To the One Who Feels Like Giving Up on God

Written By Rob Chagdes, USA

Dear Friend,

Do you find yourself feeling hopeless and ready to give up on God? Or are you buried in loneliness, having lost sight of God’s love for you? If so, I have been there, and I want to tell you that God has a way of meeting you in the midst of your struggle.

Some time back, I was a few years into a job that I believed God had led me to. My work was unsatisfying, and I struggled to find the joy I once embraced. I began to make poor choices, small ones at first, and then slightly larger ones over time. I recall moments where I caught a glimpse of hope, yet I found myself constantly returning to my dark place. I was slowly breaking apart, piece by piece. I felt like I was in the pit of despair.

It was in the midst of this darkness that I began to question if following Jesus was the path I should continue to walk. I had sought after God in pursuit of this job and I felt misled as my expectations continued to be thwarted. All around me I had friends who were climbing the corporate ladder, providing for their family in ways I could not, and appearing to finding a satisfaction in their jobs that eluded me.

I felt like a failure.

I started to consider walking away from my faith to embrace a world that seemed to have more enticing possibilities.

By God’s grace, He met me in my struggle, and opened my eyes to Him in a new way. He helped me see that the things the world could offer me were not what I needed. He opened my eyes and reminded me that He was worth seeking.

There are a few important truths that I came to know during this season, and I hope they will encourage you during this season in your life.

First, let me first assure you that you are not alone and God will provide a way out for you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

You might see the word “temptation” and immediately think of sin, but the word actually means to test, try, or prove. God used this dark season in my life as a test of faith to show me what’s really inside of me. And as the apostle Paul pointed out, these tests or trials are common to man, which gave me the assurance that I was not the only Christian who felt like I did, and surely wasn’t a failure because of the difficult time I was having. As you face this trying time, please remember that you are in good company!

And, if you noticed . . . this verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13 comes with a promise: God is going to provide a way out so that you can endure this season you’re in.

You can have confidence that rescue is coming—though it might not look the way you expect it to. My rescue wasn’t dramatic, and it didn’t happen all at once, but it looked like God revealing to me that He was active in my life, and that I could trust Him, even where I could not see His footprints.

This brings me to the second truth I want to remind you of: you can live in certainty that He is at work, even in this time. Jesus says in John 5:17, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

There were actually some good things that happened during this dark time in my life. They were hard things, but there were soul-shaping moments. God revealed my dependence on achievement, and how that had become an idol for me. When I was doing well, able to meet deadlines, accomplish goals, and check things off my list, it was easy to draw near to Him. When I was not getting things done, or when I felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities and burdens I carried, I felt distant from Him. He also helped me see that whenever I took time to withdraw to meet with Him, life around me still went on. I am not so indispensable that I must keep achieving to matter in this world.

God was working in my heart, and I didn’t find rescue until I came to the end of myself and let go of the idol of achievement.

God is never not working. Even when we don’t see it. Even when it’s dark. Even when the hope appears to have faded. God is always, always, always at work.

Finally, I want you to know that you need God, and He is good. There is nothing else in this world that you can find fulfillment in, except a relationship with him.

There were moments during this season when the words of Peter in John 6:68 rang in my ears. Jesus had just taught some hard truths and John records that, “. . . from this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6:66)

But when Jesus turned to his disciples and asked if they too, want to leave, Simon Peter answered Him with a question, saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

This verse prompted me to ask myself, “If I chose to give up on God, where would I go?”

And the truth is, my answer was “nowhere.” There are a remarkable number of things in this world that I cannot “fix”. I cannot heal those around me who are fighting against cancer. I am unable to heal the hurts that my loved ones face. I have no ability on my own to see the future and know if a certain direction in the best way to go. These situations helped me realize how much I needed God. I remember that Jesus has the words of eternal life. He has words that go beyond me. His story is greater than my own, and if I’m being honest, I have nowhere to go that would ever compare to where I’ve been with Him.

I hope that you can remember that even when God’s ways don’t look the way we expect them to, it doesn’t change the reality that He is the only source of eternal life, and just as Peter concluded—there really isn’t anywhere else worth going. If we want to truly live, we need God.

As I came out of this trying time in my life, I learned the importance of rhythms that allow me to connect with God in new ways. I began practicing silence and solitude, taking time to be still with God regularly. I focused less on “doing devotions” and more on spiritual disciplines that led me into His presence. I stopped trying to work myself towards a state of spiritual “perfection” and pursued a life of meeting with God in the midst of my own messiness. It’s still a battle, but I’m in this for the long haul.

