A Case of the Doldrums
I have to confess that I have a critical case of the doldrums. It has been hard to feel like doing anything. In fact, I feel like I’m walking around in a fog. Oh, I am still busy. I have just been uninterested in the things that normally make me happy. Things like writing, reading, and taking care of my family. How about all of you? Do you feel like the challenges of the world are stealing your joy? No matter what we are going through, God wants to comfort us. The Bible can lift your spirits and give you a fresh start. Psalm 94:19 tells us,
"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy."
There is power in hope and faith. The power that can help us out of the doldrums and bring us back to our joy. All from God’s great consolation, or better yet, His encouragement during times of stress. How do we get this hope? How do we grow our faith? How do we get back our joy?
Hope, Faith, Joy
Here is what Psalm 121:7-8 says to us about hope, “The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” We can have hope in our lives because God has promised to keep us from all harm. Don’t get confused into thinking that means you won’t have troubles, what it really tells us is that God makes all the things that happen in our lives, to work out to our benefit. Knowing that God places our welfare at the top of His mind, and that He loves us, should give us hope. Hope that is strong enough to combat the negative feelings that knock us down.
Here is what Ephesians 6:16 tells us about faith, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one ” Satan is the evil one, and he uses pain and fear to harass us. But did you hear the advice of this scripture? Children of God take heart your faith in Jesus will protect you. He is our fire extinguisher and a shield against the fires of the devil. So many times, we think that it’s our faith that is lacking when we are facing problems. We think, if I just had more belief, I could bounce back from these worries. That is far from the truth, our faith in Jesus is not a magic spell that wraps us in a protective bubble, keeping out the dangers of this world. Our Lord wants us to show others, believers, and non-believers, that we are not perfect because of our faith, but because we put our faith in the One who is perfect. We will never face these situations alone.
Here is what Nehemiah 8:10 said about joy, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” This week is the start of Advent season and it begins with Thanksgiving, and I love how this verse reminds us that true joy is found when we are enjoying the blessings from our creator. Wonderful foods and flavors of the bounty He has provided. His instructions are very clear. Go and enjoy, and see to it that you share with others who have nothing prepared. But He isn’t talking just about nourishment for our bodies, but the bread of life that is Jesus Christ. We are to share that bread with the un-believers in our lives. Our troubles and fears can be a great way to share our faith with others. If we always put on a fake pretense that nothing ever bothers us, how can we show how God is working in our lives. There can’t be any shared empathy between us. The ability to say I have been where you are, and God saw me through it. I felt lost and thankfully God came looking for me. I wanted to feel happy, but there were days when I just couldn’t. Those simple words offer more comfort and joy than anything else could.
There is only one right way to face our anxiety, and that’s all of us together with the Lord. As we share our Hope, Faith, and Joy! This is the day that the Lord has made! Let’s not grieve but let the Joy of the Lord be our strength as we crawl out of the doldrums.