August 29 2013
Don’t Give Up
We all have bad days. Days when we feel down or where our problems seem to just pile up on us and we feel about to collapse under them. It isn’t our circumstances that matter as much as our responses to them. We all have unfair things happen to us no matter how good a person we are. Your response to these situations is what really matters and will determine the quality of your life.
Some people turn to alcohol to drown their sorrows. Others turn to drugs or cigarettes (or both or all of the above). Then there are those who turn to comfort food. These are the top four things people seem to turn to when they have a bad day or are going through a difficult situation in their life. There are many other unhealthy things people turn to when their struggles seem to much for them but it would take too long to list them all. The point is, these are all unhealthy habits that need to be broken. When you turn to alcohol, it can lead to alcoholism and you could end up hurting yourself or someone you care about or you could die, and the same with drugs. When you turn to cigarettes/nicotine, you could end up developing lung cancer or some other disease that could claim your life and make you leave loved ones behind too soon. Comfort foods when eaten in excess can also lead to health problems that could end your life at too early an age if you are not careful. There are healthier ways to get through your rough patches in life and bad days.
Find someone in your life whom you trust to talk to whether things are going well or badly for you. Someone who you can confide in and let out all of your feelings to and who will faithfully listen to you silently and comfort you in the way you need to be comforted whether it be with a hug, ears that listen, or a distraction (or a soundboard). If you cannot find someone to turn to in your times of need, write down your feelings in a private journal or use artistic expression (if you’re a painter, paint out your feelings; if you are someone who draws, draw them out!; If you are a poet or any other form of writer, write out your feelings and you can decide if anyone else can read those poems or private stories you create to let your feelings out; or whatever form of art you are good at, do it when you need to let your feelings out). If you feel you need a distraction, do something that brings you peace or joy or both and do it (as long as it is not something that could endanger your life. I mean something along the lines of knitting, listening to music, dancing, singing, watching TV or a movie, or going for a walk on the beach or somewhere peaceful).
There is one option not mentioned yet and that is because not many people consider this option: turn to God. Give God all of your cares, worries, frustrations, sorrow, pain, hurt, aggravation, anger, doubt, fear, anxiety, whatever makes you miserable, and all the other negative and bad stuff. Lay it all at Jesus’ feet in exchange for peace, joy, love, and faith, confidence, and trust (in God). Dare to believe that God will right the wrongs and turn your situation around so that you end up better off than you were before. It is important never to give up on your dreams, on having a better life, or on being joyous (I say joy instead of happiness because happiness can be fleeting but joy can last forever). Never give up on people who bring you joy and happiness! Never give up, period! Remember that your problems are only temporary, so don’t seek a permanent solution to a temporary problem! “Weeping may last through the night but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) Reading from the book of Psalms is also a good idea, no matter how you are feeling because they cover a multitude of emotions and situations (the authors of the Psalms). They will help you express your feelings to God when you don’t have the words to do so yourself and they also let you know that you are not alone. And know that you are never alone! God is always with you (or he can be if you will let him be)! He promises never to leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). When you have the right mindset (faith and focused on God and his faithful promises and believing he will honor them), then you can make it through any circumstances and you will come out the other side (of the situation) more prosperous and well-off.
Starting today, refuse to let any difficulties or circumstances bring you down. There is a time for grieving (when we lose a loved one) and crying (either when a loved one passes away or when someone has hurt you badly or you are in horrible physical pain), but there is also a time for rejoicing and staying calm and at peace. You are not being given these rotten circumstances because you are a bad person but as an opportunity to grow (particularly spiritually but also mentally and emotionally) and become stronger and the person you are meant to be. God created you to succeed in life and wants you to be full of peace, joy, love, kindness, faith, trust, confidence (that comes from him), and all the other good fruit that comes from knowing God (and having the Holy Spirit live inside of you). He wants you to have all of your necessities and the desires he placed in your heart. You need to stand firm in your faith when things get rough and it looks like there is no way out. When you lean on God and trust in him (and show your faith in action), God will hear your cries for help and he will rescue you.
If you don’t believe in God because you think “how could someone so full of goodness let bad things happen to good people?” or something along those lines, then it is time to get a clear picture on God. No one will ever get to understand God fully, but if you read the bible, which contains his word, you will gain understanding into all of his characteristics. He is not just an angry God, nor is he a wishy washy God. God is slow to get angry, filled with unfailing love, mercy, and forgiveness, and he is our rescuer and refuge in times of trouble. There are many more characteristics of God that you can read about in the Holy Bible. This is meant to be of encouragement to learn more about God so that you know that he exists, that he created the whole universe and its inhabitants, and that he is for us and loves all of his creation. There are many things in life God allows to happen to us that we will never understand, but God tells us through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:8, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” God has a reason for everything he does and I personally have learned that instead of trying to figure out why he would let such an awful thing happen, to trust him to give us beauty for our ashes (Isiah 61:3). God can turn what was meant for your harm into something good that will work with the amazing plan he has for your life if you will let him. Trust in God’s timing and trust in him and his promises. God loves you unconditionally and longs to be good to you. So no matter what you are going through today, don’t give up or lose hope. Times of joy are coming!