No matter your age or background, chances are you have faced desert seasons in your life. And if you haven’t, most likely you will someday. In these exceptionally hard and spiritually dry times, it can be easy to want to give up on your faith. You may feel as if you never hear from God anymore, as if your prayers are being sent into empty air, or as if His love for you has vanished.
This is when it’s time for to take thoughts captive to the truth of God’s Word. When you feel as if you aren’t hearing from God and are going through a patch of dry weariness and wilderness in your soul, the worst possible thing to do is cut yourself off from the primary way the Lord does speak to you – through His Word. If you want to hear from God, you need to be reading and meditating on His words. This practice of pouring over the Scriptures is what will serve as the foundation to enable you to still praise God in these 5 ways while even in the midst of your desert season:
- Remember He is still speaking.
In desert seasons it is important to remember that we cannot trust our feelings. We may feel as if God is far from us, but that is only what the enemy wants us to believe. It isn’t the truth. Repeatedly throughout the Word, God promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), says He will be with us through all of life’s troubles (Joshua 1:9), assures us He will hear our prayers (Isaiah 65:24), and promises He will lead and guide us (Psalm 32:8, James 1:5) even through the desert seasons. These are promises we can stand on, promises which can enable us to praise God even when life is hard.
- Hold fast to what He has done.
If you want to be able to hold fast to your faith in the most trying moments of life, you are going to have to know the character of God and how He has worked in the past. Think back on how He has proven Himself faithful in your own life. Immerse yourself in the Biblical accounts of life stories of people like Joseph, Esther, Ruth, Paul, and David. See what God did to preserve, protect, strengthen, forgive, provide for, help, rescue, and grow these people in the midst of some rather dire situations. Then you, too, will be able to “praise Him in the storm”, as it were, in the midst of your own hardships.
- Trust what He will do.
Remembering what God has done in the past will encourage you to look to the future with hope over what He will still do. Our great God and His character never change, so the trustworthy, faithful, miracle-working God of ages past is the same God Who holds you in the palm of His hand today.
- Be in community.
We were never meant to walk alone. Believers are referred to as all being members of the body of Christ, because we were always meant to live in community, supporting, encouraging, and strengthening each other along the way. When you are in a desert season and are finding it hard to remember truth, let alone praise God, your brothers and sisters in Christ can come alongside you, hold you up, cover you in prayer, and hold fast to faith when it’s hard for you to do so. Having the faith and strength of fellow believers will go a long way towards your being able to praise God in the challenging times.
- Remember His love.
We have a wrong view of love these days. We tend to think that if God loves us, then nothing bad will ever happen to us. But, ultimately, love is about wanting what is best for the other person, and the Lord knows that sometimes it is the hard and trying times of life which produce the most good for us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Verses 35-39 go on to say, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If that doesn’t lead to your wanting to praise God, I don’t know what will!
I don’t know what kind of dry season you are currently in, friend, but I do know the character of the God Who is with you in the midst of it. I know He has you, I know He loves you, and I know He will grow you through it! Take heart, friend, and keep your eyes fixed on Him.