When God Walks Off the Stage

A Christian in the sixteenth century coined the term the dark night of the soul. This phrase refers to an experience when God removes the “sense” of His presence from a believer’s life.

Some Christians believe that the “dark night” is an exotically rare experience that few people have. Others believe it’s much more common.

I tend to be in the camp that believes it’s rare.

The dark night is when God tosses out the moral compass from a believer’s life. The Christian feels as though God doesn’t exist.

This is neither a dry spell nor a punishment. Instead, it feels as though God has left. The inner consciousness of the Lord’s presence is swept away without warning, and only a blind reliance on past faith saves the Christian from becoming an atheist.

This is not the consequence of sin or rebellion. In fact, it has nothing to do with a believer’s conduct at all.

Here are the words of a person who is experiencing the dark night:

“I feel like a non-Christian. He’s just not there anymore. I never noticed His presence until it left me. Now I long for it again. I feel like the ground under me has been ripped away. My joy is gone. I feel out of control. My spiritual feelings are dull. I’ve lost interest in and affection for God. When I try to speak to Him, it feels like I’m talking to myself or to the ceiling. Prayer once came easy; I talked to the Lord all the time. Now it’s forced. It feels like there’s a big wall between me and God. My love for the Lord has been replaced by a blank. I never knew what God’s presence felt like until it was removed from me. I cry a lot now. I want Him to return to me again.”

Some have called the dark night “a game of love” where God plays hide-and-seek. Others view it as a sign of spiritual maturity and development where God is removing the training wheels.

In such cases, the Lord is teaching His children how to know Him apart from feelings. He’s seeking to show them a new way of relating to Him—one that is more mature and doesn’t rely on anything but faith.

If, perchance, you’re going through this mysterious experience right now, the one piece of advice I can give you is this: Keep in mind that the dark night is simply a crisis and pathway to greater spiritual maturity. God is still with you. In fact, He’s behind this experience. The overarching purpose is redemptive and constructive.

I will not expound on the dark night beyond the above except to illustrate one point.

Let’s return to our nose analogy. During the course of the day, you are virtually unconscious of the presence of your nose. The exception is when you have a sniffle, a nose itch, a nosebleed, or when you look in the mirror.

But if you were to have surgery and your nose was removed, you would certainly be conscious that something essential was missing. And that consciousness would remain for quite a long time.

As I said in the opening of this chapter, there is something called “the background consciousness of God’s presence.” If God were to remove this background consciousness, you would know it immediately. The background consciousness of God’s presence is largely undetected and unnoticed by us Christians.

We don’t recognize it for one simple reason: It’s always present. It’s not dissimilar to why you don’t notice the ring on your finger or the watch on your wrist at every moment. You don’t notice it because it’s always there.

However, if the consciousness of God’s ever-abiding presence were removed, it would register heavily upon you. (This is what happens when someone experiences the dark night of the soul.) So in one regard, we are always conscious of the divine presence in that we are used to it. The light of God is always on. But it looms in the background.

Yet at another level, we can be deliberately conscious of His presence. We can be focused on His presence in the foreground. We can be attentive to it.

“Be still and know that I am God” . . . “He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” . . . “He whose mind is set on me will have perfect peace” . . . “But the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Open the Scriptures and set your mind on the Lord.

This post is a short excerpt from Chapter 6 of Revise Us Again.

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Comments

  1. Lee says

    I’ve felt this darkness of the soul ever since a health crisis 10 months ago where I suffered greatly and thought I was going to die. I didn’t feel that God heard my prayers for guidance or even was present during my suffering. I couldn’t understand why he would abandon me when I had always had strong faith that he was in charge of my life; I can’t believe he would let me suffer and feel that nothingness. I look forward to reading your writings about the experience, which now I see is more common than I thought. This blog makes me feel less alone already.

  2. Robert says

    Found this article and comment section via wikipedia, after having followed links through depressions and existential crisis. To those who have posted their thoughts and feelings before me: thank you.

