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How Your Physical Struggles Can Energize Your Spiritual Life

The One who set eternity in our hearts created in us a hunger that space and time cannot satisfy.

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When we struggle with physical needs, we want one thing more than anything else. Relief. Physical struggles scream at us like a hungry child, and nothing feels as pressing as removing the distraction.

Why God Connects Your Physical Needs to Your Spiritual Life

(Photo: Sunset over the Judean Wilderness. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Scriptures are full of people who struggled with physical needs. In fact, the superscription of Psalm 63 notes how David prayed the psalm in the wilderness of Judah, either while fleeing from King Saul or, later, from David’s rebel son Absalom.

My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. —Psalm 63:1

The “dry and weary land” that David described also mirrored his own physical needs, and the lack of water around him served to surface an even deeper thirst. At the height of his emotional and physical distress, David sought refuge in his spiritual life.

He yearned for God.

Our physical needs are connected to our spiritual lives for that very reason.

Connecting Physical Struggles to Spiritual Needs

A thousand years later, Jesus found Himself tempted in this very same wilderness. The Lord quoted Scripture to Satan, reminding him that people need more than bread for their life—they need God’s Word (Luke 4:4). We live our lives as more than physical beings with physical needs.

That’s why during great temptation and physical distress, Jesus turned to the Word of God for strength.

Judean Wilderness near Jericho

(Photo: Judean Wilderness near Jericho. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The One who set eternity in our hearts created in us a hunger that space and time cannot satisfy.

It is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
 —C. S. Lewis

Why God Connects Your Physical Needs to Your Spiritual Life

God uses our physical needs to deepen our spiritual life. Physical fulfillment offers only brief relief. Deep beneath the surface, we all suffer 
a craving that only God can satisfy. He has placed this provision in the words of Scripture.

This world offers so many false solutions to our needs, but in the end, these solutions only deepen the pangs. The gnawing within our soul finds rest only within God’s presence and within the pages of Scripture. We are more than physical beings.

  • We eat, but we hunger again.
  • We drink,
 but we thirst once more.
  • We work, but it never gives permanent satisfaction.

Jesus promises that whoever drinks of
 the water He gives will never thirst again (John 4:14).

As it was with David and Jesus, in our physical struggles also, God still expects us to walk with Him, and He provides a way in His Word for us to do so.

God calls us to love Him even above physical relief—and not just for physical relief. He wants to be at the center of all we pursue today.

Tell me what you think: How has God taught you spiritual lessons through physical things? To leave a comment, just click here.

Going Places with God- A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the BibleLike This Post? Get the Whole Book!

This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.

• These 90 devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, will help you apply the truths of God’s Word to your daily journey of faith.

• You’ll enjoy pertinent Scripture, inspirational quotes, photographs, maps, and a daily prayer.

After going places with God, you’ll never be the same.



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