A desolate, dimly-lit room with a lone chair, casting haunting shadows. The absence of light represents the question, "Where was God?" in the midst of unspeakable abuse.

Where Was God When I Was Abused?

Abuse and suffering are deeply painful experiences that often lead victims to question where God is amid their struggles. If you have survived abuse, you may carry anger, confusion and profound spiritual questions.

This article provides guidance, reassurance and Biblical truths to help make sense of your experience.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Though God did not cause your abuse, He was with you through it all. He understands your pain, offers you comfort, and can bring healing and purpose from your suffering if you seek Him.

God Did Not Abandon You

God Sees and Knows Your Suffering

When you experienced abuse, it likely felt like God had abandoned you. The painful trauma made it seem like you were alone and forsaken. But the truth is, God did not abandon you in your deepest time of need. He promises to be with us always, through every trial we face (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Even when you felt completely alone, God saw your suffering and shared in your pain.

Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Though it may not have felt like it at the time, God’s presence surrounded you. He heard every cry and collected every tear you shed (Psalm 56:8).

You are so precious to Him that He even knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). No detail of your life, including your deepest trauma, escapes His notice.

God’s Presence in the Midst of Trauma

God hates injustice and grieves with those who suffer abuse. He did not intend for you to experience the terrible pain of trauma. But even in the darkest moments, when you felt abandoned by God, He promised to be with you.

As Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” God was right there in the midst of your suffering, even if you couldn’t perceive His presence.

Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3)? They reminded the king that God would deliver them from the flames. Even if God didn’t save them from the fire, they said, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king” (Daniel 3:17).

God showed up in the middle of their trauma and walked with them through it. In the same way, no matter what abuse you experienced, the God who loves you promised to be there with you.

God Weeps With You

When you cry out to the Lord from your heartache, be assured that God listens to you and weeps with you. Psalm 34:15 says “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.” He feels your pain deeply.

The God who came down to dwell with us (John 1:14) entered into our suffering in the most profound way through Christ. Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

We can come boldly before the throne of grace, where we will receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

The Lord loves you so much that He shared your suffering on the cross. You are not alone in your pain. Turn to Him, and let Him weep with you, comfort you, and heal your deepest wounds. Though abuse left scars, Jesus can redeems what was meant for evil and restore your joy, hope and trust in Him.

Making Sense of Senseless Evil

When someone experiences abuse or other senseless evils, it can shake their faith and make them wonder where God was during their suffering. This section explores perspectives on the origins of evil, God’s sovereignty, human free will, and finding meaning amidst suffering that may help in making sense of it all.

The Origin of Evil

Many faith traditions grapple with the problem of evil and question how evil could occur in a universe created by a loving God. Some perspectives trace evil back to the misuse of free will, when created beings turn away from God’s intentions.

Others see evil as an inevitable consequence of living in a fallen, imperfect world. But in the end, the precise origin of evil remains a mystery.

God’s Sovereignty and Human Free Will

Although God is all-powerful, most faith traditions also hold that humans have free will to make moral choices. This means evil is often a result of human decisions and actions, not God’s will. However, God remains sovereign amidst evil and can bring redemption out of even the most broken situations.

As an example, consider the story of Joseph from the Bible. After being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph endured many hardships before rising to power in Egypt. When later reconciling with his brothers, Joseph told them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good” (Gen. 50:20).

God Can Redeem Your Suffering

For abuse survivors, making sense of evil often begins by releasing expectations for why something happened and instead focusing on where God is found in the aftermath. Though trauma creates lasting wounds, God walks with victims in their pain and can ultimately bring deeper healing and purpose out of the broken pieces.

Studies show that many trauma survivors discover renewed strength, compassion, and wisdom through the healing process. They leverage their experiences to support others facing trauma and to advocate for needed changes in society.

In this, they partner with God to bring redemption out of the ashes of their pain.

Organizations like https://taalk.org provide trauma-informed support and community for abuse victims to help them in their healing journeys. Recovery often involves lamenting hard questions to God, receiving comfort through spiritual practices like prayer and meditation, and finding hope through the testimonies of fellow survivors.

Ultimately, making sense of evil involves embracing the paradox that bad things happen in a universe under God’s care, often through no fault of the victim. The key is leaning into God’s redemptive power to bring meaning from the meaningless. For in God’s hands, no pain is ever fully wasted.

Steps Toward Healing and Wholeness

Acknowledge Your Emotions

Experiencing abuse can be traumatic and lead to intense emotions like anger, sadness, fear, guilt, and shame. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings rather than suppress them. Find safe ways to process the pain through journaling, art, music, or talking with a counselor.

Don’t judge your emotions as “bad” or “unspiritual.” Give yourself permission to grieve and bring your true feelings into the light. The road to healing often begins by acknowledging the depths of your pain.

Seek Counseling and Community Support

You don’t have to walk the healing journey alone. Consider seeking professional counseling to help you process trauma and emotions in a healthy way. Counselors can provide tools to overcome stuck points in recovery.

Also, surround yourself with a community of supportive friends, family, pastors, or support groups. Feeling isolated can worsen pain, so allow caring people to walk alongside you. Their listening ear, encouragement, and accountability can nourish hope.

Pursue Spiritual Growth and Intimacy With God

Abuse can shake your faith, leading to feelings of anger at God or distance from Him. Rediscovering intimacy with God is crucial for healing. Immerse yourself in uplifting Scriptures about God’s love and care, such as Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Pray honestly, read inspirational books, listen to worship music, and attend church or groups focused on recovery. As your relationship with God grows, you’ll experience more freedom, joy, and ability to forgive. Consider meeting with a spiritual director as well.


Abuse and trauma often raise agonizing questions about God and suffering. While there are no easy answers, God promises to be near to the brokenhearted. He can bring purpose from your pain if you seek Him. May you find comfort, healing and hope as you walk with Him.

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