Faltering faith. Weakened spirit. These are difficult times to go through…and as a believer, are oftentimes accompanied with guilt. After all, shouldn’t a follower of Christ be filled with joy and peace at all times? I’ve told myself this is the only way. Others have said the same. It’s wrong to be in such a desperate state.
But is it?
We only need turn to Psalm 142 and read the despairing words of David to learn otherwise. You see, prayer isn’t just bringing our list of wants and desires to God. It’s not just lifting up the needs of others. Or offering Him our praise and thanks. Prayer also includes our most vulnerable moments when we’re at the end of our rope.
Read Psalm 142. David cried aloud to the Lord. He was noisy about his needs. This wasn’t a time of quiet contemplation. He also lifted up his voice to the Lord for mercy. He recognized that without it, he was doomed. Only God’s mercy could handle what he had to say and only God’s grace could guide him through it.
David had a lot to say—some complaints to bring up, troubles that he was facing. There was no timidity in what he had to share.
He recognized that although his spirit was growing faint, God was still watching over him. He wasn’t going through this alone. And regardless of the treatment received from others (the trap setting and the lack of concern or care for him), God was his refuge (sanctuary from the storms of life).
David was desperate, imprisoned by the obstacles life had thrown his way. Yet He referred to God’s goodness. He didn’t blame God or ask why he had to suffer in such a way. In other words, he knew exactly where to turn when faced with a weakened spirit and faltering faith.
Sometimes we focus on the fact a believer is struggling, as if there is something sacrilegious about it. Yet so often it’s the moments or seasons when our faith is unsteady that we end up experiencing the greatest growth.
2015 was my year of faltering faith and a weakened spirit. Some gave up on me (or didn’t bother to see me through to the end). But God never did. He saw through me through several incredibly difficult and challenging months. And now it feels like my faith has come back stronger than it’s ever been.
It’s not wrong to feel desperate…far from God…unsure about your faith…ready to give up. It’s in those times God can reach into the parts of us once closed off—now exposed, ready for His deepest work.