He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength. -Isaiah 40:29
Angela could not believe how far away God felt to her at that moment, especially when just a few days earlier He seemed so close. She was trying to do all the right things and keep her heart in a good place, but on this day she was overwhelmed with a sense of estrangement from God. How could she be a Christian and not feel like praying? “Why is this so hard?” she thought.
Angela is learning that her faith is a lot like her legs. Sometimes they are strong and full of energy, but other times they feel like dead weights attached to her torso and they just won’t go.
It has happened to her more than once. In fact, she’s been through it enough by now that she understands what to do when faith fatigue happens. It is no fun, but she realizes it is nothing to panic about. Faith fatigue is just part of the Christian life.
Here are a few of the things Angela has learned to do when it’s obvious that her faith is tired:
- She acknowledges it. There’s no shame in admitting to God that your faith is tired and you’re having a hard time. It hits just about all of us occasionally. Most would agree that there seems to be an ebb and flow cycle to following Jesus, meaning there are highs and there are lows. It doesn’t mean you’re not a believer; it just means your human.
- She asks God for help with it. If your faith is lethargic, it is certainly okay to ask God to give you a hand, like the man who said to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:21-28). Though it may sound like a contradiction, it is possible to be a believer who is struggling to believe. And don’t worry, God doesn’t get exhausted (Isaiah 40:28), so He’s never annoyed by your requests for help.
- She gets energy from fellowship with other believers. It is nothing short of miraculous what God does when we gather in fellowship with other Christians, whether it is just two, or two thousand. Typically, you will walk away from time spent with fellow followers much better than the way you walked into it. By God’s design, believers are encouraged in the faith when we spend time together (Hebrews 10:25).
Being a person of strong faith doesn’t mean that your faith never gets tired. It just means that you don’t quit when it happens. You keep showing up and plodding along until bam, by God’s grace, you’re up and running again.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything. -William Carey, missionary