If we lived in an ideal, perfect world we might find ourselves perched on a mountaintop with the world on a string. But inevitably we are going to experience valleys in this imperfect world. I’m not referring to clinical depression, which can be serious and may require a doctor’s care. But, sometimes we just find ourselves slipping into a funk, whether it’s hormonal, circumstantial or just emotions. Sometimes our children (or those girls in dance class) may be headed into a dark emotional place. How do we hang on? What do we do to stay up? How can we encourage them from God’s Word to keep hanging on?
Well, I know for me one of the greatest mood lifters is simply praising God! He created us for praise no matter our circumstance, so I pump up the music in my car, house or wherever. Did you know that there were numerous battles won in the Old Testament as a result of people simply praising God? Well the battle over our emotions can be won with the same weapon. So rev up your praise music. If you can’t sing, read or speak some of the psalms out loud. Or if you’re in a place where you have no access to praise songs, make some up. The more you praise, the lighter you’ll feel.
Praising and giving thanks go hand in hand. Paul reminds us to give thanks no matter what, “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). There’s an area in my life right now where I’m feeling rejected. I always encourage people by saying “man’s rejection is God’s protection.” Now I’m living it. It’s painful regardless, but I’m being reminded that Jesus suffered rejection for our sakes. So there’s nothing I could experience that He can’t empathize with, so I can take it to Him. We are reminded that it’s God’s will for us to give thanks in all circumstances, not just the good ones. That to me is a reminder that either way, God will work it all out for our good, so give thanks!
Like I said, Jesus can empathize. So tell him all about it. One of our greatest weapons against the enemies lies is prayer. Satan would like to get us either so busy, or so depressed and self-indulgent that we even forget to pray. Why? He knows how powerful prayer is against his schemes. So remember that, and don’t forget to pray. Here’s a memory verse for you and it’s short, “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That’s two simple but powerful words…pray continually. Pray all the time and don’t stop! This doesn’t mean you have to go around legalistically chanting the Lord’s Prayer. It simply means weave a conversation with God through your day. Tell Him what’s on your mind.
It’s no secret that one of the best remedies to our own problems is to focus on someone else’s and reach out in some way to help them. So make yourself available to helping others. You don’t have to become the next Mother Theresa to do this. It can be as simple as listening.
And whatever you do, don’t forget your calling. Remember who God is and what He’s promised you. He is our Healer, Provider, Comforter, Lover, God who sees, Righteous One, Creator, Giver of Life, Holy One, Victory, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and the list goes on. And in Him we are blessed, favored, loved, forgiven, made pure, redeemed, chosen, and made righteous (not self-righteous). How awesome to know who we are in Christ! He has a wonderful plan for each one of us, so we must not forget. We are placed strategically by Him in positions of leadership to make an eternal impact on the world around us for Him. He is equipping and enabling us to do so by the power of the Holy Spirit. So yes, life gets funky sometimes, but praise God He will lift us up and out of it if we’ll just continue seeking and trusting Him!
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2
“I took you from the ends of the earth; from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:2-3
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (emphasis mine)
*Written for the leaders of In His Steps Ministries http://ihsdance.com/page1.php