I can think of many times in my life where I haven’t felt like following through on my relationship with God. A desire to pray hasn’t been burning in me and a passion to read the scripture was not in my heart. Those times are usually desert seasons. Sometimes I was simply tired of it all.
Ironically, the only feelings that ever came after that were ones that pulled me into a deep hole of despair. I certainly didn’t feel rested from my break from God. In fact I needed him more than ever.
While reading in Psalm 43 today, I was struck with the actions words that were used to talk about getting back to God.
There I will go to the altar of God,
to God—the source of all my joy.
The word GO really spoke to me. When I am in a place of discouragement, I can’t just sit around and wait for the answer to come to me. I know where the answer is found. I know where my joy is. Yet, I still have to take the step to GO to God and receive from him.
Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
The word PUT jumped out at me in this verse. This is a purposeful placing of our hope in God.
When I can stand back from a circumstance that is weighing me down, it can be easier to see where our hope is being placed, or where our joy is being found. If either of those things is being placed in something other than God, then we will be sad, discouraged, and unfulfilled.
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of placing your hope or joy in something apart from the invisible God. We are drawn to tangible things, that we can taste, see, smell and hear.
Here are two questions we can ask when trying to evaluate where we are at with this.
Where am I GOing for joy?
Where am I PUTting my hope?
Sometimes I’m going for joy in chocolate! Or I am putting my hope of making it through the day in my husband coming home early to rescue me from the chaos.
Chocolate and extra help aren’t bad, but they won’t provide lasting joy or hope.
Get up, go and put yourself in the hands of God again. Go to church. Go pray. Go worship again. Put your hopes, fear, doubts, joys and anxieties at His feet, and experience a restoration of joy and hope.
Life is much too short to be rendered useless for God by discouraging thoughts and lies from the enemy. Remember your responsibility to actively be accountable for your spiritual health.
GO and PUT are not passive words. We can come near to God, and he has promised to come near to us!