You have problems; you are depressed, overwhelmed, and anxious! Welcome to life! Now, I do not mean to minimize anyone’s pain and suffering but the fact is we all live in a sin cursed world and things are not always going to go like we desire. My initial reaction is to simply say, “Get over it!” Get on with your life… move on! But that may seem a little to blunt and unsympathetic.
Some folks indeed seem to have more than they can bear. This is not true! You can bear it, maybe not alone, but with friends and family, the church, and in Christ Jesus we can! While I understand that there are clinical issues that many deal with the fact is that in our society far too many people are crutch bound and wallowing in self-pity.
The answer is simple. Maybe not as simple as Bobby McFerrin’s admonition, “Don’t worry, be happy” (you’re singing now aren’t you!), but close. Look, Jesus came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10). So if you are a faithful Christian you need to stop and ask yourself these questions:
- Why the long face?
- Why am I so grumpy and nasty to everyone I meet?
- Why do I face each day with a depressing, defeatist attitude?
- Why do I consider anything other than my current situation an improvement?
- Why can’t I be happy right were I am?
The answers to these questions are simple.
- No good reason!
- Because I simply have a bad attitude!
- Because I have chosen to do so!
- Because I base my happiness on externals!
- There is no reason why I can’t!
What does the Bible say about all this? James says to be happy when you have difficulties (James 1:2). Jesus says that when we are persecuted and reviled it is a good thing and we should, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:10–12). The apostles rejoiced when they suffered shame for the name of Jesus (Acts 5:41). When the Lord refused to remove the thorn in the side of Paul telling him that, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” Paul said he took, “pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7–10). As Christians we are to rejoice and be glad when we suffer in Christ’s suffering (1 Peter 4:13–16). And if we are living godly lives we are going to suffer (2 Timothy 3:12).
Jesus suffered more than any man ever has: He left heaven, gave up His equality with God, lived a life of poverty, loneliness, and temptation, He suffered the loss of family and friends, He was despised, rejected, betrayed, mocked, beaten, and put to death. What’s your problem?! What practically can you do?
- Greet everyone you meet with a smile and a warm greeting (1 Corinthians 16:20; Romans 12:10). Don’t grunt and growl, mumble and moan. Smile and be happy!
- Pray! Talking with God and giving Him your cares and trials is not only practical, it is commanded (1 Peter 5:7)! And then leave them with Him to deal with!
- Do what you can do and forget about the rest or put it on your list of things to do tomorrow!
- Read the Bible! Studying God’s word and making application to your life is essential to good spiritual and mental health.
- Don’t listen to gossip, neigh Sayers, and bad news (1 Timothy 5:13)! Remember, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
- Be active! The worst thing you can do is stay in bed with the covers pulled up over your head and the blinds drawn. Get out and live!!!!
The most important thing we can do though is to make sure we are in a good relationship with God. We must obey his commands and humbly submit ourselves to his will be repenting of our rebellious lifestyle (Acts 17:30), confess Him as the only begotten Son (Matthew 10:32–33) and being baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). We can live our lives without the guilt and weight of sin that so easily troubles us (Hebrews 12:1). Be happy! And be faithful!
Bible Blessings® Team