I was thinking recently, mostly asking myself questions about this roller coaster we ride on almost daily, called life. Then someone asked me, (they always ask at the lowest point of their experiences) why there seems to be highs and lows. There are times when we feel so good about our Christian journey, seeming to find joy in accomplishing good things for God, and there are times when we feel so low we start to think we are absolutely useless.
The only solace I get in thinking these things is that I am not alone. As far as I can detect, what we have called the "roller coaster" event happens to all of us. There are some things which might help us overcome the effects of those low points, and they come in the form of answering some questions. These are questions I ask myself often, and you can see if they are beneficial to you.
1. When was the last time I really worshiped? Your mind probably goes back to Sunday, perhaps a Sunday when you were present for worship services. That point is good, but the worship suggestion I make to you today goes deeper than that. For some of us, worship involves listening to a team leading our singing, and occasionally joining in to sing ourselves. We have a time of prayer, a time of communion, a time of Bible study. Any or all of these events are obvious parts of our worship assembly, but I am asking you personally, did you really worship? Were there reflections about God and all he is to you and all he has done for you? Did you pause to praise him and thank him for sacrificing his only son to pay for your sins? Did you think of the instances God came to your rescue, just at the right time? Examine not only the quantity, but the quality of your personal worship.
2. How long since I have prayed with such intensity I poured out my heart to God? There is a need for us to go beyond all the repeated phrases which we can remember from the public prayers, and get down to the business of confessing our sins to God, seeking his forgiveness, and a searching of our personal lives to see the areas which need genuine newness. Start with the heart, the mind, and yes, even the physical things. Remember we are on a roller coaster so we know what it's like to be at the peak, so can we go for more of the peak experiences and develop a stronger Christian of ourselves, learning to deal with and even overcome those low spots? I am a firm believer that as long as we are in the process of getting closer to God, we find more and more of his indwelling comfort, his answers, his direction, and...... his everything!
3. I must maintain a constant and regular schedule with the Scriptures. Bible reading is one thing, Bible learning is quite different. Learn to make the application of what you are reading directly to the experience which is troubling you. You may need a Bible with index, concordance, cross references, and other helps. I promise you, the answer to the problem is in the Word. Get close to every page, and watch it become more and more of a reality in your daily experience.
Do you think God really cares about your problems. Well, to him, they can lead you in your faith, all the way to perseverance. James writes, "Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3