    The words used in the main article, and in the comments of those affected, feel shockingly spot-on; they all seem to mirror how I’ve thought and felt for many a number of years now but have lacked the ability to express. I really don’t feel “depressed” in the clinical/chemical sense, although that tends to be how my wife interprets things. Rather, the experience has shades of the general pointlessness of human endeavor, mine included. The continuing lack of God-presence, despite the comically pat answers of “pray, read your Bible, and go to church,” slowly nibbles away at what I though was a decent foundation of faith until I’m left feeling unsure whether (or even what) I believe now, or indeed if ever I truly did once. Or what it is I might have done to drive Him so far away (notwithstanding the doctrine that it is we who move from Him … however, that’s not what the article is talking about, if I followed correctly.) “Hanging in there,” as it pertains to faith in particular, and not my relatively blessed life in general, is more a matter of stubborn, mental determination, made and exercised consciously. Hopefully “day” will break someday.

    • jason says

      Don’t be discouraged when daybreak never comes. I am also experiencing St John of the Cross’ dark night of the soul. I would like to point out that not only do you feel a wall between you and God, not only do you feel that you have to force simple acts of faith such as praying, but it makes stark all your sins and shortcomings. It makes you feel not only beat down and abandoned, but that you have failed. Anything that could lead to separation from God, whether a lack of prayer or a recurring sin, will stand out and pull you down into near despair.

      But one thing many are never taught, is the most comfort during this time. Jesus Christ has already saved us. There are two judgements coming, one for those who accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and one for those who did not. The judgement experienced by those how have accepted Jesus is one of reward, judging your performance, in order to be rewarded, but never to be condemned. It is the judgement of a race. The other judgement is that of a judge in a court of law. Since the sacrifice was left unaccepted, the law (of God) will judge these souls.

      So, persevere. You are already saved. It may feel like you are alone, forgotten, or damned. But just endure. It’s almost over, anyway.

      And thou hast patience, and hast endured for my name, and hast not fainted. Apocalypse 2:3

      Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come on all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth. Apocalypse 3:10

      My prayers to all of you suffering from this. It is my lonely walk in the garden. Remember that Jesus Christ experienced it first, and knows. Whether or not you feel it, the truth is the truth, and God is the truth.

  3. Dave Ward says

    I fully enjoyed the blog and the comments. There is a very good British Mini Series- made for TV called Apparitions with
    Martin Shaw (Actor), Joe Ahearne (Director), John Strickland (Director) | Rated: NR | Format: DVD. The 9 part series is probably the closest to what one might call “Dark Knight of the Soul” in theatrical form. I meet so many people who are struggling with the perception that God himself has left them yet to oneday realize that they are on a journey to know and understand their relationship with God at a higher level & plain. For me this movie hit home and gave me something to wrap my head and understanding around. I have ordered your book by the way and am reading yoru articles- I am a new fan! Dave

  4. Stephen says

    Thanks for a very encouraging post. I too have experienced some form of the “dark night” several times in my life. Recently I went through about a year-long experience of questioning absolutely everything I have ever believed about God — mistrusting the authority of parents, teachers, ministers, authors, etc.

    Although a dark night for sure, I was able to hold onto one shard of light–that if God is truly who the Bible says he is, then it follows that I can trust him even in the darkness. So I trusted him. I trusted him by flinging myself headlong into my doubts. Looking back I treasure this period as one of the most precious times ever. Ironically, although I doubted, I was doubting in faith.

    Isaiah 50:10-11 has challenged me many times, and in the darkness these words gave me hope:

    Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?
    Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
    trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.
    But now, all you who light fires
    and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
    go, walk in the light of your fires
    and of the torches you have set ablaze.
    This is what you shall receive from my hand:
    You will lie down in torment.

    Where I found myself was in the dark, yet not wanting to light my own fire. I am a teacher and a musician. Throughout this experience I continued to teach, to testify who Jesus is. At first I felt hypocritical, as though the dark night somehow disqualified me from serving the Lord, but as I persevered, my faith continued to grow.

    I am no longer in the dark night (probably will experience it again), but I am now more convinced than ever that it is in the darkness that we truly meet God.

