Overcoming spiritual misery


Sincerity can cause misery

Some of you won’t understand this blog because you aren’t concerned about serving.  If that’s you, don’t waste your time, stop reading now.

Forward facing Christ followers frequently feel anxious about God’s work in and through them.  They ask things like, what does God want me to do?  Where should I serve?  How should I best use my resources?

Uncertainty about what to do can make sincere believes miserable.

Here’s some practical advice that will prevent misery and set you free.

First, believe God is guiding you.  Notice the term “is.”  However, know that God’s guidance is seldom perfectly clear.  He’ll give you enough guidance to move forward but not so much that you can move without Him.  You’ll always be learning to walk by faith.

Second, the biggest mistake believers make is waiting for God to show them what to do.  Rather than waiting, seize the greatest opportunity that floats your boat or fuels your fire.  Life is too short to wait for a bolt of lightning or thundering voice from the heavens.  It’s true that a few Biblical characters knew God’s plan in advance.  But most just stumbled along like the rest of us.  They saw God’s plan after not before it happened.

Third, trust God to stop you if you head down the wrong path.  This corresponds to number two.

Following these guidelines won’t give you perfect clarity but they will protect you from spiritual misery.

What helps you deal with uncertainty?  How do you determine what God wants you to do?

Grace Freak

Dan Rockwell

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14 Comments on “Overcoming spiritual misery”

  1. landsway Says:

    We are told “In all thy ways acknolwedge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” I am not sure why we really need more than that. He said He would lead us and if we combine that with “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding” we should be ok. The problem we have sometimes is we don’t like the direction we are led or the answers we get. We lean to our understanding.

  2. Jared Young Says:

    A common question in circles I have been around is, “Am I in God’s will?” This has hindered growth in many Christians I believe because you are stuck spinning your wheels wondering whether or not you are in God’s will. When in fact if you are walking by faith, looking to God for guidance and looking to learn from where HE has you, that is God’s will. God wants his body to grow and deepen their relationships with Him, advancing His Gospel throughout the nations.

    We often over-complicate God’s Word and His will for us. God is seeking a relationship with us, and we should accept that and learn from that. I don’t think God wanted His Word to be complicated, that is why it was given to man in a language man knew.

    I like what you said Dan, about not waiting and just jumping in with two feet. God will lead us if we let Him. Great article.

    • Dan Rockwell Says:

      Hey Jared,

      Thanks for the good word. I agree that many spin their wheels looking for something they probably will never receive. It’s sad.

      It can be even worse when our “spiritual” friends walk around all certain about God’s Will and all we’re doing is stumbling along day by day.

      I’m with you, simple rocks!




  3. Jared Young Says:

    So I have to confess I wanted to know if you had a podcast or something so I ‘googled’ you and found your church and am excited to start listening to Luke (I am personally in Mark right now). So is your association with NTM through Jersey Shore?
    Thanks for bringing Truth to us via blog.

    • Dan Rockwell Says:


      It’s an honor to me that you would think about listening to the graceunplugged podcasts. Just so you know it took us a few weeks to get the quality where it should be. I think it’s pretty decent now but the sound quality early on wasn’t very good.

      The NTM connection began years ago when the Jersey Shore facility was a training facility. We’ve have seen several NTM folks come through Good News. We love our NTM family.

      Thanks for touching base.


  4. There is a lot of grace in your ideas here, Dan. As for the specific questions at the end. If I’m feeling really stuck, I’ll start drawing up some strategy. I’ll review what I’m doing, what is effective, and what I’d like to do. Generally, that helps me focus my work in such a way that it can be more closely aligned with my calling.

    On the other hand, I love Howard Butt’s story about feeling overwhelmed. He didn’t know what God wanted him to do, so he started by answering his mail.

    • Dan Rockwell Says:

      Hey Marcus,

      Thanks for dropping in, leaving a comment and saying a good word. I enjoyed the high calling blog – “deeply disturbed.”

      Great counsel… if you don’t know what to do…do something you know how to do… don’t just stagnate…



  5. Dan- What great advice. I can attest to this – “God can’t steer a parked car,” yet so many Christians sit around and waith for that divine message from God. The message comes from action, initiative, moving around and bumping into things. That’s when we can get feedback on what we are doing. Sometimes even then one can spend a lot of time unsure. There has to come a point where you get on with life and trust in God’s grace to cover you.

    Very thought-provoking, and worth a lot more discussion!

    • Dan Rockwell Says:

      Thanks Brad, I love the image of bumping into things. I think it is so true and what it suggest is the path to our goal is NOT a straight line. Interesting thought. Thanks man! I’m always delighted to see that you have stopped in. Dan

  6. David Wyatt Says:

    Great stuff bro. Dan & all! I love what the late Dr. Dave Breese, also a great grace proponent, said about God’s will. I forget the exact wording, but it was something to the effect that if we can do it to the glory of God, then go to it! God Bless.

  7. llamaingaloshes Says:

    I really wish I had read/known this years ago. I’ve been in a pool of Christian misery/uncertainty for too long-and I knew that, and was trying to get out of it. This article hit exactly what I needed to know right on the money-YES!

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