By George Stahnke, July 2016
Have you ever had one of those days when you wished you were invisible or just stayed in bed? You attempt to go out into the world, but just can’t shake that blah feeling. Then someone asks, “How are you doing?” Uncomfortable and wanting to get away as soon as possible, you muster your strength and with a smile give the acceptable response, “Fine, how about you?”
There have been numerous times in my live when I have been emotionally downhearted, sometimes, due to my own poor decisions or the unfortunate choices of others. In those times the
Holy Spirit has always been faithful in drawing me out of myself into times of prayer and worship. One of my favorite passages is Philippians 4:4-6. The apostle Paul gives a very clear progressive, four-point remedy for dealing with those gloomy, anxious episodes in life: 1) Rejoice in the Lord, 2) be considerate toward others, 3) pray about everything, and 4) be thankful. And here is the promised result, “And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (AMP)
All I can say is that it works! I have experienced that peace that reaches into the deepest part of the human soul. When I have the presence of mind to make this adjustment, to look beyond my distress to my loving savior in these practical ways, in time it makes a difference.
The English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray said, "Life is a mirror; if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile, it returns the greeting." Simply put, the decision is ours. We can yield to the doldrums, disappointments and pain in life, getting stuck in the blahs or we can choose to partner with the Lord and allow Him to pull us up and out. As we practice this progressive, four-point remedy we are deliberately choosing to look beyond our current emotional state, to the secure hope that we have in Christ alone. His peace will come!
Here are some additional practical guidelines that can be helpful: 1) listen to your favorite Christian music, 2) be transparent and honest in prayer. God can handle the truth and your raw emotion, 3) write about what you are feeling. Be as specific as you can with who, what, where, and when, 4) avoid isolation. Reach out to a trusted safe friend or minister.