What does the Bible say about feeling empty inside? Here are 4 possible reasons for why God is allowing you to feel empty inside.
1. God Will Allow You to Feel Empty Inside If You Are Not Continually Coming Back to Him to Eat More of His Goodness
Eating and drinking are often used as spiritual metaphors in the Bible. Sometimes we are told that once we drink the living water of Christ, we will never be thirsty again (John 4:14). This is referring to God’s saving power that once we are his, he will never let us go (Jude 1:24-25). At other times, however, we are told to eat and drink of Christ often (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). This is referring to the ongoing fellowship we need with Christ daily even though we are saved forever by grace.
All that to say, it’s easy as Christians to feel the fullness of Christ in us at first but to then forget to keep drinking of Christ daily. Once you are saved, you must nourish your relationship with Jesus all the time. As Hosea 13:5-6 states: “It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me.”
May it not be so with us. When you receive Christ, he will fill you and save you forever. But you must not forget him. If you do, you will feel empty inside because we need to reconnect with Christ daily. Just like any relationship, our relationship with Jesus needs time, care, and attention.
2. God Is Allowing You to Feel Empty Inside Because You Are Eating Empty Spiritual Calories
There are many ways we can feast on the goodness of God. However, we need to be careful because we have so many options these days we can easily be misled. It’s like going to the modern-day grocery store. We have so many choices to pick from. But if we fill our shopping carts with junk food and empty calories, our bodies will feel weak and empty as we consume this fluff.
Likewise, the world is full of spiritual fluff. You can fill yourselves on songs that sound Christian but lack biblical lyrics. You can listen to preachers who will give you good life advice without ever mentioning the gospel. You can watch my YouTube channel but never go to church and fellowship with other Christians in the flesh. And perhaps most damaging is our ability to just feed ourselves without ever trying to feed others. Notice how Jesus was filled through providing spiritual food for others. In John 4:31-34 it states:
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought him something to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.’”
The way to feed your own heart is to feed others. Like Jesus, we must eat the food of service if we hope to feel full in our hearts. Yes, we must receive from God and fill our hearts with his truths, but if we do not give to others and serve God in love, we will feel empty. As Jeremiah 2:20-21 states:
For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, ‘I will not serve.’ Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore. Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?”
May we never say, “I will not serve.” Through serving we are filled. As Jesus also said as quoted in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
3. God Will Allow You to Feel Empty Inside If You Have an Unconfessed Sin Eating Away at You
Sometimes we feel empty inside not because we are not eating the right food but rather because something is eating away at us on the inside. You can never out eat a guilty conscience. Not matter how much you fill yourself, you will always feel empty if sin is hiding in your heart. Sin eats away at your peace. As David said in Psalm 32:1-5, which states:
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
When he had unconfessed sin, that sin was eating away at him, “my bones wasted away.” However, when he confessed to God, he was instantly forgiven and his curse was replaced with a blessing. Through Christ, the same can be true for you if guilt is eating you from the inside out.
As 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
4. God Will Allow You to Feel Empty Inside If You Have Forgotten Your Purpose
Emptiness and meaninglessness are close relatives. Have you ever gone to the zoo and seen a majestic animal like a lion or a bear looking happy, energetic, and like they were living their purpose? Of course not! Why? Because when an alpha animal is locked in a cage, it’s impossible for them to be living their purpose. But when you see a lion or bear in its natural habitat, it looks so confident, primal, and alive.
Likewise, if you have been domesticated and caged as a Christian, you will feel empty inside because you are not living your purpose. You were made for so much more than safety. You were made for so much more than Sunday morning jokes from a clever pastor. You were made for a purpose, and when you forget your purpose you will feel empty and lost.
What is your purpose? Your purpose is to glorify God in the ways that he calls you to glorify him. We are all called to glorify God, but each of our unique callings will be different. We are all called to love God and love people, but the way God calls each of us to do these things will be slightly different. So start with what you know, with what the Bible says: we know we are made to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7), to love God, and love people (Matthew 22:37-40).
Love the people in your life and serve God in any way you can. As your life progresses, God will reveal the finer details as time goes on. But through all the discovery and refining, serve God now. Don’t wait until you feel like you know your exact unique calling in the future. Bloom where you are planted. Just love God and the people in your life right now.
When you fulfill your purpose, you will feel fulfilled on the inside.