We have all had times of trial, those times when the light of day seems to be overshadowed by the darkness of the circumstances we find ourselves. Sometimes, it is our choices that have brought us into the darkness and sometimes it is because of the choices of others. At times, we may not even understand the reasons behind our difficulties. Whatever the reason, one question often creeps into our thoughts causing us to wonder "Has God given up on me?"
It is difficult to experience light when you feel trapped in a world of darkness. Let me reassure you, you are God's child and He will never give up on you. So when you are experiencing those adverse conditions and feel as though you're drowning in darkness, I encourage you to find the strength to do these four simple things to help you recognize that God is very much a part of your life.
1. Look for goodness in your life
Even when life gets hard, there is still goodness around you. Storms bring moisture, which encourage growth, the darkness of night allows the stars to shine, and a lighthouse is most effective in the middle of a storm. When you are struggling, find those things that are good. For me, my children and their laughter are always a great strength. A beautiful day of sunshine, my favorite song on the radio, a friend's kind note of thanks, a stranger's smile as she passes by, all these things are bits of goodness that God inserts randomly into our day. Everything that is good comes from God, and if you can find goodness in your life, then you can rest assured that God has not given up on you. He is still sending you small pieces of goodness to remind you that you're loved.
2. Seek God's spirit
If you feel God has given up on you, then it is important you do those things that help you to feel his spirit. Attend church with the intent to feel God's spirit while you are there. Really listen to the speakers and soak up the spirit that can be felt there. Read your scriptures. They are God's words given to his prophets, and they will help you to feel his spirit and often help you receive answers to your questions. Say your prayers. Talking to God is a great way to feel his presence. Spend time in nature, visit a holy place. Go to places where you most often feel God's spirit and spend time there communing with him. If you can feel God's spirit then you will know he is aware of you and helping you every step of the way.
One of the best and most accurate ways to know if God is with you is to ask him. If you ask with a sincere heart, God will answer you. It is a promise he has made to all of his children. Also, ask that you may feel his love for you. One of the most profound experiences I have ever had with the spirit is when my husband prayed for me that I would be able to feel God's love for me. I was able to not only feel God's love for me, but his love for all his children. The feelings were overwhelming and have left a lasting impression on my heart. We can all experience the same kind of intense and profound experience with the spirit if we simply ask him with a sincere heart and a desire to believe and know for ourselves.
There was a time when I questioned whether or not God was really answering my prayers. I kept hearing of these remarkable stories from those around me of how God had answered their prayers, and I couldn't think of any profound experience of my own. I decided I wanted to focus on my prayers to see if God was indeed answering them, so I started keeping a prayer journal. I wrote down the things I prayed for and recorded if and how God answered them. I was amazed at the results. God was answering my prayers regularly. Every day he was answering my prayers in new and different ways, and I was oblivious to all of them until I started writing it down. God is very much a part of our lives, but it isn't until we make a conscious effort to recognize and record those answers and blessings that we can understand just how much he is doing for us.
If you ever question if God has given up on you, please remember how valuable and loved you are. You are his child, and he wants what any good parent would want; for all his children to come home to him. He loves you so much that he sent his son to die for you, so you have the opportunity to fully repent of all your sins and mistakes and return back to him to live with him once again. You are loved more than you will ever know by a father who walks by your side every step of the way. You can rest assured he will never ever forsake you. He will take you out of the darkness and into the glorious light, wrapped in the arms of his love.