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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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I want to feel closer to God, but sometines He isnít there for me


I want to feel closer to God, but sometimes I feel like He isnít there for me.óFrustrated, 15, NY

Shayna Answers:

Dear Frustrated,

Sometimes our feelings can be deceptive when it comes to our understanding of God’s ways and whether or not He’s there for us. Because we’re human, we need to remember that we can’t see the whole picture of our lives the way God does. In Isaiah 55:8 He says: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.”

Plus, we’re all susceptible to deceptions from the devil. Often he tries to manipulate our feelings to make us doubt God and His promises. This is why we need to use our knowledge about God’s character to test our feelings in every circumstance.

Isaiah 59:2 explains that our sins separate us from God. Take some time to honestly think about what you’re doing. Are you lying about something? cheating? being disrespectful? First John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, God will faithfully forgive us. So confess the sins that you’ve been commiting.

First John 5:3 says that we show our love for God by obeying His law. So ask God to change your behavior, to help you obey His law. I guarantee that having a clear conscience will help you feel better as you relate to God. James 4:8 even says: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Drawing closer to God includes both the activities of talking to Him in prayer and listening to Him when He talks to you through His Word, through His providential workings, and through impressions from the Holy Spirit.*

Increase the amount of time you spend worshipping God. You could get up 30 minutes earlier each morning to study your Sabbath school lesson and pray. Or, turn off the TV 30 minutes earlier each night to spend time with God.

Read directly from Scripture every day. If you don’t know where to start, try delving into a chapter of Psalms each day. And, don’t understimate the power of prayer. In Jeremiah 33:3 God promises to explain His ways to us when we don’t understand what’s going on. Remember the Lord’s Prayer? You can find it in Matthew 6:9-13. It’s a template of the important points to include in your prayers as you talk to God like a friend.

No matter what is going on in your life or your head right now, Proverbs 3:5 advises: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding,” because your understanding of your life is very limited.

Watch out. The devil loves to mix a little bit of truth with deception. And when he messes with our feelings, he can be very convincing. In the Garden of Eden the devil played on Eve’s emotions to tempt her to distrust God before she sinned.

Romans 8:38, 39 reminds us that absolutely nothing can separate us from the Lord’s love, no matter how we feel. Next week we’ll talk about why everything doesn’t always go our way in life, even when we’re faithfully following God.

*See Ellen White, Testimonies For the Church, Vol. 5, p. 512.

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