In retrospect, I don’t regret my season of struggle and doubt. Journeying through the darkness allowed me to have a bigger view of God. He was gracious, loving, and patient with me. He can handle our doubts, and is present even in the moments when we want to walk away.

So dear friend, don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. You are not alone and God is near. He is not done with you yet. He hears your cry and will rescue you, too.

Hang in there.

 

29 replies
  1. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I began practicing silence and solitude, taking time to be still with God regularly. I focused less on “doing devotions” and more on spiritual disciplines that led me into His presence.

    Hi Rob, thank you so much for this article! Could I please ask, what sort of spiritual disciplines are you referring to and how do you do them? 🙂

    Reply
    • Rob Chagdes
      Rob Chagdes says:

      Hey Jessica,

      Sorry it took me so long to respond. The world has gone crazy as you know! I hope you’re doing well wherever you are.

      Silence and solitude are huge for me. Sitting in silence for 5, 10, 15 or more minutes and just “being still.” I just try to let my mind rest in His presence. Solitude is withdrawing from everything. During this season, I’ve been taking long walks in quiet places, and just talking with Jesus.

      Worship is huge – taking time to respond to God for who He is and what He has done. Of course music is the most popular way of doing that, but sometimes when I’m walking with Him I can simply worship Him in my words and by taking in His creation.

      One of the most helpful is the prayer of examen. I take time with God to look back on my day, week, month – to reflect on the choices I’ve made and the things I’ve done – conversations I’ve had, etc. It’s really powerful.

      A GREAT app to check out is Abide. Great for reflection. Hope this helps! Feel free to e-mail me chagdeswrites@gmail.com.

  2. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    After multiple deaths and family divorces and job loss, I felt alone and disappointed. Glad I read this.

    Reply
  3. John
    John says:

    “God was working in my heart, and I didn’t find rescue until I came to the end of myself and let go of the idol of achievement”

    I thought this was profound

    Thank you

    Reply
  4. Dora
    Dora says:

    I am starting to lose my faith in God even though I’ve been a believer ever since I was young. I can’t explain it, but I think that enough is enough.

    Reply
    • YMI
      YMI says:

      Hi Dora – we’re so glad that you came upon this article, and we hope it’ll be an encouragement to you in this difficult time.

      As you wrestle through this season, we pray that you’re able to come to God with your questions and doubt, and that He’ll show you His love, and goodness! Bless you!

    • Allie
      Allie says:

      The same here. Lost, empty, stressed, lonely- a wife of a workaholic narcassist for 30 years who is cold, abusive, single minded and has trapped me and his four adult children in his personal prison. He won’t help them move forward…He won’t help me to help them. Three days ago I had to put my precious love Boxer to sleep. She was only 5 years old. She was my joy. Had surgery to save her life and she deteriorated 4 days later rapidly. I prayed…prayed and prayed God would save her….she died. Every prayer I have prayed from my heart for my family…has been NO. My oldest son is severely Autistic….hurts himself all the time. My husband works from home and ignores everything else, until he needs food or make demands on all of us. I have no place to go, to turn to. No car, no drivers license, no friends or family, not on his checking account. All I have had was my prayers…God….I thought. Hoped. Faith is gone after 30 years, little hope left, if any and nothing changes….ever. My dog was the last hope I had in God….and He still said NO.
      I give up. God is cruel….which is not what I use to believe….:-(

  5. A. Darrow
    A. Darrow says:

    I am in Bible college and I am certain that God called me here. I’ve experienced so much opposition mentally, spiritually and emotionally lately and have often thought about giving up. I don’t know if I would walk away from God completely but I feel like He is far away. I don’t know where my faith is anymore. I once had so much passion and now I’m just ready to let it all go. Your article helped me have a little bit of hope that if you could make it through your dark time, so could I. Thanks

    Reply
  6. Allie V
    Allie V says:

    If God is there for us…He must be hiding or has some of us on MUTE. I do not feel His presence anymore…and the storms continue to thrash me against the rocks…tearing at any faith i might have left. I am hurt…deeply sad…and angry as well. I am closing the door and not looking back…sadly. I loved Jesus…but if this is testing…I will always fail His tests and I am tired of trying to show Him I love Him.

    Reply
    • Calix
      Calix says:

      Dont give up even when you feel like it, our feelings are fickle and do not always align with the truth, even when God may be silent, he’s always working. Habakkuk 1:5-“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” This reply may be a little late, but you are not the only one who is facing struggles in your life, Jesus is with you and always with you, He never changes and is always faithful, don’t close the door and think about what will happen after we die, He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding and the world cannot give you that. Only God can really satisfy the hole that is in our hearts and He is the ONLY ONE who can fill it, God loves you very much and don’t give up, there is still hope and you’re not alone.