    John of the Cross’ poem has been set to music by several musicians. I love this one by composer Ola Gjeilo:

  5. Steve says

    I’ve gone through a very strange time in my life. I grew up in the church, and believed I knew Christ as my Savior. I came to a time where I had powerful panic attacks and had to come to admit that my life did not reflect really knowing Him. I had deep patterns of sin that I could not overcome. At that time, I had a powerful awakening to the power of God that brought me to salvation and removed things in my life that I thought could never be removed. Then a few months later, I went through what I can only describe as being “sifted like wheat”. My physical health failed (I’m 37, and my heart is failing). Then I went through a spiritual trial that I can’t explain. If you read John Bunyan’s book “Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners”, well, I could have written it. It is almost identical to what I went through. I had a moment of doubt while reading, and was accused by the great accuser of committing the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which put my whole life into a tailspin of depression, fear, and many sleepless nights of crying out to God for help. Then, I had many struggles with blasphemous thoughts from out of nowhere. I’ve never had them in my life, ever. It was literally making me insane. My wife tried to put me on anti-depressants and was worried I would not make it through this. The severity has decreased, but I feel that everything is lost. I feel numb inside, where I was filled with the Spirit. I still believe, but I struggle with the feeling of deep aching hurt that has replaced the joy and hope I had. I constantly wonder where God went. I feel like I was thrown to the dogs, or to the devil himself. I will always believe that Jesus is the Son of God and my redeemer, but I can’t quite understand what has happened, and now I’m patiently waiting for Him to reveal the purpose of all of this. I feel a lot like some of these posts at this point. I have chosen to persevere in faith, because I believe that is what Hebrews is about- not giving up during trials. I understand that feelings are the last thing to use as a spiritual compass, but it’s really difficult not to always wonder if I’m lost. I choose to push the feelings aside and consider what Jesus said about not losing any that are His. It’s only by faith in God’s word at this point that I am proceeding, because the Spirit isn’t speaking like He used to, although I believe there have been small signs here and there. I was given one word: “persevere”, from a few different sources. So that is what I am doing. I believe sometimes that is faith. I would call this the valley of the shadow of death. It is a terrible place to be, but if I can reach one person with it later for Jesus, it will all be worth it. I am putting my hope in that, and my trust in Him alone.

    • Mo says

      Hi Steve

      Wow. Reading your description is like reading my own life. I am going through the exact same things. Perseverance is the same word that comes to me. Despite the darkness, I do see something taking place in me – humility. It has brought me to start to lean on God much more than I ever have before. Before, I wouldn’t be aware. Now, I am keenly aware. I encourage you to continue to press into His Word. That is my only source of comfort and although the rest of my life seems dark, when I am in the Word, I see things that I would never see before. I remember a Psalm where David speaks of being ‘weaned’. I compare this experience as the same. I used to pray a lot – God teach me how to trust in you. It’s walking in the dark, that I am learning to trust God simply at His Word. I hope you are encouraged to know that you are not alone.

  6. Dustin Lawrence says

    I’ve been experiencing the dark night for about 2 years now. It is true I have no affection, I was once a minister and have become a hermit, I no longer speak in churches. I truly feel no emotions toward God but for some reason I feel okay with it, like I’m right where Im supposed to be. Thanks for the article.

    • Bland Leebrick says

      I’m a minister, too, and have been experiencing the dark night for about a year. My desire is to become a hermit because life is so painful. I was a Hospice chaplain as well as pastor of a small church for fourteen years. I gave up the chaplaincy work about three years ago. This dark night came onto to me about two years after chaplaincy. I keep reliving all the horrible events of death that I encountered.

      • Daphne Duque says

        I just said an “Our Father” for you. St. Paul says to concentrate on lovely things. You’ve seen too much “un-loveliness”. Give yourself a break.

