Monday, August 13, 2018

Feeling Down and Out- Part 1

So I've been a little overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and discouragement lately. It happens to the best of us...

It does the world no good for one to spend their whole day wallowing in misery, waiting for friends to join in on the pity party, yet that is the place where this occupied optimist has found herself operating the past couple days, and repentance over it is in order; acknowledgment of it, repentance, and an apology.

Yes, we all go through seasons of discouragement, sadness, frustration, maybe grieve. Am I right? Surely I'm not the only one! Life is hard, especially the times when we undergo circumstances that don't seem fair, or that test our comfort! I would have to say there are a number of things on my plate right now that have been provoking my pouty-ness (unimportant things really...), some of those things being: My comfort being tested with having relocated to a new home recently, stress resulting from this month's overly scheduled calendar and long to-do list hovering over me, not to mention the typical nagging frustrations that can come with being a ballet dancer. Sometimes dealing on a daily basis with trying to perfect my very less than perfect technique can become more than I can bear, or at those are my sentiments on the days when I get too introspective. If you are a dancer you know what I am talking about, but I guess even non-dancers can struggle with perfectionism too!

Today on The Occupied Optimist, In Part 1 of the blog topic "Feeling Down and Out", I wanted to take some time to discuss with you what I think are five possible solutions for overcoming spells of sadness. Correlating scriptures are included. This list is by no means exhaustive so please share with us in the comment section down below what ways you like to go about soothing sadness when it comes.

#1 Identify the source of the emotion. A lot of times when sadness or other heavy emotions overtake us, our minds can get numb making it hard to think reasonably about anything! But I believe if we can get to a place of quieting our minds and emotions, it is possible to decipher the source of our emotions. Sometimes talking things out with a friend or journaling can help with this. Identifying the source of our strife and cognitively working through our emotions can be beneficial in seeing our situation in the proper perspective. Prayer is also essential in this process, asking the Lord for his wisdom and understanding, as well as asking the Lord for peace in the times when our feelings and emotions seem the most indecipherable and wisdom and understanding are not revealed. Sometimes I think a sole reason why the Lord allows us to undergo moments of sadness is for the very reason that He uses them to grow us and teach us to rely fully on Him and His love drawing us closer to Himself.

Psalm 26:2 2 Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

 Romans 8:6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

#2 Fight. The enemy coming up against us can sometimes be the underlying cause of our troubles which calls for spiritual warfare. Another reason I think the Lord allows us to undergo these spiritual battles is because 1.) He uses these battles to build our character and resilience and 2.) His greatness is revealed through them because He is on our side and always reigns victorious over the enemy.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Ephesians 5:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

#3 Stand Firm. Many times in the word of God we are called to stand firm amidst our trials. In Scripture, we find many cases of people standing firm including Jesus Christ, our greatest example, who is not unable to relate to our hardships.

Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.  
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 
1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 
Isaiah 7:9  If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. 
Luke 21:19 Stand firm, and you will win life. 
1Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 
1Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 
2Corinthians 1:21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 

#4 Repentance. Sometimes, but not always, we may find the source of our emotion stems from hidden, unconfessed sin which takes the power of the Holy Spirit and light of the gospel to expose. Though sin can be strong enough to debilitate and hold us in bondage, it is not more powerful than the forgiveness and freedom the Lord has to offer us when we surrender our sins to him, confess, and repent of them.

All of Psalm 32 ! 
Acts 11:18  God has granted repentance that leads to life. 
Matthew 3:8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 
Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. 
Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 
Luke 13:3 unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 
Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.
Lamentations 3:40 Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! 
Hosea 6:1 Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. 

#5 Seek Truth. I can't think of a more better way to lighten a heavy heart than to fill up the mind with truth from God's Word, for those that believe it. The Bible is full of the life-giving promises of God that are sure to turn any frown upside down. Reading the Word of God helps us maintain eternal perspective in the midst of hardships and difficulties and has the power to extinguish fear and anxieties. Scripture can also encourage our hearts as we read about the one, Jesus Christ,  who "is not unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin" (Hebrews 4:15) which is very comforting to think about and with the peaceable example of Jesus Christ we can learn how to properly treat other people involved in our situation with the love, mercy, and grace we read about in the Bible.

John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. 
Colossians 3:1-2 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 
Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.
Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. 
Hebrew 12:14-15 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  


There is a time to weep and a time to laugh - Ecclesiastes 3:4

And just to clarify, I'm not saying it is wrong to ever undergo times of sadness, discouragement and/or grief. These are actually quite natural emotions to experience as human beings, especially if it is because of loss. Even Jesus wept, the shortest verse in the bible,

Jesus Wept. - John 11:35

The thing is, as believers we are not meant to stay in that place and Jesus gives us himself as a way of coping.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7

...and as I have matured through this journey of life and in my walk with the Lord, I must share with you what has become my MOST FAVORITE scripture for turning to for encouragement when times get rough from Romans 12:12:

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you found this blog post interesting and helpful!?
Click HERE to check out Part 2!

   Related Content  

No comments:

Post a Comment