Many of the articles I write are more focused on the darkened side of things. I know that my wife would love it if I only wrote about positive and exciting things, but I have more experience in life on the negative side. Fortunately, I have transitioned to the positive side of thinking, but I still feel it’s necessary to write about the hardships of life and then go about seeking a solution from there.
Too many people these days are struggling with the issues I will write about in this article. So, with this in mind, would I not do a disservice to people to only write about abundance and happiness and fulfilled dreams when so many will struggle to even crack a smile in a day?
I can assure you that although I write about depressing topics at times, I am sure to include a positive swing on every point that virtually every person is capable of building on; regardless of their situation. I say this because it’s not our outer circumstances that are responsible for our peace and joy in life, but rather our inner condition and our thinking.
If you are familiar with the stories and people of the bible, Paul, an Apostle of Christ, is known for a verse he quoted in Philippians 4:12;
The secret Paul discovered was that his strength and joy came from the Lord; no other thing on earth could provide inner peace and joy. It was through his commitment and surrender to Christ that he could experience such contentment in life. And friends, this same peace and joy is available to any one of us right now.
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We live in a difficult world
Jesus once said that we will have trials and difficulties in this world. He knew that there would be people who are difficult, jobs and bosses that are difficult, governments that are difficult, and even situations such as disasters, accidents, and health emergencies that are difficult. He concluded that scripture by telling us not to worry about these things because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
He is telling us that if we put our trust and confidence in Him, He will help us through the situation. Jesus came to earth in human form, grew up in a human body, worked just like we work, went hungry just like many of us do, lived without shelter or comfort, just like so many do today, and was persecuted for His beliefs, just like many of us are today. He was even tempted by the devil, just like every one of us are.
This was part of God’s plan through His infinite wisdom to send His Son to live in the conditions we must live in as an encouragement and testimony that God is faithful to save, to provide, to protect, and to comfort.
Yes, Jesus’ laptop didn’t get a virus and have a meltdown, but there were other hardships that He had to suffer just like us so that He could relate to how we feel. Otherwise we would just say, “Oh, well, easy for God in Heaven to say that; everything is perfect for Him!”
If you are going through something, consider what you are reading here and ask Jesus for help with your inner condition. When our inner condition is right with the Lord, He often corrects our outer condition according to His Will, or, His Plan for our lives.
Satan attacks us constantly
The enemy is relentless and has a massive army working all ends of the earth to destroy that which God is trying to build up. He sneaks his way into people’s homes through various open doorways (certain sinful practices we knowingly or unknowingly engage in), and, starts corrupting from our inner core.
Ever wake up in the morning and instantly start thinking about negative or upsetting thoughts about yourself, someone you know, or your situation? If you did, and you found yourself thinking for an extended time, did it get worse; sometimes even to include thoughts of violence?
The devil is a destroyer. We can be in church singing songs of praise to God Himself, and along comes a distasteful or immoral thought. Of all places, aren’t we at least safe in church?
Satan doesn’t care. If he can slither his way into our thoughts and get us to give attention to those thoughts even for a moment, he can turn that seed into a root, then into a stem, and eventually into a bush of despair.
God gives us His protection to get through each and every day, but it’s up to us to put it on. It’s called God’s Armor, and we can read about it in the book of Ephesians 6:10-17. It’s also up to us to spend time reading God’s Word each day, morning is best, and praying all throughout the day. This way we can learn God’s scripture and that is what we use primarily as our defense against Satan when He attacks.
When the devil visited Jesus in the wilderness to tempt Him, Jesus didn’t send down fire and burn up Satan. No. Instead, He used God’s scripture to shut down the lies of the enemy and send him on his way (Matthew 4:1-11).
We are called to do the same.
God heals and helps
Psalm 23 is a go-to for many Christian brothers and sisters who are experiencing hardships. It’s a chapter of encouragement that the Lord is in control and is our comforter in hard times. King David of the Old Testament was no stranger to adversity and sorrow. Some of that he brought on himself and some was of external reasons.
However, David wrote out a great passage here that we too can recite and absorb when we are experiencing something that steals our joy. As we learn to walk with God, we start to develop a more thorough relationship. And, like any relationship, as it grows, so does our trust.
When our trust for God becomes more developed, it becomes easier to give our cares and burdens to God as we instead bask in His promises that are littered throughout the entire bible. As we grow closer to God and allow Him to handle our issues, we start to see that He is indeed, faithful to help and lead. This strengthens our faith and the other fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) are able to shine in us as well.
As I will discuss further throughout this article, we will see that regardless of our situation or struggle, God is faithful to help us when we reach out to him in full surrender.
“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
When we put our trust in the Living God who created this world and everything in it, we should have confidence knowing that He is Lord over everything and if He says He will protect us, we are wise to believe.
