Something just feels off. You try to pray, but it feels as though no one is listening. You try to go to church, but you leave feeling empty. You’re struggling with the same sinful habit you were a year ago. Things you thought you heard from God aren’t happening. This thing called Christianity doesn’t seem to be working for you at all. All you see is spiritual dryness.
At times like that it’s easy for us to become discouraged, frustrated, angry, or desperate. I’ve been there. One especially difficult period several years ago seemed to go on forever. Although my external life was relatively OK, my internal soul was overwhelmed and burdened. Nothing seemed to be happening between me and God even though I cried out to Him often.
Over several months I learned some important and sometimes difficult lessons that have been vital to my spiritual life ever since. If I could talk to myself back then, here are some of the things I would say. If you’re in one of those desperate times right now, perhaps they will be helpful to you as well.
- Don’t Give Up! The world – no, the whole universe – looks dark right now, and your problems seem eternal. But God IS there even when you don’t see Him. This is something to go THROUGH, and there is the other side to look forward to. (Matthew 24:13)
- Make certain of your salvation. If you don’t KNOW that you’re born again and right with God, take care of that first. Once that’s settled everything else won’t necessarily be easy, but it will start to become clearer. Make sure you know that you know that you know . . . (1 John 5:13)
- Some of this is your own fault. That’s not a bad thing. Recognizing your part in this quagmire gives you hope that there are some things you can do to make things better. Changing what’s in your power to change is so freeing. Grasp hold of forgiveness, and move forward.
- Some of this is spiritual warfare. There is an enemy out to get you. Satan will stop at nothing to harm you, especially if he thinks you may blame God, or if he can hurt God by harming you. You have nothing to be afraid of if you can learn to fight spiritually. (Ephesians 6:12)
- Choose your friends wisely. The people you spend time with may be the biggest single factor in where you go from here. Pick people who you want to be like, and who can point you to the Christ light when things look dark. Don’t isolate.
- Be willing to learn new habits. Whether it’s positive thinking, spiritual warfare prayer, or other good habits, focusing on adding the good things to your life is much more successful than trying to eliminate the bad things.
- Pain need never be wasted. God has a wonderful way of turning brokenness into nourishing bread by which we then feed those in need. If you let Him, He will take this very trouble you’re in and use it to prepare you for the ministry He has for you to do.
Jesus never promised a victory without fighting. But He did promise He would always be with you. Always! (Matthew 28:20)
Just hold on! You’re coming out on the other side!
Your Turn: Have you been through a spiritually dry or desperate place? Did you learn anything? Can you see how God was with you? Leave a comment below.
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