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Lay Aside the Weight of “Not Feeling Like It”

July 14, 2013
Article copied from desiring God.

Lay Aside the Weight of “Not Feeling Like It”

By Jon Bloom | Jul 12, 2013 12:00 am

OriginalWhat do you not feel like doing today?

You know what I mean. It’s that thing that’s weighing on you, which you know would honor God because it obeys his law of love (John 15:12), or is a work of faith (2 Thessalonians 1:11), or puts “to death the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13). You know it would be good for your soul or body or family or vocation or neighbor or church.

But you don’t feel like doing it. You know that God promises you more blessing if you do it than if you don’t. But you’re struggling to believe it because it feels difficult. It’s like you have weights on your ankles. You don’t want to muster the energy, and every distraction glows with attraction.

The Strange Pattern of Progress

While it’s true that this is our indwelling sin of which we must repent and fight to lay aside (Hebrews 12:1), the experience of “not feeling like it” also can become for us a reminder of a gospel truth and actually give us hope and encouragement in this battle.

Think about this strange pattern that occurs over and over in just about every area of life:

  • Healthy, nutritious food often requires discipline to prepare and eat while junk food is convenient, tasty, and addictive.
  • Keeping the body healthy and strong requires frequent deliberate discomfort while it only takes constant comfort to go to pot.
  • You have to make yourself pick up that nourishing but intellectually challenging book while popping in a DVD is as easy and inviting as coasting downhill.
  • You frequently have to force yourself to get to devotions and prayer while sleeping in or reading the sports or checking Facebook is almost effortless.
  • Learning to skillfully play beautiful music requires thousands of hours of tedious practice.
  • Excelling in sports requires monotonous drills ad nauseum.
  • Learning to write well requires writing, writing, writing and rewriting, rewriting, rewriting. And usually voluminous reading.
  • It takes years and years of schooling just to make certain vocational opportunities possible.

You get the idea. The pattern is this: the greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain, while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are right at our fingertips. Why is this?

Why the Struggle and Difficulty and Pain?

Because God, in great mercy, is showing us everywhere, in things that are just shadows of heavenly realities, that there is a great reward for those who struggle through and persevere (Hebrews 10:32–35). He is reminding us almost everywhere to walk by faith in a promised future and not by the sight of immediate gratification (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Understood this way, each struggle becomes an invitation by God to follow in the faithful footsteps of his Son, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Those who are spiritually blind only see futility in these struggles. But for those who have eyes to see, God has woven hope (faith in his future grace) right into the futility of creation (Romans 8:20–21). Each struggle becomes a pointer saying, “Look ahead, past the struggle itself, past the temptation of the puny, vapor joys to the great, sustained, substantial Joy set before you!”

Endurance, Not Indulgence

So today, don’t let “not feeling like it” reign as lord (Romans 6:12). Rather, through it see your Father pointing you to the reward he has planned for all who endure to the end (Matthew 24:13). Let it remind you that his call is not to indulgence but endurance.

Then lay this weight aside and run with faith the race he has set before you.

This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17–18)

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From → Devotions

16 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on iChristian.

  2. Endurance, not indulgence…nice! Very encouraging post, thanks!

    • The funny part is I was struggling with fasting for a day when I came across this.

      Total conviction.

      To God be all the Glory, He got me right back on track!

  3. Something we all need to hear, especially me at times.

  4. Reblogged this on jtrehern78's Blog and commented:
    Came across this on another website and I thought it was worth sharing.

  5. Thanks for posting this!! Very relevant to me and very true!!!

    • The cool thing is if we are really honest with ourselves it is very true and relevant to us all! To God be all the Glory!

  6. kilihune permalink

    I’m glad I decided to read this message this morning. I received this message yesterday and I just didn’t feel like reading it let alone opening up my email. The message is SO TRUE, greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain, while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are right at our fingertips. In this relationship I feel like I need to earn some trust with my father again by being disciplined & obedient. Practicing to walk righteous will take me some hard work and discipline, cause the fine line to be self righteous is way to easy!
    Obedience isn’t any easier, it’s so easy to just say nah! Or next time or straight up I NO LIKE. With this group of men and Jesus it sure helps get me through some ruff times of I just don’t feel like it.

    Mahalo Nui

    • God timing is amazing! Keep striving my braddah, God is doing an amazing work in you and your family! Press on full speed ahead!

  7. Wow! Just the kick in the pants that I needed. Truly inspired.

  8. Reblogged this on as i was saying… and commented:
    This piece was reblogged on another site I follow. I wanted to share it with my readers.

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