Finding Hope at Rock Bottom

Finding Hope at Rock Bottom March 8, 2023

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Looking up from the bottom

Have you ever found yourself at rock bottom? Elijah, who was feeling abandoned, tried to carry on alone. Independence can be a helpful trait. But God made us with the need to live in a community. One of God’s first recorded thoughts about humankind was that it was not good for Adam to be alone. When we try to conquer the world on our own, we often lose perspective in three critical areas: the physical, emotional, and spiritual.

All three areas in our lives are connected. Throughout the years, science has repeatedly proven a connection between our physical conditions and our abilities to think through complex problems and sort out our emotions. We know when we get tired, we are more irritable and less able to deal with stressful situations; and, to add fuel to the fire, when we get overwhelmed by emotions, it can hinder our spiritual life, as well as our physical ability to handle what life may throw at us. 

Respite Care

As evident in the book of Genesis, God designed humanity to rest. As you know, there were six days of Creation; however, God declared that the seventh day was to be a Sabbath day, which comes from the Greek word sabaton, meaning rest. Why was the seventh day a day of rest? We know it was not because God needed it; Jesus tells us that the Sabbath was made for man.

Humans need time to stop, rest, and realign our thoughts, minds, and hearts. Having a day that reminds us of our utter dependence upon God is also imperative. Permitting ourselves to observe the Sabbath should help us find a life rhythm that includes work and rest. Centuries ago, when there was no electricity, automobiles, or online communication, skipping a day of work was an act of faith. You only had so many hours in a day, and that was it, so you worked hard for what you needed and let God take care of the rest! 

Trusting in God

What would it look like if you trusted God to care for you and allowed Him complete control over all areas of your life? What would your life look like if you stressed less and rested more? In case you need to hear this today: You are NOT God. You cannot be everywhere, all the time, with the ability to do everything. Because you are human, you are limited by time, space, energy, and location. And that’s OK—just rest.

Our Wealth

Please understand the Sabbath was not designed as a way to get out of work or not work because it wasn’t enjoyable. God created the Sabbath to be a purposeful pause that reminds you that you are not in control of your life.

No amount of money can provide us with eternal security. Jesus proclaims that you cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24 NIV). Truthfully, wealth tricks us into believing that it carries eternal promises and prosperity when, in fact, it is a caricature of God’s eternal promises. The very definition of wealth is an abundance of valuable possessions or money. 

To our society, wealth means power and control. Wealth means being able to afford the best doctors and hospitals. Wealth means you don’t have to stress because you can pay your way out of stress with enough money, and your problems seem to go away. When we exhaust ourselves in search of wealth at the expense of most, if not all, areas in our lives, we are worshipping a false god. Money is an amoral entity, but our thoughts and attitudes determine whether we worship it or use it as a tool in our worship of God.

Finding God’s Perspective

Elijah thought he was alone, so he pushed himself to great lengths until he was physically exhausted and overwhelmed. He had used up all his reserve and crashed under the weight of his burnout. We all can burn out. None of us are invincible.

When our activity exceeds our ability to recharge, it has severe consequences. We struggle with silence (with the ability to be quiet and still). I don’t believe anyone is immune to that struggle. The psalmist reminds us to wait quietly before the Lord is, not because we need sleep. The pause, the interludes in our lives, remind us that no matter how hard we try to be in control, God is holy and the ruler of all nations. Be still before the Holy One, the Lord of Hosts, the King of Kings. Be still because, when you are at rock bottom, you find hope through quiet restfulness.

About Paul Tanner
Experienced Pastor has demonstrated a history of working in the religious institution industry, skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Preaching, Singing, Youth Ministry, and Community Outreach. Strong professional with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) focused in Pastoral Care from Logsdon School of Theology. Paul also has a podcast titled "The Unbroken Ground," which focuses on following Jesus. For comments and questions or to request Paul as a speaker or podcast guest: You can read more about the author here. You can read more about the author here.

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