Editor’s note: This My Answer column was completed before Rev. Billy Graham’s recent death.

Dear Dr. Graham:

After I gave my life to Jesus I had a strong sense of God’s presence, especially when I prayed. But recently it seems like I’m just talking to the ceiling. What’s happened to me? Has God abandoned me?

— Mrs. N.C.

Dear Mrs.N.C.: No, God hasn’t abandoned you. If you have truly put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation and have committed your life to Him, you are now His child — and you’ll remain part of His family forever. God’s promise is true: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Never forget: God is with us, even when we don’t feel His presence. In other words, don’t trust your emotions; emotions and feelings come and go, and sometimes they’ll even deceive us. Learn instead to trust the truth -- the truth of God’s Word and God’s promises, the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection for us, the truth of our adoption into Christ’s family, the truth of our place in Heaven forever.

We all experience times of spiritual dryness, and even doubt -- and the devil will do everything he can to convince us that God has abandoned us. But it isn’t true! Instead of driving us away from God, those times should drive us toward Him. In fact, God can use them to bring us closer to Himself.

This is one reason why we need to make the Bible part of our daily spiritual “diet” (in addition to prayer and our fellowship with other believers). Let the Bible’s truth take root in your heart and mind every day -- and when it does, doubts and discouragement will flee, and faith and joy will grow. Let the Psalmist’s prayer become yours: “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word” (Psalm 119:114).