“…for the spirit of heaviness; Isaiah 61:3 KJV
There’s a heaviness in the hearts of many … even solid Christians.
You can often feel it in the atmosphere. This weight is the spiritual equivalent of COPD. It affects our spiritual lungs and robs us of breath. We sigh a lot and feel as if we’re losing something we will never recover. We can’t get under it, over it or around it. It’s the ‘elephant in the room.’
What brings on heaviness?
- persistent spiritual warfare; will it ever end?
- moral ambivalence by our culture; no clear right and wrong acknowledged
- blurred roles in leadership, in gender relationships and even family structure
- loss of something important to you
- the feeling that things will never improve … as low as we are, it’s as high as we’ll ever get
Regardless of its origin, it is one of Satan’s most powerful weapons. The discouragement/depression cycle, if unabated, will take us out of victory and make us carry the battle within us.
It may be natural to get pinned down by the effects of a sinful environment… but it’s not necessary!
Don’t try to shake it off – head for Jesus. Don’t deny it – give it to the Father. Don’t get mad – move into his presence. Don’t keep concentrating on the mess – tap into God’s glory.
The prophet Isaiah declared that God had come to bring “beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness.” Isaiah 61:3a Living Bible
And why is God interested in giving his hurting and discouraged people ‘beauty, joy and praise?’
“For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.” Isaiah 61:3b Living Bible
We’re God’s plantings … in his own garden. He doesn’t want brown, beat down plants. He wants them to be radiant, full of vitality and with a wonderful future of proclaiming his love and care. When our lives are observed by those who feel there is no other alternative than feeling weariness, futility and the weight of the world on their shoulders, here’s what they should see.
They should marvel at the One who would carry their burdens, turns their ashes into beauty marks and give them joy for their sorrow. They need to see a Heavenly Father who wants to give them spirits of praise to evaporate their heaviness. Let his care for you be his invitation to all who are ‘weary and heavy laden.’ He wants to give them rest.