I attended the Peace River Bible Institute missions conference this week. One presenter invited mission reps to a session about identifying and overcoming burnout. He noted that burnout happens when hope is lost, and hope is lost when we fall into faulty thinking about who God is.
This session really resonated with me. Last Saturday I spoke at the RADIANT conference, and my plenary message basically taught the same premise. So does my new Bible study that’s scheduled for release this month through First Place 4 Health.
Here’s an example of how this works based on personal experience.
Years ago, when Gene and I entered career ministry at Camp Homewood, we were required to raise financial support for our family of five. Donations were tallied and cheques issued on the 10thof each month.
We lived above the office for the first three years. A flight of stairs separated us from the staff mailboxes into which those cheques were placed. I ran those stairs several times each pay day, waiting and watching for our cheque to appear in our box. Why? Because the fear of financial insecurity held me captive. Would we have enough to feed our family? Would we have enough to buy gas and ferry tickets? What about kids’ winter coat and orthodontic bills?
Several years passed, often filled with mounting and unexpected expenses. Stress nearly took me to the brink. I absolutely professed God as my provider, but on financial uncertainty led my thoughts down the wrong path.
Subconsciously I began to question God’s care for our family’s needs. For a short while I wrestled with anger toward Him for bringing us to camp only to abandon us there. In retrospect, I resembled the Israelites who accused God of bringing them out of Egypt only to die in the wilderness.
Aligning my thoughts about God with truth about His character was vital to restoring hope. I began meditating on Bible verses that reminded me of His glory and majesty. I turned those verses to prayer and expressed them aloud as I walked for exercise. I also filled my home with praise music and sang along with the lyrics while doing chores.
When doubts about God’s integrity and intent toward our family threatened to raise their heads, I squelched them with the truth: God had a plan for our family, and He would fulfill His purpose. He’d called us to this ministry, and He would provide. Doing anything less would be to deny His nature. Peace replaced fear. Hope returned, and courage to trust God for bigger things came with it.
Our thoughts about God are the most important thing about us, so let’s strive to ensure our thoughts are based on truth.
Have you ever lost hope? If so, how did believing an untruth about God’s character play a role?
#LostHope #GodIsOurHope #BelieveTruth