  7. Renee says

    I’m thankful for your blog and other blogs that speak of the dark night of the soul. I have read the comments below and I have to say if I hadn’t gone through it I wouldn’t believe it or understand it either. My journey started almost 4 years ago. It kind of crept up on me, although now looking back- all the signs were there. In the last year is when things got really got dark for me. Everything just seemed to slow down, until I found myself in a black hole. I had lost everything that I found my identity in – my business, relationships, cars, money…To make a long story short, it was the most painful experience I’ve ever gone through. Things really got dark when I discovered that God was gone, or at least that’s how it felt. In my mind the presence of God seems to disappear because our idea of God disappears. I know in my case I had a relationship with all the things that God had given me, versus having a true relationship with God, so in retrospect, the things were my God. When those things started to be taken away, so was God. Also I questioned God, I was very angry with God. I asked several times, did I kick someone’s grandmother, did I kill someone’s cat, what did I do to deserve this. I tried all of my old tricks and nothing worked out. I prayed alone, I had people pray with me and for me, I tithed more than I have before in my life, and nothing changed. I then found myself in the deepest most intense darkness I’ve ever seen. I had dreams of me dying, and better yet, I could feel something dying. I was filled with anxiety and the worst of all I was experiencing depersonalization or a dream state in which some might call an out of body experience. I felt like I was looking through a very hazy glass. That went on for months off and on. There was nowhere to run, and all of my resources were cut off. I found myself all alone. It was horrific, the absolute hands down worst experience ever. I didn’t think I would make it through it. I started to search the web in order to find out what was going on with me, eventually I ran across many sites that talked about the dark night. I went to the bible and found that many people went through their own dark night. Some stories that really helped me was Jonah, when he was swallowed up, if you read his prayer you will find that he was experiencing his own dark night. Ezekiel, when he found himself in the valley of dry bones. Job of course and there were plenty others. I believe since modern day preachers refrain from talking about the dark night, many people will fight with it first because it goes against what we have been taught about God, and the bible. I only recently started reading the bible because months ago, I didn’t want to look at the bible. Praying hadn’t work for me, and there was nothing that I could hear that penetrated me. I listened to old CD’s I had of preachers teaching good word, but it done nothing for me – that’s truly when I knew something was wrong. I’m currently making my way out of the dark night, I truly feel transformed, humbled and very vulnerable, however I’m growing to really appreciate the process. As hard as it might be, it’s for our good, and I truly believe that now. Thanks again for this blog, it’s very helpful.

  8. Rachel F. says

    I’m almost in tears reading these responses that have so mirrored my own. I have experienced my “dark night of the soul” for several years now — the feeling of abandonment and turmoil. It’s like God had thrown me into the sea with nothing but my faith to keep me afloat — and that didn’t feel like much if I may add. I have had it out with God, cried out to Him, shaken my fist at Him and felt alone much of the time. I lost interest in Christian activities I had been involved in. I didn’t like BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) anymore. I even began distancing myself from my christian friends because it seemed like all the things they were doing (the things I used to do) seemed like a chasing of the wind. It all “seemed like straw to me.” While I was interested less and less in the “christian lifestyle, I found myself drawn more and more to Jesus. One of the things I believe I heard God say to me was, “Look at My Son.” Seeking beyond the Sunday school answer, I found myself really asking “Who is Jesus really?” His suffering, His compassion, His Love for the Father, His obedience to His will — these aren’t just doctrine. They’re real. And by God’s grace, this experience is making me real. Even if I feel this way for the rest of my life, my response is as Peter’s to his Jesus — to my Jesus, “Where else will I go? You have the words of eternal life.”

    • Luke J says

      Rachel, that’s really interesting you mention John 6. I’ve always feared that I would become apostate at some point in my life. (I came very close to it in college years ago.) However, I have come to believe that my “assurance of pardon” is that I always come back to “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” I have come to embrace my neediness as it ties me to the Cross. I need the blood of Jesus to cover me as I need oxygen to breathe. I am in his hand, and he will not let me go.

  9. Josh says

    I’m not missing the point. We can’t lose Our moral Compass because that is the Bible. The only thing I was asking was what Bible verses (not General chapters/books or your books) support this “experience”. Anytime we try to attribute experiences, attributes or events not described in the Bible we can find ourselves in dangerous territory. Whenever I Read about things like this, I want to know the biblical support and I would assume Someone who writes such things would love to use biblical authority because
    It trumps mans authority or supports it and our experiences 100% of the time. We all have a plethora of life events to bring to the table, however, without Biblical backing
    We do not have the authority to declare or to interpret those events. Thanks for your time answering
    My previous post.

