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Life Helps/How Can I Feel God's Love?

Staff Member
How Can I Feel God's Love?

By Dr. Bill

Question:Some people say they “feel” God with them. I have trouble feeling his love. Is he really there? How can I know that he loves me?

You are not alone. Even some of our biblical heroes like David struggled at times to feel God’s love. In Psalm 13:1 he cried out, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” When you’re feeling distant from God have you ever cried a prayer like this? I have and I can tell you that it helps me feel connected to God.

I often hear from people who are Christians, but are struggling to feel God’s love for them. Their prayers seem to have bounced off the ceiling unanswered. Their cries for God’s healing touch echoed down hospital corridors, apparently unheard in the heavens. Emptiness had overwhelmed their hearts and left a Godless void inside. Doubt had driven out faith.

Together we cried out for God until we found him. If you’re going through times like these you may feel like giving up on God, but don’t. He hasn’t given up on you.

Like the father in Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), God never stops loving us. Insulted and rejected by his son, who left home and wasted his inheritance money in wild living, Father still loved his son. In fact, he missed him so terribly that day after day for months he looked to see if his son was coming home yet. When finally he saw Prodigal way off in the distance he didn’t wait for his son to get to him. He ran out to greet him - huffing, puffing, sweating, robe flying open and exposing his undergarments, he ran and ran as fast as he could - unconcerned that the town gawked at a man of distinction making a spectacle of himself. Then he embraced his dirty, disheveled, and swine-smelling son to his heart and kissed him again and again. He gave his son gifts of grace: a robe to cover his tattered clothes so he could lift his head high, sandals to welcome him home as a son and not a slave, his signet ring to give him a second chance to manage the family property, and a great party to honor him in the community.

This is our Heavenly Father. He takes initiative to show his love. He is generous, overwhelming us with his love and his gifts of grace that we didn’t earn.

This picture of your Father God loving you may seem too good to be true for you. Perhaps your father didn’t take initiative to get to know you and share his love with you. Maybe hugs and kind gestures have been few and far between for you. It is hard to trust in the love of God whom you have not seen or touched if people whom you have seen and touched have shown you little love. So what can you do? How can you begin to experience the healing, life changing love of God that you long for?

I’d like to offer you some powerful possibilities for helping you to feel more of God’s love for you. Consider the faith-building steps below and focus on the steps that you most need to take:

1. Confess your shortcomings. None of us are perfect. When we hurt other people we need to say we’re sorry to restore relationship with them. It’s the same with God. Our behavior affects our relationship with Him. It’s a good idea to daily take a moral inventory in order to say you’re sorry for your shortcomings and then to turn to God. Do this and you will feel more of God’s love.

2 .Believe that you are lovable. Your problem with God may be a self-esteem problem. Some people feel bad about themselves because of something they did. Others feel bad because of something that was done to them. Either way, don’t let yourself feel bad about yourself. Work at receiving forgiveness for your failings and giving forgiveness to those who have hurt you. Don’t give in to shame, embarrassment, and negative self-talk. If you do you’ll feel like hiding and will tend to shut out God and others who care about you. Instead, dare to believe that you are lovable and worthwhile and that your emotional needs are important. Then look for loving, gracious people and receive their care as a gift from God. Additionally, try reading and praying over positive Scriptures that focus on God’s love for you. (See “God’s Love for Christmas.”)

3 .Let go of anger. Your problem feeling close to God may be tied to an anger problem. Angry people are lonely people. You may have valid reasons to be angry, but don’t stay angry or you’ll just hurt yourself. Anger and negativity push people away, even the caring people whom we need. You can’t stay angry at someone and feel their love for you at the same time. If you’re angry at God then do what Job did. His children died, his business failed, and he was afflicted with painful boils. On top of this his friends judged him, telling him that he was suffering because he sinned.

Job knew he didn’t deserve this pain. He was angry at God about what had happened to him and all the pain he was in and he told him so. He was angry at his friends for criticizing him and he told them how he felt too. Because Job talked through his feelings and let go of his anger he didn’t become bitter, he became better. In the end he found God’s comfort. You can too if you talk through your anger with God, let go and trust him, reaching out to him for the love that you need.

4. Express your feelings. You may be struggling to experience God’s love because you struggle to feel your feelings. Perhaps you’re a person of action and reason and feelings just get in the way. Or you’ve experienced so much pain and disappointment in life that you’ve shut down your emotional system. In either case, if you’re emotionally detached you won’t feel close to God and his care for you.

To get more in touch with your feelings find friends who are interested in you and who will ask you, “How are you feeling?” and then listen to you. Also read the book of Psalms in the Bible and look for psalms that you identify with. Then write your own psalms to God, talking to him just like you would to your best friend. Tell him what’s happened and how you feel about it and then remind yourself that God cares about you, has given you good things in the past, and will help you now. (See the Poetry section on New Hope Online.)

