Feeling stuck or trapped in life can be a frustrating and discouraging experience. Many of us go through periods where we feel like we’re spinning our wheels and not making any progress. Everything seems monotonous and futile. But what does the Bible have to say about this common struggle? Quite a lot, actually. Here are the key takeaways:
- God understands when you feel stuck and discouraged. He promises to be with you and strengthen you.
- Turning to God in prayer and seeking his wisdom is crucial when feeling stagnant.
- Patience, perseverance and endurance are needed to make it through seasons of feeling stuck.
- God can use times of waiting and feeling stuck to build our character and faith in him.
- Trusting in God’s sovereignty and timing is key, even when we don’t understand his plans.
- Scripture encourages us to renew our hope and focus on God’s promises when discouraged.
- Community and encouragement from other believers can help provide support and perspective.
- Reflecting on God’s past faithfulness can inspire us to keep moving forward.
- God ultimately desires to prosper us and give us a hopeful future.
Life is full of ups and downs. We all go through mountaintop experiences where we feel like we’re on top of the world. But we also go through seasons of monotony, frustration and stagnation. Sometimes it seems like no matter how hard we try, we just can’t get ahead. We feel like we’re running in place, not making any progress. Everything seems mundane and pointless.
Have you ever felt stuck in your marriage, career, finances, health or faith? You’re trying and striving but nothing seems to change. You start questioning if anything will ever get better. This feeling of being trapped and going nowhere fast can negatively impact all areas of life. It can steal our joy, peace and hope.
As Christians, what do we do when we feel stuck? Where can we turn for encouragement, wisdom and strength? The Bible has much to say to help us navigate through seasons of stagnation and get unstuck. God understands our frustrations and desires to come alongside us in the struggle. Let’s explore some of the key scriptures and truths that can guide us when feeling stuck.
God Understands When You Feel Stuck
A great source of comfort is knowing that God understands when we feel stuck in a rut. He created us and knows our limitations. The Bible says:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, NKJV)
Jesus faced every temptation and struggle we could ever experience, so he completely understands those feelings of stagnation and futility. We can come to him for mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Another passage showing God’s understanding is:
“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.” (Psalm 139:1-4, NKJV)
Not a single detail escapes God’s notice. When we feel stuck, we can take comfort in the fact that he sees and understands even when no one else does.
Turn to God in Prayer
One of the most powerful things we can do when feeling stuck is turn to God in prayer. Pour out your heart to him. Get real and honest about the struggles you’re facing. Ask him for wisdom and direction. The Bible tells us:
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV)
Cry out to the Lord from the place of stagnation and get ready to receive his mercy and grace. Pursuing God’s heart through prayer and relying on his strength instead of our own is crucial. As James says:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5, NKJV)
Ask God to reveal where you need more wisdom. Seek his understanding of your situation. Prayer demonstrates our trust in God’s power and opens the door for supernatural breakthrough.
Patience and Endurance Are Necessary
Once we’ve turned to God in prayer, another essential thing is cultivating patience. Seasons of feeling stuck often require endurance and perseverance. We see this truth in James 1:2-4 –
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NKJV)
It’s counterintuitive, but we can actually find joy in trials because of how God uses them to build perseverance and maturity in us. The process of waiting, enduring and maturing takes time. We need patience.
Romans 5:3-4 also encourages:
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (NKJV)
Problems and trials serve a purpose in developing godly character in us. So don’t give up when the wait seems long. Let endurance finish its work. God is up to something good.
God Uses the Waiting
Beyond just developing perseverance, God also uses seasons of feeling stuck to deepen our trust in Him. When we’re waiting, we’re called to rest in who God is and lean into His strength. As Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) says:
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
This verse promises that God will renew our strength when we put our confidence in Him. Waiting builds our faith muscles.
Romans 8:28 also gives us hope:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NKJV)
God can use this stagnant season for good somehow, even if we can’t see it yet. He will use it to ultimately prosper us. (Jeremiah 29:11) So don’t despair. Your waiting has purpose.
Trust God’s Timing
A major aspect of enduring times of feeling stuck is trusting in God’s timing. God promises:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV)
Even when we don’t understand what He’s doing, we can trust that God’s plans for us are good. He sees the full picture and is able to accomplish His purposes in our lives.
In Isaiah 55:8-9, God says:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (NKJV)
God sees our situation from a higher perspective. Though we may feel stuck, God may actually be setting things up for future growth. So trust His perfect timing.
Psalm 27:14 encourages:
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” (NKJV)
Even when we don’t see progress, we can find strength in quieting ourselves before Him. His timing is always perfect.
Renew Your Hope
Feeling stuck often leads us to lose hope. But God wants us to set our eyes on Him as the source of hope. Romans 15:13 says:
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV)
This reminds us that our hope comes from trusting in God. We can ask Him to renew our hope when life feels mundane.
Psalm 42:5 offers this encouragement:
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” (NKJV)
Even when discouraged, we can intentionally put our hope in God again. This act of faith and praise lifts our eyes from the stagnation we feel.
Lamentations 3:21-23 declares this truth:
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (NKJV)
What an incredible promise! No matter what we face, God’s unfailing love and limitless compassion give us reason to hope. Each new day is a chance to encounter His mercy.
So in times of stagnation, remember to fix your eyes on Jesus. Renew your hope in Him. He will lift you up.
Seek Community and Encouragement
Periods of feeling stuck can be isolating. We withdraw from community and stop seeking input. But Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reminds us of the value of fellowship:
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (NKJV)
We need each other, especially when we feel weak. Seeking community, counsel and encouragement from other believers can help provide support and perspective when you feel stuck. We were made for relationship.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says:
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another.” (NKJV)
Look for ways you can build up and encourage others too. Serving others gets our focus off ourselves. Together we can spur one another onward.
Reflect on God’s Past Faithfulness
In times of stagnation, it’s easy to forget all the ways God has moved miraculously in our lives before. That’s why cultivating gratitude is so important. Deuteronomy 8:2 says:
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” (NKJV)
Reflecting on how God guided in the past builds faith that He will lead us into the future. Journaling about previous times when you felt stuck and how God made a way can be encouraging. The Psalms are full of this practice.
Psalm 77:11-15 says:
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (NKJV)
Our faithful God is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Remind yourself of His miracles.
God Gives Us a Hopeful Future
Lastly, cling tight to the truth that no matter how stuck you may feel today, God promises a hopeful future. Jeremiah 29:11 assures us:
‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”’ (NKJV)
What powerful words! God’s plans are to give us a future beyond what we can even imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) He works all things out for our good because we love Him. (Romans 8:28)
So take heart today. Your season of feeling stuck will not last forever. God promises that the door will swing wide open for you at just the right time. Be patient, trust Him, renew your hope, and believe in His good plans. He will lead you into freedom.
When we feel stuck and life seems mundane, it can be so easy to get discouraged. But thankfully, the Bible is full of encouragement, wisdom and hope for our times of stagnation. God understands our struggles. He hears our cries for help. He uses the waiting to build our character. Most importantly, He promises to walk with us in the waiting and lead us out.
If you are in a season where you feel stuck, hold fast to these scriptural truths. Turn to God in prayer. Wait patiently while cultivating perseverance. Renew your hope in Christ. Surround yourself with community. Reflect on past miracles. And trust that God has good in store for your future. He will empower you to soar again. The door will open, and you will walk into greater freedom than you’ve ever known.