When I Don’t Feel Up to God’s Good Plan

What do we do when we know in our heads that God is good, and that God is love (because His Son proves His love without a doubt by being nailed to the cross for our evil deeds and thoughts), but still can’t rouse ourselves out of the dumps to care?

We know all these things.  We’ve heard all this jazz before.  But sometimes, we just can’t muster much excitement for serving God.  We simply don’t get the thrills and chills we once did.  In the words of B.B. King, “The Thrill is Gone”.  We sit in the pew, Sunday after Sunday, and the preacher man is casting a bold vision for the future of the Church and talking about how rewarding it is to walk with Christ, and to serve Christ, and work for Christ, and LABOR in the fields for the Gospel because after all: the fields are white for the harvest, but the harvesters are few, so few, so pathetically few (hint, hint.) so pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send more laborers…  (John 4:34-38, Matthew 9:35-38). Yes, indeed, and we just feel tired all the more.

   Yes, indeed, and we just feel tired all the more. 

We’ve all been in that dry and weary land where nothing is as it seems or should be.  In the valley of despond we flee from our redeemer finding terror in the joy giver.  We flee from our Joy as Adam and Eve fled from the creator they once walked with in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8).  The mysterious eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11) that God so tenderly placed in every heart makes us yearn for the communion of walking with Him in the cool of that day, but the sin we treasure in the darkness rightly makes us fear His holiness.

 “  Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? ~ Romans 7:24

 Paul answers the relevant question:  God will…

 1. Delight in delightful things rather than the grotesque.

Psalm 37:4 justly commands us to treasure Him who is noble and pure,

Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. “

 One of the recurring messages of Scripture is simple: if your drink of choice is the Lord then drink your fill, drink to the dregs without shame.  When the Church’s joy is Christ Resurrected God will be faithful and true to give you more of Him every day.  Not so incidentally, this continual desiring of God by the Christian and God’s continually faithful gift of Christ day by day is the not so secret secret to the triumphant Christian life.

 2.    Believe deep down in your soul that our God is a good God.

Churches are full of people who give verbal affirmations of God’s goodness because that is what one does at Church.  Serving God is not a wearisome chore. Serving God is not a doldrums duty.  Serving God is our deepest Joy because He has been infinitely better to us than we deserve.

 3.    Nail your service to the Grace of Christ’s Cross.

When I was a young boy my mother would often remind me of my “much needed attitude adjustment”.  The Church in America is wanting of just such a “much needed attitude adjustment”.

 The Church in America is wanting of just such a “much needed attitude adjustment”.

Namely, we must adjust the delusional mindset that we somehow are doing God a favor when we drag our ungrateful hearts to the meeting of the Church.  We must furthermore obliterate the false hypothesis: “if we stay wide eyed and busy tailed during the service, and do any kind of ministry during the week, then we have put a cherry on top of God’s ice cream sundae of worship.”

The false hypothesis of Worship & Service can, perhaps, only be answered by Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka,

“Wrong Sir! Wrong!”

We nail our service for God to the Grace of Christ’s Cross.  Make no mistake: we are all debtors of God’s grace.  We are all beggars.  Let us as ever reenergize ourselves at the foot of the Cross by reminding ourselves that the gift of salvation is free and we do not deserve this present grace in which we now stand, (Ephesians 2:8)

Therefore,

“Let us not grow weary of doing good…” (Galatians 6:9).

 

This article is adapted from Pastor Evan Welcher’s sermon “When We Don’t Feel Up To God’s Good Plan” first Preached at First Christian Church, Glenwood Iowa.

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