Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12–13
My faith has been strained lately. Not in the sense that I would fall away, but more so that I haven’t felt much of an emotional connection.
I’m praying, I’m reading God’s word, I’m singing praises, I’m gathering with my brethren, I’m partaking of the Lord’s supper, I’m reading and listening to godly speakers, I’m trying to reach out to others when I can, but most the time it just feels like I’m going through the motions. Nothing seems to be penetrating beyond the surface.
However, I hadn’t really maximized the support that God has put around me, so I reached out to a few of my sisters this week. These conversations and encouragements really opened my heart, which spurred an emotional, heartfelt conversation with God like I haven’t had in a long time. Some deep, unpleasant emotions — anger, shame, guilt — came out as I was brutally honest with Him in every way I could be. Tears streamed down my face as I realized what I have been hiding from lately.
It’s been too painful to put my heart and soul into reaching out to the erring only to realize that in many cases I care more about their soul then they do. I weep and I mourn so deeply for them that I started distancing myself to protect my heart. And in doing that, I also started distancing myself from God.
Not any more. I will put my faith back where it belongs. Not in people and the results I get from them, but in God and the promises that will be gained from doing His work. And if I must weep and mourn for my fellow man because they have an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God, then so be it. Their choice will not be because I haven’t done God’s will in trying to encourage them day after day, and it will be good for me to grieve for them in the same way Christ grieves for every lost soul. That’s what godly love does.
And I will be grateful for those who have not been hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Those who fight with me, encourage me, and continue this journey even though sometimes their faith is strained too. Because, as one sister reminded me, sometimes it’s all we can do just to get up and put one foot in front of the other, but we press forward knowing that God sees our hearts and understands our struggles.
I will press on. How about you?
Father, I know there will be times in my walk that I do not feel a deep emotional connection with You, but no matter what, I will remain faithful and press forward taking it one day at a time. I know my faithfulness is not always in the emotions I feel, but in the obedience I exhibit even when I feel my faith being strained. But, when I serve You with a heart that is fully engaged, it just heightens the level in which I am able to fully embrace Your love and experience Christ’s love for others. Help me to not be afraid to reach out to the erring and feel that deep pain for the state of their soul. Let that be a catalyst for me to continue to do Your work as I understand that every effort is worthy of Your glory no matter the outcome. Thank you for those who encourage me in my journey and are helping me through these struggles. Thank you for listening and always providing what I need. Help me to see and utilize the resources You have put around me in fighting the good fight. In Jesus, who gives us all confidence in a beautiful future to come as we press on til the end, amen.
Truth in love,