What can I do when I don’t feel any love for God?
Question: "What can I do when I don’t feel any love for God?"
Answer: First, an important question: are you born again? Have you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation? If so, the enmity between you and your Creator is gone, and you have entered a secure and loving relationship with God. If you have no faith in Christ, then you have no relationship with God (John 14:6).
Feelings come and go, and you may not always “feel” love for God. Hearts tend to grow cold, and even the most on-fire Christians can struggle with maintaining their love and service to God. The church in Ephesus had to be reprimanded by Christ: “You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4). A lack of feelings of love, however, does not mean the relationship has ended. God does not change; His love is constant.
As cliché as it may sound, don’t give up! Know that God loves you and desires for you to have an abundant and peaceful life within the parameters of His will. God is a loving, compassionate Father who looks upon you in great love. Second Corinthians 1:3 describes God as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” He loves you and desires to help you through this trying time of feeling disconnected from Him.
Our relationship with God is based on love. He loved us and sent His Son (John 3:16), and our response to His love is to love Him in return (1 John 4:19) and serve Him. Not service out of obligation, but out of true love for Him and who He is. God’s will is not that we give of ourselves “reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). So how do you become that “cheerful giver” who gives your heart freely to God?
Reflect upon your walk thus far
Should Christians feel warm and fuzzy toward God at all times? No. We all have valleys and deserts in our walk and feel all kinds of emotions at various points in our lives—just like we do in other relationships. In rekindling your affection for God, start at the very beginning. Reflect on where and how your walk with Him first began. When were you saved? Why were you saved? What did you feel when you first began to discover who God was? How has Jesus made Himself known to you in your daily life since? What things in life has God brought you through? Consider past victories (1 Samuel 7:12) and those times when you felt a deep desire and longing for God in your life.
Spend some quality time with God. Get to know Him more. To know Him is to love Him. Ask God to increase your desire for Him. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and rekindle your appreciation of His character. Continue submitting to the Holy Spirit and confess to God that you cannot overcome these struggles on your own—none of us can. When we ask for His helping hand, He always hears us! Psalm 18:6 says, “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”
During the times when you feel nothing toward God, it helps to read His Word to remember how He feels about you. Dig into Scripture as much as possible while dealing with these feelings of disinterest. God’s Word is truly “a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). Try reading a psalm a day. The book of Psalms is very encouraging and has many prayers that you might really identify with, given your current situation. It is in the Word that God reveals Himself and His will for you.
Seek Christian counseling
This is especially important if you are angry or upset with God for some reason. It is difficult to feel love for someone while you are angry at him. If there is an anger problem, how long have you felt this way? Can you attribute your feelings to a specific situation? Does anything help relieve your feelings or temporarily change your perception? Biblical counseling can help you work through specific issues. Through the healing process, guided by a pastor or other counselor, you should be able to let go of the anger and hurt, and your perception of God should change for the better.
Find a godly mentor
Surely, there is someone you know who loves the Lord and whose Christian joy is evident. Ask this person to meet with you regularly. Spend time together, study the Bible together, pray together. Ask questions about your mentor’s spiritual walk and how you can love the Lord more. This friend can encourage you on your journey.
Plug into your local church
God intends for the Christian life to be lived corporately. That’s why He calls the church the “body” of Christ (Romans 12:5). There are many opportunities to serve the Lord through your church and many people who can exhort, support, and encourage you.
God will continue to love you dearly! “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19).
Recommended Resource: Loving God by Charles Colson
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Questions about the Christian Life
What can I do when I don’t feel any love for God?