This article is an installment of Holy Joys Questions. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: I have been plagued for several years with a heaviness on my heart that robs my peace and joy. It will leave for a time, and I have wonderful peace. Then it returns. It weighs me down until I cannot enjoy my relationship with God or other Christians. I have been saved and sanctified for 43 years. Can you help me?
I experienced a similar heaviness when I was in China with my parents who were serving the Lord as educational missionaries. A sense of oppression would descend upon me for no apparent reason. However, we had been forewarned regarding this phenomenon. In the training we received before going to China, our instructors told us to expect the devil to seek to discourage us in this way.
Since there was no physical basis for the sense of oppression, we understood it to be spiritual warfare. So we addressed it with the weapons of spiritual warfare: praise, prayer, Christian fellowship, and Bible reading. God delights to manifest His presence when His people praise Him (Psa. 22:3; Psa. 42, 43).
Jesus has told us that He is always with us (Heb. 13:5). Paul tells us that a key component of our resisting the devil is knowing the truth (Eph. 6:14). We keep our loins girt about with truth by believing the truth, asserting the truth, and rejoicing in the truth, regardless of how we feel.
- The truth is that God is sovereign (Psa. 97:1; 99:1; Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11). That means that nothing comes into my life without His permission.
- The truth is that God is wise (Dan. 2:20; Jer. 10:7; Pro. 2:6; Rom. 16:27). That means He never makes a mistake in what He permits in my life.
- The truth is that God is good (Psa. 34:8; 145:9; Jer. 33:1; Nah. 1:7). That means that God has my best interest at heart in everything He allows into my life (Rom. 8:28-29).
- The truth is that God is faithful (Deut. 7:9; 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Peter 4:19). That means He will always keep his promises. He has promised that, regardless of how I feel, he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).
By the time I finished praising, praying, fellowshipping, and focusing my mind on who God is, the sense of oppression lifted. When it returned, I took it as an opportunity from the Lord to refocus my mind and heart about His magnificence. I encourage you to do the same.
Originally published in God’s Revivalist. Used by permission.