Friday, May 12, 2017

Spiritual Slumps

Spiritual Slumps
“O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? (Psalm 13:1-2)
Have you ever experienced a “spiritual slump”?
   Athletes hate slumps. They’ll try anything and everything to get out of those times when they can’t hit the baseball or make a free throw or catch a pass or get the puck in the net or make a putt.  Baseball players change bats, shave their beards, choke up on the bat. Basketball players change shoes, socks, head bands. Football players change their routine. Golfers change clubs or balls. They’ll try anything to get out of the slump.
   Christians should hate slumps too. We should try anything to eliminate those dry spells when we can’t seem to pray past the ceiling or when reading the Bible seems more frustrating than helpful.
   A spiritual slump can make us feel forsaken by God. We struggle with a joyless attitude. Our hearts become heavy and we feel a weariness that we can’t explain. The bright side to life seems to have vanished. If not remedied, we lose our sense of hope. We get to the place where we feel we are fighting a losing battle.
   As we read the words of David in Psalm 13, we realize that we are not alone. David found himself in just such a predicament. He cries out to God in the midst of his “spiritual slump.” How long, O Lord, is his cry! Will you abandon me forever?
   We need to take heed of David’s words in the remainder of the Psalm. He knew how to work his way out of the slump. First, he appealed to God who is the true source of spiritual refreshment in dry times (vv. 3-4). Second, he trusted in God’s unfailing love (v.5). Third, he sang praises to God, recognizing how important worship is (v. 6).
   If you fall into a “spiritual slump” follow the procedures outlined by David.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we are all susceptible to “spiritual slumps.”  Help me put into practice the advice of David.

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