In Life, Ever Just 'Not Feel Like It?' The Bible Has a Fix for That We All Need to Know
What 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.
While it’s true that this is our indwelling sin of which we must repent and fight to lay aside, the experience of “not feeling like it” can become a reminder of a gospel truth and 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 page or checking Facebook is almost effortless.
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?
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).
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!”
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.
Jon Bloom (@Bloom_Jon) serves as author, board chair, and co-founder of Desiring God. He is author of three books, Not by Sight, Things Not Seen, and Don’t Follow Your Heart. He and his wife live in the Twin Cities with their five children.
A version of this article previously appeared on the Desiring God website under the headline “Lay Aside the Weight of ‘Not Feeling Like It.'”
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