of doubts though.

  5. Romans 8:28 comes to mind while reading this. No doubt that every Christian has or will experience what you refer to here. My old pastor used to say that if God does not give you what you want, he will give you something better. Another truth that I have found in difficult times is that my spiritual growth has always been highest in these times. Good read. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you so much for speaking to my heart and circumstances. Do I have your permission to quote directly some of these quotes and post to Twitter or Google with your website? By the way, could you check out my Blog page whatonearthcanwedo.wordpress.com or my amazon author page at: amazon.com\author\chrisbriscoe ~ could you tell me what you think? Can I comment on your Blog? Your Blog’s content was wonderful and ministering and faith-inparting, but the only downside was the trivial mistakes in spelling and grammer. If you haven’t noticed all of them, I would be happy to point them out-sorry but I am a teacher

  7. Great article! Thanks! (Typo at the end “Run TO God and now AWAY from Him.” … “Not” instead of “now”)

  8. Wow I never thought about the reality that if we asked God to explain Himself He’d start with something from the 1500s and go on and on and even reveal how we are connected to something in the future centuries. WOW

  9. Great topic, May God richly bless you more. its an encouragement to me to keep on running the race that our heavenly father entrusted to me even everything is blurred..

  10. Hey pastor u really like your points and i woukd want to know more about your ministry and i also share more with about our ministry. Pr wilfred (heavenly mission church uganda).

  11. I am so thankful I came across your blog. Yesterday I Googled seeking Gods Will and it lead me to your blog on 8 keys to seeking Gods will. I read it and it was truly an eye opener. I also enjoyed Where is God when God is not there. Thank you for your obedience to God by sharing your gift. May our God continue to bless you and fill you.

  12. I agree with everything but point 4. Doubt is being double-minded. Faith is acting like a thing is so before it is so so that it will be so (Manly Beasley) Jacob, who we call James said, “But let him ask in faith, without any doubting—for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord— he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” David is like the rest of us weak humans who question if God is there, but it doesn’t make it okay. Praise Adonai that He is a merciful and gracious God, who forgives and understands our weaknesses.
    ‭‭Jacob (James)‬ ‭1:6-8‬ ‭TLV‬‬

  13. It is 4:01am. I’ve been studying now for two hours. When I got to your post it was what I needed to hear. Everything you said just makes sense. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. God is with me, even though I can not see it right now. My faith was low, but it has been redeemed once again with your words. Thank you. Please add my e-mail to all of your writings, I learn so much with the way you write. Cinemablendnrainbows@gmail.com

  14. Thank you. I believe that it truly is by Gods grace that I was led to this! I needed to read this message as I was starting to doubt my faith and ability to hear God and was confused about what I hear at all! Hope I do sound sane at all.
    Greetings from South Africa.
    Rene Peens

  15. Chris, can’t thank you enough for the reassurance… Long time believer, just lost my job it’s been rough couple of months. But I will never let go! Thank you

  16. Hi Chris,

    I could not heave read this post at a better time yesterday. I found the post exactly when I needed to hear this message. You are right it is not by accident I found this post (I believe God guided me to it).Thank you so much and may God bless and preserve you.

  17. This was just what I needed Pastor!I’m a born again believer who is learning how to walk with God and I need all the help I can get!God bless you and your family!

  18. Thanks for the piece, ‘WHERE IS GOD, WHEN HE IS NOT THERE’. It was all-inspiring. More grease to your palms.

  19. Thank you.. I’ve been on a long journey with Christ. Been a Christian many yrs, but have been in a trial now for many yrs. I have not worked for 2 yrs, but still able to stay afloat. He is teaching me through suffering. I have to admit it is not fun but I thanked God for the suffering because I know it has to be very essential for what is coming up in my life. I can thank God because there is only Good in him, there is no bad. The evil one wants me to believe this suffering is because of my failures, but when those thoughts come, I address them to Jesus, who paid for all my shortcomings and sins.

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