Recently, a young woman wrote to me for encouragement. She had happily rededicated her life to Christ a few months ago, but wasn’t feelin’ it lately. Didn’t feel like going to church, listening to her pastor’s message, reading her Bible, etc. She felt bad and basically asked, How do I get out of this funk?
Ever asked that same question? ; )
When we feel that way, we have to step back and remind ourselves of a few truths:
1) Our feelings often betray our true selves. In other words, feelings change like the weather; they aren’t dependable. Silly example, but one day a girl can feel lovely and confident, the next feel plain and insecure. Did anything really change in one day? Nope, just her view of herself, via her fickle feelings. In a few days, hydrating (seriously, not getting enough water is a huge mood killer!) and focusing on positive things, she’s back to feeling pretty good about herself again. Feelings come and go, and we have to control them rather than let them control us. And if we aren’t filling ourselves with the right thoughts, the wrong ones easily overwhelm us and take over!
2) Building our spiritual muscles is a lot like building our physical ones. Even though we know that exercising makes us feel the best, gives us needed endorphins and makes life much more manageable, it’s often the last thing we feel like doing. Ugh, don’t make me get on that treadmill!!! But if we PUSH PAST how we feel and do it anyway (because we know it’s the right thing and will get us the short and long-term results we really want), soon our feelings catch up with us and we find satisfaction in exercising and seeing the results that come.
Same thing spiritually. We don’t always “feel” the connection when we pray or worship. But we are connecting all the same! And if we’ll push past feelings and do what we know is right (and good for our spiritual growth), those fickle feelings go away and we “feel” connected again. Either way, God loves us and wants to be close with us. Sometimes we feel it big time, other times we just know He’s real and with us regardless of what we feel. The truth will stand even when our good feelings take a vacation for whatever reason.
3) Sometimes we’re simply under spiritual attack. The enemy is working hard to get us discouraged and willing to give up or walk away from our faith. But the truth is that you have total victory in Christ. You have a Savior that holds you in His hands and can give you the will and strength you need to walk the road He has for you (no matter what the season or emotion).
So, once we remind ourselves of all this, what do we do?
Tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. You’re a new creature now, so you are not at the mercy of sin and discouragement. Fight back by reading your Bible ANYWAY! By going to church whether you feel like it or not. By worshipping because He is worthy of your worship, not because you feel goose bumps. (Sometimes you will, sometimes you won’t. But you’ll be rewarded for obeying, trusting in His wisdom and your relationship with Him more than your feelings in any given moment, week, or month.) Like the young woman at the beginning of this post, reach out to the right people for advice & encouragement. Most importantly, ask God to help you feel loved and connected again. Because you are, and He will!
Hope this helps some of you today…
Love you, beautiful girls!
Happy first week of December,