Question:

I have been visiting your site for almost two years now, off and on, and I wanted to have your input on some things as someone who knows God and Scripture well.

My situation: I have for the past two years been dealing with emotional pain and sorrow of losing a relationship with someone I loved. My ex-girlfriend left me for another guy when she said she only needed space. I found out from a friend. I also had surgery to remove painful tumor from my leg a few months ago as well. It could have been cancer, but thankfully it wasn't. Doctors couldn't explain where it came from. I'm struggling to find employment as well. All these things at the same time it seems.

So in midst of still battling with emotional and physical pain I have felt God could care less about my circumstances. I will confess that we were sexually involved in relationship, and I regret my lack of self-control to this day. I have acknowledged to God my sin and have tried to seek Him for comfort and peace, going to church, but I feel He has distanced himself from me. I look around and everyone I know (friends and family) is getting married, it seems -- something that I desired that was taken from me, so it's hard not to feel envious, especially of those I know who sinned sexually in relationships, like I had, yet their relationships are still together and getting ready for marriage. I feel picked out by God. But even in this I don't make excuse for fornicating. I feel worthless that I was cast aside like that by the lady I was with and also feel cast aside by God.

Do you believe that God is punishing me through my frustration and pains? I have felt it pointless sometimes to try to pursue Christ further because I feel I am receiving my consequence for fornication beforehand, which is a broken heart. I know the Word says He is close to the broken-hearted, and I am actively praying, hard. But I have no clarity on why I have gone through this, and I don't sense His closeness. All I am left with is that God is punishing me. To see a woman I cared about forget about me and I'm left with wishful thinking that maybe God will find it in His heart to restore my joy and give me peace -- maybe.

Mr. Hamilton, thank you for your time in reading this.


Answer:

You seem to be leaving out an important element. Yes, it was wrong for you and your girlfriend to engage in sex when you weren't married. But the reason you don't have a girlfriend is because she chose to leave you. Either she was getting dissatisfied, left, and then soon found a new boyfriend; or, she lied to you about why she was dumping you, probably to avoid an argument. God doesn't take away a person's free-will, so the reason you don't currently have a girlfriend is because your prior girl left and you haven't found a new girlfriend.

However, this is a good time to reflect on what is going on while you don't have the distraction of a girlfriend or the desire to sin at the moment. What you did was wrong and it likely put a strain on your relationship that caused it to not survive. When people engage in sex, that usually dominates the relationship. It is fun at the start, but little to no effort is growing the relationship -- of getting to know and appreciate the other person and so even while you are being intimate, you end up drifting apart.

In other words, God has very good reasons for telling people to wait until marriage before having sex. That you ignored God and then had a problem is not God's fault.

God doesn't hold your past against you. What he wants is for you to change and start living righteously (Ezekiel 18:20-34). So rather than moan about the past, learn from your mistakes and focus on where you are going. Whether you "sense" God close or not, that doesn't determine whether He is close or not. You are trying to use your emotions to determine whether you are in a good relationship with God, but emotions are highly unreliable. You can't use them to make decisions. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26).

I'm sorry about the pain from your surgery, but I'm glad the doctors were able to solve your problem. Once again, focus on the fact that your health has improved, not that you had difficulty in recovering.

Thank you very much Mr. Hamilton for taking the time to reply on my situation.