You can learn to grow in difficult times as you abide in God's love.
Do you ever experience weariness? How about spiritual “burnout”? Do you ever want to give up-just quit-because you believe you're doing everything you know to do and not getting good results? Have you ever asked the questions: “If God is good, all powerful, and full of love for us, why didn't He stop this? Why did He allow it to happen to me?”
Satan seeks to build a wall between God and hurting people. He is eager to spread the lie that God is not good and cannot be trusted. We know that is not true. We know that God is good-that He cannot be anything else-but trust sometimes requires that we be content with unanswered questions.
Webster defines the word “weary” as “to be faint, to wear out or be worn out, tired, sick, fatigued, exhausted, and out of patience.” We must realize that part of Satan's plan for end-time believers is for us to be characterized this way. Daniel 7:25 is a vivid description of a vision the prophet Daniel received regarding the last days, “And he … shall wear out the saints of the Most High” (The Amplified Bible). “Fainthearted” is a word used in the Old Testament accounts by Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah to describe people who are disheartened and wearied by the events of their times. It means to be “small souled.”
Your soul is made up of your mind, will and emotions. This definition says you can't handle challenging problems without caving in, wanting to quit and give up, and becoming discouraged, depressed, or negative.
But God wants you to be encouraged. Romans 8:37 gives Christians this good news: “Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.” “More than conquerors” means that before trouble ever starts, we already know who wins. I like that, don't you?
We can purpose in our hearts to maintain such an intimate relationship with God through prayer and His Word that we are constantly being strengthened by the power of His promises. Intimacy with God produces strong Christians who can outlast the devil!
Is it possible that your busy life has crowded out the quality time you once spent with the Lord? Even if you are busy with good things, it might be revealing to compare the time you spend doing for God with the time you spend being with Him. After all, we are human beings-not human doings.
I encourage you to learn how to say no when God is telling you not to get involved in a particular activity. You can establish boundaries for your life so you don't get “used up” trying to accomplish something God didn't tell you to do. Maintaining an intimate relationship with the Lord stores up reserves of His strength from which we can “borrow” as needed.
First John 4:16 emphasizes that we need to be conscious of the love God has for us. The knowledge of His love should not be some biblical fact to which we mentally assent but a living reality in our lives.
“And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him” (1 John 4:16).
The word “dwell” in this verse means to abide, to live in. It does not refer to visiting; it refers to staying or remaining. We should all purpose to live in the love of God. You can learn to grow in difficult times as you abide in God's love. Each of us can reap a greater harvest of Christian maturity during difficulties because they force us to press in closer to God.
I believe we can live our lives in such a way that we are totally confident in God's strength-having no fear of the trials that can produce weary warriors and fainting saints. I encourage you to spend quality time with the Lord and reap an abundant harvest of His benefits. Remain strong “in Him” and in the power of His might.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, Battlefield of the Mind Devotional (all Warner Faith). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.