For many believers, sinking to the bottom means the end. They become so overwhelmed by their failures that they develop a sense of unworthiness. Over time, they feel trapped beyond any help. Isaiah wrote of such believers, “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted…” (Isaiah 54:11 NKJV).

Some eventually get mad at God. They grow tired of waiting for him to move, so they cry accusingly, “Lord, where were you when I needed you? I cried out to you for deliverance, but you never answered. I’ve done everything I know to do, yet I’m still not free. I’m tired of repenting and crying, without ever seeing any change!” Many such believers simply give up trying and give themselves over to hopelessness.

Others fall into a fog of spiritual apathy. They are convinced that God doesn’t care about them anymore. They say, “That’s it. I give up. I am invisible to God.” Consumed by sadness and defeat, they tell themselves, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God” (Isaiah 40:27). “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me” (Isaiah 49:14).

Still others end up focusing all their attention on the failure, trying to keep themselves in a constant state of conviction, guilt and hopelessness. Yet this only causes confusion! They cry, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?” (Ezekiel 33:10).

The fact is, recognizing and feeling sorry for our sin is not an end in itself. We aren’t supposed to rest in those feelings. They are meant to drive us to the end of ourselves, toward the victory of the cross. God does not want us to languish in defeat and despair. He is eager to lift us up! When we give our sorrow to Jesus, he has promised that he will hear our cries and bring us into a life of purpose, hope and joy in him.

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you” (Psalm 39:7).

“The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:14).