    • Pamela says

      Geesh, Josh, you sound like such an argumentative person. Haven’t you heard of metaphor? You are missing the point. I read the post twice and all the comments too and no one is saying that the Bible isn’t authoritative. You obviously haven’t had this experience and you don’t understand it, so just let it go man. I know exactly what the dark night is as I had it once and this is one of the best things I’ve ever read about it, I just wish I read it when I was going through it. I’m glad it’s helping so many others here.

    • David Sanderson says

      Josh, I understand why you want to see this backed up by scripture; most of us have seen where people make up their own theories or doctrines that, while having a small root in scripture, takes a detour away from God. But there are limitations and dangers in insisting that everything must have a concrete Biblical verse to coincide with it.

      For example, show me a scriptural verse that says that the Bible is an exhaustive list of everything a person might encounter in life. There isn’t one. Yes, the Bible is the word of God and true, but it doesn’t always give a specific answer to every question we will have (like cloning humans). We have to look for the closest scriptures to what we have questions about while being careful to consider context. Also prayer and discussion with fellow believers. Sometimes scripture gives clear answers about things, other times God wants us to work it out amongst ourselves. It’s like teaching someone math: you start out with the basic principles and show them how to solve the problem. If you were to just give them the answers, they might be able to memorise some of them, but would be in trouble when they encountered a math problem that wasn’t in the lesson plan.

      As far as dangers go, to use an extreme example, the Bible doesn’t set a minimum age limit in order to get married. Someone could use this technicality to try and justify marriage to a five year old as a way to get around Jesus’s command about lust. And this can be seen as the spirit of legalism.

      Also, there is the danger of completely neglecting the struggles of what someone else is going through just because you don’t see a direct tie in to a Biblical verse. Think of Jesus touching lepers and healing on the sabbath and the reaction the religous leaders had.

      As far as losing our moral compass is concerned, it’s not about forgetting that we have the Bible to guide us. It’s more like God is a car with a GPS, but none of it’s working. So we get out and start wandering on our own, feeling lost but free to do what we please. Intellectually we know that the car will start again, but it doesn’t feel like it ever will. And most of our decisions in life are based more on emotion than intellect. So if we feel like something isn’t working we can easily be lead in another direction by something else that seems like it will be beneficial. But it’s that “blind reliance on past faith” the keeps us from forgetting completly about the car and will help us find our way back to it.

    • Dan G says

      Josh, have you read Psalms 22? If that’s not a “dark night of the soul” (as defined in this blog), I don’t know what is. This is where the words Jesus uttered on the cross came from, but when originally written they were the words of the psalmist.

      My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. – Psalms 22:1,2

  10. john morris says

    Thanks again Frank. I have known many “dry” spells over the years. I also experienced a long, multi-year, dark night (if that is possible, maybe it should have been called “the dark years”). I remember crying out to the Lord, so many different times, hurting so deeply in my inner most parts, and for so long there seemed to be no answer, He was no where. I remember getting to the point of begging Him to please take me home, I didn’t want to continue on any more, if this was all there was.
    Out of the blue, some things began to change. As I said earlier, thanks again Frank. He used you, and your writings, and others, like Milt Rodriguez, to restore ? me to Himself. I hope to never go thru another period in my life like that. However if I do, I can only hope that Jesus will become even more close, as He did through the one I experienced before. If that is the case, as dreadful as it would be, it would all be worth it.
    (kinda feels a little like Job, in the end, it was all worth going thru, during the experience it didn’t seem so.) Thanks again brother, you have helped me, and I am sure so many others, come thru many dry spells and dark nights. Lord bless you. JM.

