When You Feel Lethargic & Calloused…

I don’t know about you, but this year has been overwhelming in every category (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). Indeed, if I were brutally honest, I have battled lethargy and callousness a great deal this past year. That is to say, I just find myself disinterested, unexcited, and almost numb to the many needs around me. Perhaps you are feeling the same way. Perhaps you, like me, are running low on compassion and true, biblical optimism. If this describes you, let me give to you my personal battle plan that I use against these dark forces of discouragement and depression…

  1. Rewind – When I feel the “I don’t cares” start to erupt in my life, or when I feel that it’s all for naught, I find it helpful to rewind. In other words, I will talk with my wife, or a trusted friend, and I’ll recount the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in the past. I will remind myself that God worked mightily in the past, and He’s certainly working now (for my good and His glory), even if I don’t see it or feel it. A helpful passage to rewind with is Psalm 136. No less than 26 times are we reminded that the “steadfast love” of the LORD “endures forever.” Yes, God is loving (i.e. has our best interests in mind) even on our darkest days…
  2. Revive – When I find myself lethargic to my ministry duties, or just calloused to the needs of others, this is my calling card to pray and to seek the Lord even more. I double down on my prayer life. I honestly tell the Lord how I feel. A recent pray of mine went something like this: “God, I feel so bored with everything. Excite me again with your truth. God, I feel so disinterested with everything. Renew me again with your truth. God, I feel so numb with everything. Soften me again with your truth.” Indeed, God uses His glorious, unchanging truths to revive my soul. Psalm 119:25, “My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word (i.e. your truth)!”
  3. Resolve – Finally, when my feelings of despair start to overwhelm me, I resolve (by God’s Word, Spirit, and Grace) to live for the Lord no matter what. God is King, not my feelings. God’s Word is truth, not my feelings. I resolve to follow, trust, and love my God despite my feelings of hopelessness. Sound too preachy? Perhaps, but that is the Christian life. Read the Psalms. More often than not, the Psalmist, after outlining doom and gloom, ends with a note of resolve (i.e. “But I will trust in you” or “But I will hope in you”). Indeed, to battle your feelings with resolve in God is not disingenuous, or being naively optimistic, it’s choosing to live life by faith.

2020 has been a crazy year. The effects of 2020 have been deep and dark. But as a believer, battle all those dark thoughts by rewinding, reviving, and resolving. In the end, darkness will pass, evil has an expiration date, and the joyous truth of God’s love and liberty will prevail…

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