Have you ever found yourself in a “funk” and struggling to get out? Ever feel alone and like no one cares enough to help? It might be that you are putting on a brave face and no one knows the true pain you are hiding on the inside?
Maybe you’re swimming in an ocean of distress feeling as if you’re about to drown, splashing around- praying for dear life that someone will see you thrashing around and throw out a lifeline of hope… only to find the people standing on the shore seem to be overlooking you.
Perhaps there are people who want to encourage you but they don’t know what to say or do because they’ve never walked in your shoes…
If you can relate to any of the above you may find yourself battling discouragement and feeling alone. Sometimes we just need to take on this battle and begin to encourage ourselves.
But how? I’m glad you asked!
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes 5:16-18
1. Always Be Joyful. This will keep your head above water.
Let’s be honest here. We face some serious crap in our lives. Our circumstances can really make us miserable if we let them. I think everyone has something they could complain about. But does complaining change our lives, issues or help in any way? Nope. The last time I ran my mouth complaining, it only made me feel worse. And then I had to go apologize to the person I was complaining to. I needed to have my eyes on Jesus. When we keep our eyes on the one who is Lord over our lives, we give Him power over our situation and emotions. We can set aside ourselves and sit in His presence. When we’re in His presence there is fullness of Joy. Happiness is a choice but joy only comes from the Lord. To know joy, we must know Him. To know joy we must choose to be present with Him.
2. Never Stop Praying. This will give you the strength to continue swimming.
You say “Holly, how can I choose to be present with Him?” Well, you talk to Him! The relationships that I have that are flourishing the most are the ones I
communicate with more often. Those who I constantly talk with, email,
text and hanging out with- those are the ones that are the healthiest. We know how each
other are feeling. What each other need. What each other is doing and considering doing. We give and receive advice for life. We get to know each other so well.
Where there is communication, there is an opportunity for growth in your relationships. When the communication dies down, then the relationship gets more stale and sometimes fades off into a distant memory. God wants us to always pray. He doesn’t want our relationship to slowly fade but just the opposite- He wants to grow closer to us each individually. Prayer is two way communication. Praying isn’t just talking to God but listening as well. He is on the other end of the phone and wants to talk back. The more we communicate with Him, the more we hear His voice and are able to stop and listen to Him. We can hear how much He loves us, what He wants for our lives and How we can best serve Him. Through prayer we are also be able to tell Him how much we love Him, what we need and how much we appreciate Him. If you are always praying, you are constantly feeding that relational connection with your Heavenly Father. This is the most important relationship we will ever have.
3. Be Thankful in all circumstances. This is what will help you get to shore!
Ok Lord now this one is really hitting below the belt!!! I can be joyful because even in the midst of storms, I know you are there and I can find peace and joy in you. I can talk to you all the time- you’re with me all day long and we got the constant blue tooth connection. But now you’re telling me I need to be thankful in everything? Hold Up Lord! You know that situation I just went through. You know when the ______________ did the _________________ or when the __________________ went_________________. And you’re telling me to be THANKFUL in that?
Yes, dear reader- that’s what His Word tells us.
I’m still working on this one too.
When my kids are fighting. I’m thankful I have kids.
When my laundry is overflowing, I’m thankful we have clothes.
When the dishes are piling up, I’m thankful we have food.
When the car is breaking down, I’m thankful I have a vehicle.
When my spouse is on my nerves (which truly isn’t that often because he is so sweet, but I am human and sometimes need alone time), I’m thankful I have an amazing husband with little quirks that is with me every step of my journey!
When my schedule is busy, I’m thankful I have the health to stay busy.
When I’m feeling lonely, I’m thankful for a Heavenly Father who wants alone time with me.
When I’m in need, I’m thankful I already have more than I deserve.
When I’m so tired I can barely move, I’m thankful that I have rest.
There are times when you say, I can’t find anything in this situation to be thankful for, then maybe it’s time to change the lens in which you are viewing your life. Begin to think in an eternal mindset instead of an earthly mindset. When you put on your eternal glasses, you can see how God is using this situation for His Glory.
We want miracles but you can’t have a miracle without brokenness.
We want a rainbow but we can’t have it without the rain.
We want to see the light shine brighter, but it shines brightest in the darkness.
Always Be Joyful- being present in His presence
Never Stop Praying- continuing to talk to Him
Be Thankful in All Circumstances- having an eternal mindset instead of an earthly one