  11. Neil says

    Thanks. I also have been going through this and have also found the book of Job to be encouraging. I often ask, “What happened?” “Did I mess up?” “ What did I do?” I have lost purpose and hope. I’m just ready for the rapture. I have been involved in active ministry, but now I feel useless and view ministry as unfruitful. I feel very small and insignificant in the grand plan of God’s sovereignty. I know too much to go back, but I don’t like this dark night. I know it is beyond me to get out. Is the original book “Dark Night of the Soul” helpful?

  12. marcia judkins says

    Oh my, I thought i was the only person in the world to experience this – i have had such a sense of loss of God’s presence for some time now. My prayers have been dry, fasting has been almost impossible i get nothing, even after much agonizing and crying out to God.
    But i can now relate this to scripture – Paul said to know him in the power of his resurrection, fellowship of his suffering being conformed to his death. That scripture has come up many times throughout this process. The last two years of my life have been a nightmare, all i can rely on is the word and what God has already done in my life in the past.
    I have actually walked out the process of being renewed day by day, by faith in my God. Oh my God, it has been rough but thank you Jesus i have made it this for and i know there is more to come.
    This is a relief, as well as confirmation that i am on the right path – Thank you Mr Viola i look forward to reading “Jesus manifesto” and ” Revise Us Again”

  13. Julie says

    Thanks for that article Frank, I have been experiencing this for a good while and it has been a concern for me. I also appreciate all the other comments, as they show I am not alone. I will also read your books again to get a better grip on this and hopefully while pressing through in prayer I will get a better understanding from the Lord.

  14. Kaley Mayer says

    I have experienced this before. In the first part of 2011 I experienced the dark night of the soul for about six months. This caused me to search God out and to find out why I did not sense His presence. God was trying very firmly to teach me that I cannot be good. Through this God opened my eyes to life in Christ, rather than living with or for Christ, and Christ’s life in me. Been the best experience of my life.

  15. Josh says

    I’ll give it another go, maybe my post are being removed, but please provide some
    Scripture backing to this “experience”, if you have already explained this in your book, please provide some
    Verses that show this in the bible. Jesus crying out on the Cross was Him taking on our Sin/wrath
    From God, not a season for God to grow
    Him as you mention this “dark night” is for.

    • says

      I’ll “give it a last go” . . . you’re missing the point altogether, I’m afraid. It is the FELLOWSIHP of His sufferings. You will find that in Philippians 3 and Colossians 1 and other places. His sufferings INCLUDE the sufferings of the cross, not the atoning part of it which is God-ward (obviously), but the affliction part of it including the sense of separation from God’s presence. Including the alone-ness He felt. The re-experiencing of Jesus Christ is something I discuss in “Revise Us Again” and “Jesus Manifesto” in detail. If you’re interested in the biblical support for this, look there. The Psalms also elude to this experience. Finally, I suggest you read the comments by others as they’ve answered well and show great insight, as they know the experience first-hand. That’s all I have time for. Must run. Take care.

      • Jim Patterson says

        Great answer Frank. That point in the book about his history being our destiny greatly impacted me. I never heard it before, but the scriptures are undeniable when you look at how joined we are to him. It put a lot of my own spiritual experiences into perspective. He had to have it first and we relive it in some form. Good stuff!

      • Jeff says

        Excellent answer Frank. Jesus’s cry on the cross is the basis of the experience and that cry of separation is part of the afflictions of Christ. These texts you listed affirm it in the life of some Christians. Though I never had the experience (thank God), I know at least two people who have. Some of the most devoted Christians I’ve ever met. Good to see the clear biblical basis for it.

  16. Devon says

    I went through this once and it’s exactly how the person described it. Exactly. Wish I read this blog article when I was going through it to understand it. This is going to help a lot of people. Thanks Frank. I’ll have to pick up the book now. Heard good things about it before.

    • Marc says

      I’ve had this experience myself once and I’m also a clinical psychologist. The two are not connected.

      Just by reading the comments here some people understand this experience and can identify. Others who haven’t have no idea and are groping for explanations and some are even judging others about things they do not comprehend. This is unfortunate.

  17. David Sanderson says

    I’ve been going through this for a while now, and I can tell you that you will know for certain that it’s more than a dry spell. If it wasn’t for being subscribed to this blog He would never even come to my mind most days.