5. Clear up your image of God. Most people I talk to who are having trouble feeling God’s love have a distorted image of God. They don’t see God for who he is. They’re projecting pain or disappointment from childhood onto God. They may know in their heads that God is different, but emotionally they experience him like their critical father, distant mother, abusive step-father, or someone else who hurt them. I find that when these people are helped to heal from their childhood hurts they are better able to see God for who he is.

Along the way, it’s helpful to immerse your heart and mind in the positive images of God presented in the Bible. Three of my favorites are the Loving Father (Luke 15, mentioned above), the Good Shepherd (Psalm 23 and John 10, see my poem, “Psalm 23 Journey”), and the Nurturing Mother Bird (Psalm 91). When one of these positive pictures of God gets in your heart you’ll feel different about God, yourself, and your life.

6. Ask for prayer. To sum it all up, if God seems far away and inaccessible to you then you need help. You can’t find God on your own. Remember the story of the paralyzed man who needed Jesus’ healing touch? (Mark 2:1-12) Four men carried him a stretcher to Jesus. Jesus was in a house ministering to hundreds of people who were crowded inside and standing outside the windows. The friends of the paralyzed man were not deterred. The carried him onto the roof, cut a whole in the roof, and carefully dropped him down at Jesus’ feet. And Jesus healed him.

If your faith in God is paralyzed then ask for prayer from a friend, your pastor, or a counselor. Call or e-mail New Hope and we will pray for you. You can get unstuck! You can feel God’s love for you! Don’t give up on God. Get the help you need, take the steps I’ve suggested, and receive what He provides.

© 2002 NewHopeNow.org. Used by permission.
Have read this through twice, but it still doesn't seem to answer my question.

When you say that you feel God's love, are you talking literally or figuratively?

When you say that God is holding you in his arms, are you speaking literally or figuratively?

Without knowing the answers to these two questions, I can not know what I am suppose to be aiming towards!

I really hope that that makes sense to you!!!!!!
Thanks Sleepy for your post.

LLJ had told me about it, but thanks for thinking about me too.

The honest answer is that it still doesn't answer my 2 key questions.

I also think that if I've got to do all the things that it lists, then I am never going to make it.

I really feel that I might as well give up searching now and save everybody on this forum the hassle of my questions.

I really do not think that I am going to make it - and by nature, I am not a person who gives up easily, but as I have said before,


I feel worthless, unloveable and a total failure.

I am devastated!

The only word that I can say is sorry.
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You are doing them all...

You are beautiful. Accept yourself xxx God made you. You are His... accepted, loved :love:
Re: How can I feel God's love?

Have read this through twice, but it still doesn't seem to answer my question.

When you say that you feel God's love, are you talking literally or figuratively?

When you say that God is holding you in his arms, are you speaking literally or figuratively?

Without knowing the answers to these two questions, I can not know what I am suppose to be aiming towards!

I really hope that that makes sense to you!!!!!!

SadEyes: We experience these things in the figurative sense in that God does not usually come to us in bodily form and minister to us.

But, he does speak to us in non-verbal ways. For instance,sometimes if I am feeling fearful about something and I'm praying for relief from the fear, a positive thought will come into my head accompanied by a joyful feeling or some other positive emotion. Experience has taught me that when that happens it is probably God talking to me.

Also, in my case, what you might call a Bible verse address, such as "2 Cor 5:17" may come into my mind with an accompanying feeling of peace or excitement; and when I open my Bible and read 2nd Corinthians Chapter Five, verse seventeen I find that that is just the verse I needed for what was on my mind.

I hope that this begins to clear your mind a bit where those two questions are concerned. Please feel free to keep asking questions.

I'm praying for you.

Thank you SLE for answering those questions. No wonder I was confused because I thought that people were speaking literally when they said that God is holding me in his arms.

But if it is figurative language, well that makes more sense now.

I am totally amazed that you say that God speaks to you. That is so awesome. You must be so special - WOW!

Yesterday, Sleepy said that she had experienced God and now you say that he speaks to you - This is so amazing!

I believe you - I have no reason to think that you are lying to me - but to have God speaking to you is literally "out of this world"!!!!!!!

Staff Member
Dear sadeyes

God has spoken to me in different ways and as you get to know Him you will hear Him speak to you as well.

It maybe in that still small voice. It could be a good thought that comes into your head. He has also spoken through a friend.

It is not necessarily hearing a voice.

When something you read in the Bible jumps out at you as you read it that is also how God can speak to you.

You are special God says so. He created you as I showed you through Psalm 139 which blew you away. I think God was speaking to you as you read it but you did not connect with the idea that He was talking to you. Try reading it again and see how much He wants to talk to you and hear you talking to Him.

God bless

Love in Christ :love: :rainbow: :rose:
Thank you for your post.

As I said in the 'How do you know?' thread, this is all very exciting!

Staff Member
Amen sister I am happy to know that you are excited and happy too.

God is so good.

May your roots go down deep into Jesus and may you blossom and flourish in your walk with Jesus.

God bless you dear sister

Love in Christ :love: :rainbow: :rose: