In the Bible the book of James tells us that we will encounter various trials. This means if you are alive your life will have adversity. So right now you are probably in the middle of a big trial, just got out of one or maybe you are just about to enter one. There are all sizes and shapes of adversity. Sorry to sound negative. But if we are a realist and not one to live in denial, our lives will be like a roller coaster with wonderful ups and also downs.
In the past 30 days alone I have heard from multiple friends who are experiencing depression or discouragement because they:
1) Experienced a loss of spouse due to death or divorce
2) Been diagnosed with a terminal illness
3) Have a chemical imbalance
4) Lost a child to drug overdose
5) Have a child on drugs
6) Have financial hardship
7) Have family or work related stress
This blog is not a prescription for you if you have a chemical imbalance. That must be treated with meds. This is not for you if you recently lost a loved one or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Grief is a process that is necessary for mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.
This blog is for those of us who have discouragement for other reasons. It might me family issues, marital, teens or adult kids, parent, job, stress, physical, burn out or a variety of things.
Read the story of Elijah in I Kings 18 and 19 to get his story. It’s a great story of God working in a huge way, a woman named Jezebel and a man who had a desire to die.
Why is it are we tempted to do the opposite of what will help our discouragement? How many of you do one of these when you are in a funk?
Eat comfort foods
__________________ (fill in the blank)
I’m guilty of isolation. Getting some needed alone time is ok but when we choose to be isolated due to feeling down watch that it not become a pattern. Maybe you avoid church when you are down. I can’t do this since my husband is a pastor and I’m glad. As Christians one of the best things we can do is join in corporate worship with our church family. Satan would prefer you to stay discouraged and out of church. Don’t let him win here! I believe Scripture is clear in corporate worship.
Here is what Elijah did and what I have ound helpful:
1. Pray. Vent with God. He knows how you feel anyway.
2. Get rest. Sometimes our funk can be duke to exhaustion.
3. Eat healthy and exercise. (I’m trying to work on this)
4. Help others. Getting eyes off self is huge.
5. Choose community. When you don’t have anyone in a better place than you are who will speak truth into your life you will remain the same.
If you had a disease that a pill would cure would you take it? Of course you would. So why would you not incorporate these 5 things into your life?
Sometimes a professional counselor is needed if you just feel stuck and can’t move through a process for health. But it is amazing what a small group of friends can do that will love you enough to speak truth into your life.
What would you add to this list?