I can’t work hard anymore.
Yesterday, I was just invincible. I felt that I could do all the things that I wanted to do. All of a sudden, my world turned upside down. Two things that summed up my life now are sickness and financial crisis.
Everyday that I wake up, I would just stare blankly at the ceiling of my room. Thinking. A sudden mix of emotions often shows up abruptly. That’s when I know I need to take action so that I will not travel the path of “self-pity” and wallow in the mud of “unbelief and distrust.”
“What will I do during those times?” you may ask. In moments like that, it is a conscious effort to drag ourselves out of that place. It pays to take steps to be freed from being prisoner from these ugly thoughts that pull us away from God. There are days when everything seems okay but most days are a constant struggle to remain strong and hopeful. I always need to find ways to encourage myself in the Lord. Then, there is the hardest part. It is to show people that you are always alright despite a heavy heart. At least, when we are discouraged, we may find the courage to encourage others (instead).
When Satan’s lies slowly creep in, we need to make sure we go back to the truth instead of believing his lies.
How can we do that? The Bible gives us wisdom and experiences teach us.
Here are some of the things that I can share with you as an encouragement to always believe the truth of God’s Word.
1. God loves us. John 3:16 must have been a cliche verse in the bible but in moments of great sorrow, being reminded about it refreshes our souls. He gives us the best gift that we could ever possess – our salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. What more proof can we ask when He even gave His only begotten son? Is there anything too big for Him?
God loves us and that’s one thing we can hold onto in times of loneliness or trials. If we believe on this, then we can rest in the full assurance that what we are going through is for our own benefit. Like parents to their child, our God will not let us experience something that we do not need in the process. He loves us more than we can imagine. We may not understand His ways, but sometimes He shows His love in a way that is different from what we imagined or expected.
“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!” Psalm 36:7
“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. . .” 1 John 3:1
2. Pray. Talking to God through prayer will help me ease the pain that I have inside. I had a hard time expressing myself to people. Most often than not, I take things inside. I trained myself to carry everything as long as I can. But now, I realized that God is always there waiting for me to open up and find refuge in Him. In His presence I can be who I am without judgment. I can cry. I can complain. I can get mad. I can laugh while crying. And, He understands me more than anyone else.
He even invites us to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
“. . .for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.” Daniel 9:18b
His mercies are new every morning. Daniel knew and experienced it and that compelled him to have confidence in the living God despite hardships. In the same way, we can be like David and let our voice be heard of God and let our prayers be directed to Him (Psalms 5:3). This is not only a one-time deal but a moment by moment event.
3. Read the Bible. What seems to be the best way to cope with everything but the Word of God? Job, as he went through so much tribulations and trials, He still able to say he has treasured His Word more than his necessary food. Stories and experiences of people will highly encourage us and we can always relate to them.
When I am disheartened or my soul needs to find encouragement, I read the book of Psalms. It is like a therapy for the soul. Whenever I face a decision to make, I read Proverbs. It gives me wisdom.
The Bible is truly the answer to all of our questions and even doubts. For the past years, many self-help books have been made to help people. However, those books keep on changing as the years go by. On the other hand, the Bible remains truthful and the same.
4. Keep a journal (and write).
I find this every effective. In whatever circumstance I am into, I try to write. More so, when I am experiencing deep pain that I tend to keep myself. I have been journaling since the time I got saved more than a decade ago. This is my way of de-stressing and expressing myself. Over time, I developed this attitude of being silent when things are not going well. When I have problems, I tend to keep silent, even though my storms are raging inside. Writing it is a way for me to heal and be encouraged.
More than that, I can always go back to what I have written. It gives me an opportunity to see God’s goodness and deliverance. It reminds me how on this specific day, I encounter this trial, heartaches, or joy. Yet, I am still here.
I am not sure what you do, but keeping a journal will record your walk and encounter with God. If you have not tried it, you may want to this time.
5. Remember God’s faithfulness in the past. What could be more effective way to remember God’s faithfulness more than writing it? I mentioned how journaling has been my way of recording my walk with God. And, whenever I am depressed or go through extreme sadness, I read my previous writing. And, whenever I do that, all I could see is God’s mighty hand. Then, I am comforted.
Otherwise, rehearsing those situations that would make us see God’s compassion and mercy is a good way to start changing your clouded perspective and ugly emotions. Think about those times when you think God has abandoned or left you, then came His sweet deliverance.
Psalms 77 and 78 are good books about remembering God’s works, deliverance, mercy, and love towards His people. You may want to read it sometime.
When we are in deep sorrow, we have the choice to either draw closer to God or stay away from His presence.
Think for a moment – has God ever failed or abandoned you?