  7. Paul
    Paul says:

    Thank you for the words. At present the walls are crumbling on me but I’m still hoping for God to save me. I will be back when situation changes

    Reply
  8. Mundkur
    Mundkur says:

    With all due respect to the contents of the holy scriptures,

    Thank you for the entertainment.

    It was really fun reading this. Unfortunately, it is far from helpful for people during a depressive season.

    When everyone seems to be making money and provide for families that I could not, The author of this article has no idea how demoralising it is.

    Especially, when we have spent our whole lives in poverty knowing fully well of its ill effects.

    Reply
  9. Ms pierre
    Ms pierre says:

    Thank you so much for this post . Thank you for being obedient writing this . I felt like giving up like 1hour ago and so I Google “giving up on God and your post came up and you wrote the exact words I needed to hear . I felt like I was understood and I realized I’m not the only one . I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it because I didn’t want to be judged or looked down upon. Your post really encouraged and now I’m going to keep going in the Lord . Thank again May God richly bless you and your family .

    Reply
  10. Motun
    Motun says:

    Am about to give up but God himself lead me to google this but am calm, this is too much, why is he taking long, but I’ll stick with him no where to go, I’ll be back to give testimony.

    Reply
  11. Holly
    Holly says:

    What if He just keeps taking from u till u have no teeth, job, home, hope, and u life a child to despair? Is it time to give up now?

    Reply
  12. Kenneth Gray
    Kenneth Gray says:

    Hello,
    Silence is my biggest problem with God. The Bible says that we have to build a relationship with God. A relationship can only happen when there is communication from both parties involved. Since God is always silent, I find it impossible to form that relationship. I don’t know where I’d go, or what I’d do, but it can’t be worse than this miserable silence. 40+ years of nothing but unanswered prayers and complete silence. God has not responded to me in any way that I can understand. Again I run into this word season. How long is a season? So far my season of crap has been my whole miserable life. Everyone keeps talking like seasons come and go, not so for me. Come on death so I can escape this misery. I don’t understand what you mean by God is working. Working implies that God needs time to do something. If God needs time, then He isn’t God Almighty. God doesn’t need anything. Snap of the fingers and done, for God. God just does, no work to it. I don’t need silence from God. Silence kills faith and trust. Now as far as God’s presence is concerned, presence can only be when it is seeable, hearable, or can be felt. Anything less isn’t being present. It’s like saying that I have an apple with me, when the apple is at home.

    Thanks and God bless you, in Jesus holy name, Amen.

    Reply
    • Johnny
      Johnny says:

      This ⬆️. After decades of trials and dedication to God, stresses ebb and flow, synonymous with seasons. Having known, I still find myself scouring the Internet looking for hope. My walk has never been stronger yet it feels most fragile.
      I find blogs like this person who wrote the article, and I see the inexperience in it.
      I know that it helps some people, mostly who are younger or have had a shorter walk with the Lord. But as Kenneth mentions, having spent your entire life, and now as an older adult, how long is a season? The season is over when there is change. But why are some people’s seasons shorter than others, is it because of their measure of faith? Does faith determine the season, the season determine the faith? Spiritual life ebbs and flows- as if it were an ocean trying to change the shore. Some shores are soft, some
      shores are rock, both change differently. Who decides our shores, our hearts? Unfairly as it is to us, no one chooses their measure of faith, and it can be greatly impacted by environmental circumstance.
      These expectations of seasons and outcomes, I believe it is this false expectation about God that Christians share with one another that destroys faith. Tho well-meaning, it diminishes the realism and value of the promise of eternal life after death. It removes the focus from eternal life and places it on the here and now.
      Regardless, at the end of the day, it is the world we have all turned to for answers, not God. We turn to people for hope and encouragement, hoping to take refuge in the shadow of their testimony. Is that wrong? Iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another. I’m not talking about your testimony of faith that allowed God to pay your internet bill, whilst another’s lack of faith results children in your neighborhood to be horribly abused, their faith and blood poured out, crying from the earth.
      Then we give God the credit for his Holy Spirit working through anyone. But we are not allowed to give him credit for the bad things, because that’s the world and the devil.
      If we turn to people and rely on ourselves to make it through, how does this edify a relationship with God? “Read the Bible and you will know him” you say? I could read all about George Washington, but even his dog will know him better than I ever could. Knowing about someone and knowing them are two separate things. Communication as Kenneth put it, hits the nail on the head. Having lived my entire life seeking the Lord, praying, reading, meditating, worshiping, fasting, sharing the gospel, and doing things that are completely out of my comfort zone and wheel house for the Lord- I am beyond seeking an experience with God. I am beyond seeking his joy or hearing a word from him. I no longer chase experiences with God, because that would be too selfish. The baptism of the spirit alludes me.
      Still, I chase God because he is worthy to be chased after. As I look back at my life, I see one set of foot prints. And it’s not because he carried me. I see the limping, I see the places where I could walk mo longer.
      Like the undead, I get up and keep moving toward him. Telling myself his word is a lamp for my feet, that it is he who strengthens me; but this does not cause morning to come any quicker.
      In despair, I turn to the body of Christ, to hear a brother or sister say “have faith, confess hidden sin, etc”.
      As if my life weren’t a walking testimony of my faith. Not even I can deny that; I’ve held a mustard seed in the palm of my hand. The silence has caused me to search the very marrow of my bones. Tho I no longer seek experiences, I break myself against his silence, as I can’t help but long for him. To feel no closer to knowing him than the day I started, is a testimony that he has not chose me or there’s some type of malfunction in this ‘matrix’ that prevents communication- at least according to modern expectations of Christianity. I have given all to God. Everything that I’ve loved, an amazing career that I worked my butt off for, My precious children, their future security, all to serve the Lord’s purpose for my life – that he may be glorified in it. But nothing. No joy, no comfort, no sense of purpose, and most painful of all -no relationship with him. If anything, I am more confused by the gospels than before I came to know their existence. The message is simple, but the details are easily misunderstood. But I am not dead yet, maybe there is some learning for me still.
      Will he save your dying loved one? Doctors may, but if they can’t- know that their suffering is over. It is you who have yet to suffer death, it is you who are in the greater predicament. In that moment we only have hope in eternal life. To see them again, for all time. God gives Grace and Mercy as he sees fit in this life, in the here and now, so perhaps he gives mercy and grace of equal or opposite measures in the afterlife.
      If I were to give advice to anyone seeking the Lord, it would be this-
      If you want to seek the Lord, seek him only because he is worthy to be sought after. Do not expect anything in return. He will not do anything for you in the here and now.
      Instead, only expect eternity in the afterlife- as that is worth more than any trial and tribulation, u could possibly endure during your infinitesimal spec of existence on this earth.
      And that is all.
      “That’s not my god”? You’re right, he is not your god, he is God.
      Do not expect to know him, do not seek an experience, only believe until you die. Live your life as you’ve been given. Trust in him that his mercy and grace are sufficient to cover your inability to ever be righteous. It is Jesus that makes you righteous, not those sleepless nights or ocean of tears.
      To have all Eternity to communicate with him face to face, that is worth a shot.

  13. jdb
    jdb says:

    I commited a huge sin and worse thing is I think I’m addicted too and now its really a struggle for me I dedictaed like so much part of my life to Allah and I was honestly and am in a really bad mental state to the point of suicide and thinking of self harms and all actually I tried self harming today as I’m writing this but I didn’t for allaha I am living right? I’m still breathing so to allah I might be an asshole and couldn’t make u happy anymore for these days and if I did badly I’m sorry I dont wanna be and you know my entire soul anyways I’m so so so so sorry and I live because of you if you yk hate me or that I’ll ask u to take me away sorry for me venting lol pray 4 me and have a great day guys on your god journey!

    Reply
  14. Trey
    Trey says:

    Thank you thank you so much for this article it is so true and explains everything I was and am going through to a T. (Old school way of saying it was on point) I thought about giving up on god that’s why I ended up reading this article, but god is all I have. Where would I go? Thank you and I thank god for using you. God is the (G.O.A.T) greatest of all time.

    Reply
  15. Agah
    Agah says:

    I went for an all night service at our church the previous Friday and as the preacher went on in prayer, he said there’s someone here who doesn’t connect with God like before and it seemed like God is no longer with him…he also said this person should stop doing whatever is cutting him off…and I felt it deeply within me that it was me he was referring to….I felt sad and angry because I have been struggling for years in one same phase and piles of sin and lack of achievement, doubts and more..and what really made me sad was because I have been praying that God should intervene yet the response I got felt like I didn’t matter to him after calling on him for years.
    Sincerely I feel like giving up!
    I’m so so tired!

    Reply
  16. Gus
    Gus says:

    I am about to get homeless and given up on hope of any help. There are no tears left to cry for help, no prayers, no emotion. I’m done.

    Reply

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