    I’ve been trying for the last hour to describe it, but I think Frank did pretty well: “The dark night is when God tosses out the moral compass from a believer’s life. The Christian feels as though God doesn’t exist.

    This is neither a dry spell nor a punishment. Instead, it feels as though God has left. The inner consciousness of the Lord’s presence is swept away without warning, and only a blind reliance on past faith saves the Christian from becoming an atheist.”

    While emotionally God feels non-existent, intellectually I know that this is just preparation. I just wish I knew if there is something I’m supposed to be doing so I don’t wander for forty years, or if I’m just supposed to wait on the Lord.

  18. Linda H says

    I felt your answer to Josh left something to be desired. Could you please provide some scripture that discusses anything about the dark night of the soul. Otherwise its just your opinion

    • Rachel says

      Frank already answered this. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings in Philippians 3. That’s it right there. You should read Jesus Manifesto, it is packed with Scriptures that explain that Christians experience what Jesus did. It really opened my eyes to this neglected truth. I’ve read several books on the dark night also. It’s not an “opinion” but an experience that many Christians have had. Read the comments.

      Frank, thanks again for a great post. I’m going to get Revise Us Again now.

      • Tim says

        Paul said he filled up the afflictions that are lacking in Christ’s sufferings at the end of Colossians 1. That’s never talked about but it’s part of this experience. I’ve never gone through the dark night myself like some have here, but my wife went through it for several years and it’s brutal. We read some books on it from Christians in the past and it helped her through it. I’ll tell her about your post and the book.

  19. RJ (Chin Music) says

    I experienced this in 2009 and it ran into 2010. I did keep getting a sense to deeply study the book of Job at that time. I had many relative experiences to that book and after the night season passed I had a deeper understanding of God. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything for it was more valuable than silver and gold.

  20. Brian says

    This is EXACTLY what I have been experiencing the last 4 months. God’s presence seems to have left me unexpectedly. It was not a dry spell, it was all of the sudden and has made me feel so unspiritual and unwhole. It has made me have an extreme fear of death and getting older. It has made me reflect upon my life and the lives of my loved ones much more. I have been continuing to pray unceasingly and reading scriptures daily hoping for God’s presence to return to my life. It is a terrible and scary thing to lose God’s background presence. Hoping for the constructive and redemptive purpose to show in my life from this experience.

  21. Josh says

    What is your scripture backing for this? As Christians, the Holy Spirit can never
    Leave us, we have seasons in our life, but none that God is there at all times.

    • says

      Josh: did you actually read the post? Nothing in it suggests that the Spirit leaves the Christian. It actually affirms the opposite. In “Jesus Manifesto”, I talked about how Christ’s experiences (except for His atonement for our sins and His being Divine) are shared by His people in measure. Jesus experienced a moment where the sense of God’s presence left Him. Some believers experience this today, and it gives them a taste of what the Lord experienced. (Paul talks about entering into “the fellowship of His sufferings” and sharing in the sufferings of Christ.) This particular experience isn’t delusional nor made up. Just because you haven’t experienced it yourself doesn’t mean others have not. In fact, some have already testified that they have on the blog already. “Revise Us Again” goes into more detail. This was a short excerpt.

  22. Josh Westcott says

    This is exactly how I’ve been feeling for over a year now, just shortly after my wife and I left the IC. I’ve even been having panic attacks, which I haven’t had since I was a child. Thank you for this message.

  23. Aadel says

    Does this differ from a dry spell? I have those a lot it seems. I still see God at work, and I see him working through me even though I feel very unspiritual. I’m not sure if that is the same as you are describing, but it has proven to me that God is not concerned about our feelings about how we are doing. He is out to prove that only through Christ can I experience true joy and peace. And all that Christ does through me is out of HIS power. When I think I am doing well spiritually, it can lead to pride and not seeing his work in my life.

    Now that I’ve typed all that, I’m not sure if I’ve ever experienced a “dark night”. Maybe they have all been just dry spells.

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