Life can be really hard at times, something we can all relate to as the year 2020 starts to draw to a close. It can be so hard in fact, that it is easy to feel lost and confused. We wonder why? Why do I have to go through this (whatever “this” is)? But the fact is, we learn and grow the most through difficult times. We can learn what we are really made of – what is truly important to us – who our real friends are – how strong is our faith. We come out the other side stronger and better because of the struggles. I believe I have quoted before from a Kelly Clarkson song – “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” That is true.
How we react to the hard times can make a huge difference in how we feel when we get to the other side. If we allow difficulties to bring us to the point of fear, depression, anger, mistrust, hatred, etc. – then we have our eyes on the wrong things. It is a proven fact that all of those reactions can and will over time affect you not only emotionally (which is obvious) but also physically. They are toxic to our bodies. Research it if you must to fully understand the dangers of allowing these emotions in your life – especially when refusing to let them go. It is easier sometimes to just hold on to those negative emotions, thinking it makes us feel better, rather like a security blanket. Why? Because we can use them as an excuse to lash out, expressing all the hurt, anger, fear, frustration, etc. However, allowing ourselves to behave like that only results in hurting others – spreading our negativity around – and that is never a good thing to do. That will only lead to momentary relief, then guilt will likely enter the picture on top of everything else.
The reactions we should strive to have are not necessarily the easy way out – in fact, it can be very demanding and difficult – especially when we attempt to find the way alone. After all, we are only human. So what must we do in order to put our eyes on the right things? We must learn to lean into the Lord – the One that loves us more than we love ourselves – the One that is always there, just waiting for us call on Him.
Psalm 31:24 NKJV – “Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.”
Isaiah 41:10 TPT(God speaking) – “‘Do not yield to fear, for I am always near. Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God. I will infuse you with my strength and help you in every situation. I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.’”
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
I could go on and on, but you get the idea – our courage and strength in the face of fear, our “sound mind” in the face of depression, mistrust and anger – will come from God if we will only learn to rely on Him. We cannot let the world steal our joy and peace. Nehemiah 8:10b “‘…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
“We can rejoice because we know that everything He does is good. It may be hard and it may be confusing, but it will be good.” Chris Tiegreen
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The heart that gives thanks is a happy one, for we cannot feel thankful and unhappy at the same time.” Douglas Wood
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” Germany Kent
Written by Karran Martin – November 25, 2020