Let me be honest with you … the desert is NOT a fun place. It’s dry, lonely and HOT!
Everyone goes through dry seasons. If you’re being honest, you can recall times when you didn’t feel “spiritually high.” You attend church weekly, go to Sunday school or small group, perhaps you even study your Bible … but God feels a lot more like a distant relative than somebody you’re connected to.
The toughest season, and one that so many Christians seem to fight through, is the dry season—the desert months. During this season our relationship with God feels distant and lifeless. Again, everyone goes through desert seasons.
When I sense God is distant, I cringe when people tell me to “pray more” or “have more faith.” Really? That’s the best you have when you see that I’m thirsty?
When you go through your desert season, here are three key truths you can hold on to.
1. Pump up your praise.
When God feels far away, it’s easy to turn down our praise. During desert seasons, our praise should be seen and heard. Praise isn’t about how many times we lift our hands, but about where our worship comes from. Among the most effective methods for fighting our despair is to never stop praising God. What we praise magnifies and grows. I invite you to magnify God rather than your circumstance.
2. Remember your worth.
Everyone knows someone who had a nickname. It wasn’t their real name, but a name someone gave them. Even as adults, many are known by their nickname. Guess who else gives nicknames? God.
Most believers don’t fully understand their identity in Christ. Understanding it is a powerful key to spiritual breakthrough. In 1 Peter 2:9-10, we’re told we’re chosen and we’re royalty. We’re not chosen because of our racial makeup or anything else; we’re chosen because of God’s grace. And, we’re exalted and elevated in his presence—that’s royalty!
3. Get up. Get dressed. Go to church.
When we go through desert seasons, the very place we run from is where we need to run to: church! Guess what—you’re not the only person going through a dry season. There’s probably someone else going through something similar, or has recently. However difficult it looks, don’t stop going to church. Healing and inspiration happen when we’re together. In fact, we’re better together.
Remember that there’s no one formula to fix all our troubles. Remain steadfast and dedicated to God. In the midst of your pain, pump up your praise. Regardless of how you feel, get up, get dressed and go to church. Remember, the one thing winter, spring, summer and fall have in common: Eventually they come to an end.
What do you do when you go through dry seasons?
© 2016, Clarence E. Stowers, Jr. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.clarencestowers.com.
Clarence Stowers is the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Chicago, Illinois. He has been in full-time ministry for 20 years.