One of the hardest-hitting truth of the Christian life is that we will go through times of spiritual dryness, despair, depression, and discouragement. Yet, this truth is often hidden because we do not want to talk about it. In return, we don’t respond biblically to these difficult times. Praise be to God, though; He is not afraid to bring it up and has done so through the psalmist in Psalm 42. So, how do we respond in seasons of deep spiritual dryness and drought? For the next two weeks, we will be looking at the answer Psalm 42 provides. There we will find two broad responses in these times and six more detailed responses. The first broad response in our spiritual dryness is that we respond to God. Under this heading, we find four different responses in regard to God during this time.
Response #1: We pant and thirst for the living God (vv. 1-2)
When you are in despair and facing a spiritual drought, where do you turn? Do you turn to entertainment? Or maybe you turn in and neglect your relationships by isolating yourself from them. Whatever you may turn to, if it is not what God has prescribed in His Word, then it will not charge you up. And what is it God prescribes? Himself. We must respond in our spiritual dryness by panting and thirsting for the living God because He is the only one who can quench our thirst. He has also prescribed fellowship with His people, the church, as a means of spiritual encouragement.
Response #2: We pour out our soul to God (v. 4)
The important thing is that we go to Him, sharing our struggles and being open and honest with Him because He can take it and we can trust Him. We go to God in prayer when we are in times of spiritual dryness and despair.
Response #3: We remember the character of God and the acts of God (vv. 6-8)
Even in difficult times, don’t lose sight of who God is and what He has done. He is a God of promise who has given us Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we can have a relationship with God only by His grace through repentance and faith.
Response #4: We ask God “Why?” (v. 9)
If we are honest with ourselves, we do come to these times with questions. Again, the important thing is that we are taking it to God Himself. We ask God in faith. We know He has not left us even if it may feel like it. He is our rock and He is sovereign over all and loves us as His children. We must keep that in view as we move throughout our lives. We must keep that in mind as we respond to spiritual dryness.
- In your time and season of spiritual dryness and drought, how can you be intentional in responding first and foremost to God?