Our life can become quite overwhelming for some. Believers start thinking about their past failures, the times they have tried to obey the Lord, but failed and rather than receive his forgiveness and renewal of their faith, they develop a sense of unworthiness. What’s going to happen is that over time, they will feel trapped beyond any help. It reminds me of something Isaiah said, “Oh, those of you who are storm-tossed and battered . . .” (Isaiah 54:11). Now how descriptive is that? Do you feel like that sometimes? I sure do . . . man, it can get tough out there.
Now when these “storms” in life come, it is not uncommon for some to start getting mad at their God. Frankly, they get worn out and tired of waiting for him to move. So what is the normal thing we do? We cry accusingly, “Lord, where were you when I needed you? I cried out to you for deliverance, but you never answered. I’ve done everything I know to do, yet I’m still not free. I’m tired of repenting and crying, without ever seeing any change!” Many such believers simply give up trying and give themselves over to their flesh. I know you don’t like to hear that, but it is reality for many believers.
Not only do some fall away and surrender to their flesh . . . others fall into a fog of spiritual apathy. Sometimes, I think that is more serious. They become convinced that their God doesn’t care about them anymore. Isaiah caught their feelings when he wrote, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God” (Isaiah 40:27). “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me” (Isaiah 49:14). Now I sometimes make fun of folks that say things like that, like they are having a pity-party that no one wants to attend . . . but that is unfair of me because it is real heartfelt pain and agony, and not a laughing matter.
Still others end up focusing all their attention on their failure, trying to keep themselves in a constant state of conviction. The problem is that it only causes them to be bewildered, crying, “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them?” (Ezekiel 33:10).
The fact is, feeling conviction is not an end in itself. When we are humbled by guilt and sorrow over our sin, we are not supposed to rest in those feelings. They are meant to drive us to the end of ourselves—and to the victory of the cross.
(I send out messages like each morning. If you are interested, let me know. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day)