The finances are not coming through. The church you felt called to is not as supportive and welcoming as you had hoped they would be. The doors you had planned on swinging wide are barely budging. Hope seems to leak from your heart like air from an old balloon. You must not have heard God, right? Not so fast.
When nothing seems to be working out, how do you hold onto the faith you first felt when God began speaking about this new season of destiny? Here are a couple pointers that I have found helpful in my own life and the lives of others I have counseled.
1. Remember. Why did you think it was God in the first place? How did He tell you to go in this direction? What dreams did you have? What words did you receive? What Scriptures came alive? What wise counsel affirmed your decision? How did God move already to open doors, provide supernaturally, and confirm His guidance? Review these things, feed your hope with testimonies of God’s hand in this situation. (Psalm 78:5–8)
2. Retell. Don’t keep it to yourself. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell those that you love and that love you again and again how God guided you to this place. (Psalm 145:4–7)
3. Renew your mind. Keep firm in your mind the faithfulness of God. Don’t just remember and retell what He has done in your life, but what has He done in the lives of the heroes of faith. Study the lives of the Biblical characters that held onto promise in the face of seemingly opposite circumstances. Think about Abraham, Job, Daniel and his 3 friends, Jesus in the Garden, and countless others that faced down the giant of discouragement to contend for the promise. (Hebrews 6:11–12)
4. Recommit. Disillusionment could be encouraging—it means an illusion you held is being ‘dissed’. Allow disillusionment to remove your ideas of how God will fulfill His promise so that you no longer stand on the mud of your own imagination but on the bedrock of His voice. Decide again to follow His voice no matter what it costs or how long it takes. He is a good Father and He will bring you through! (Isaiah 50:7)
God’s word never fails to accomplish what He intended when He spoke it (Isaiah 55:11) but it will often be accomplished differently than what we would expect (Isaiah 55:9). Just ask Joseph about that one (Psalm 105:16–22).
So what do you do if in this process you realize that it was not really God in the first place? What if it was your own good idea or desire? Repent. Tell God you are sorry. He is never upset at zeal and He can take the biggest mess we make and turn it into promotion. (Romans 8:28) I love how Larry Randolph puts it, “When God determined your destiny He factored in your stupidity.”
The next step may be a little harder. Once you have repented God has forgiven you (1 John 1:9) but you still need to forgive yourself. Pick yourself up and try again! Remember how God defines a righteous man in Proverbs—he is not someone that doesn’t fall but one who refuses to stay down! (Proverbs 24:16)