Five emotional states God can help you with
So, let’s take a look at this list of emotional states that are common burdens to many of us. I can personally testify to these that they are uncomfortable when enduring them, and these are also emotions that God can deliver us all from if we are willing to let Him work in our life.
- Being over-burdened and weary
1. Being over-burdened and weary
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’”
Think about stuff like debt and unresolved family issues that need forgiveness and broken marriages and children who turn to crime and drugs and alcohol. These are things that are heavy on the heart when we experience them, and these are the things that prevent us from getting proper rest.
When Jesus says that He will give us rest, we can be sure to understand that He will help handle the situation through wisdom, but also, that He will give us actual rest; you know, sleep?
How many of us only get one or two nights of sleep throughout the week? How many would say that it’s not rest that we get, but rather, our body simply shuts down as it’s too weak to press on? When we experience the rest for our souls that Jesus is offering, this is the type a well-cared for child gets.
I can remember when I was young and didn’t have obligations and responsibilities. I would play hard and then after getting tucked into bed at night, I would sleep hard and go at it again the next day.
This is effectively what God wants to do here; He wants to provide us with a safe and well-cared for life where we can be productive and fruitful in our days and get full replenishment at night.
Turn to Jesus and tell Him about your deepest issues and desires. Seek comfort from Him and get the rest you require to remain productive and fruitful in your life.
I personally struggled hard with depression. On this list, depression and condemnation are the two biggest struggles of emotion I’ve had to deal with.
My father committed suicide when I was young, and believe me, I have contemplated it many times throughout life. Depression is a common issue today, just as it’s always been for many. It gets deep within our souls and it just eats away at all that is good.
In time, we are left feeling as an empty shell without purpose. I’m sorry if this is ultra-depressing just talking about this, but, stay with me here.
I can honestly say that God delivers us from each of these types of emotional bondages if we allow Him to come in and work in us. There is a scripture that tells us about the peace of God surpassing all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
None of us are wise enough to understand the full power and nature of God, nor His immense wisdom. If we sit here and try to figure out how God can take away our depression and instead, fill us to the brim with peace and joy to a state of overflowing, we will be hard-pressed to come up with an understanding.
Fortunately, God doesn’t want or need us to spend our energy trying to figure this out. This is a free gift He gives out of grace to anyone who is willing to put their trust in Him.
If you are struggling with depression, talk to God. Pills, friends, counselling, sleep; sure, these are all the prescribed fixes for depression, but I can assure you, God is the only one of these that truly delivered me from my depression.
“So now, there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
The enemy is out to get us. He is crafty and he is always looking for an open doorway into our lives. When we are vulnerable, that is, depressed, scared, lonely, or tired, he starts working on us. The devil doesn’t force us to sin, rather, he entices us with various things that tempt us to engage in that thing.John 10:10 says “The thief, Satan, comes only to kill, steal and destroy. But I have come so that they may have and enjoy their life” Click To Tweet
A depressed person might be tempted to drink away their sorrow; a freshly divorced person might be tempted into viewing pornography; a lonely person might be tempted into a one-night stand with a stranger. All of these have negative consequences to some degree, and all of these can leave us feeling like we are worthless and will never get it right. This is called, condemnation.
So, Jesus tells us that there is no condemnation in Him. He is saying that if we are experiencing such an emotion, it’s not of His Spirit. The Spirit of God will convict people when they do wrong. This is a feeling that we are about to embark on something not right, or we just did something not right. This conviction in our spirit is to prompt us to turn away from that sin and confess it to God.
Condemnation on the other hand isn’t meant to prompt us to stop doing something wrong, but rather, to beat us up for the wrong we did.
John 10:10 tells us that the thief, Satan, comes only to kill and to steal and to destroy us. He does this through condemnation, by breaking down our spirit. He essentially kills and destroys us by separating us from the Living God when he gets us to such a lowly state where we actually believe that even God can’t help us or that we’re too bad for God.
The rest of John 10:10 says “But I have come so that they may have and enjoy their life” from the Amplied version, emphasis added.
If you have any wrongs in your life that you live in guilt and regret over, turn to God today and tell Him everything you have done. Commit to turn from these things and ask Him to lead you in life. God is a faithful God who will not only hear you, but will move to action immediately, starting with giving you peace and rest for your soul.
We can be afraid of many things. This too is a major weapon of the enemy. If he can get our focus off the promises of God, he can move us to fear. When we are immersed in fear, we lose our ability to think clear and with wisdom.
Instead, we then act according to our feelings. How many good choices have you made based on your mood? Maybe some, I suppose, if you were in a great mood. But in fear, how many of those choices resulted in success or triumph or growth? I would guess not many.
Fear is strong enough to land us in the hospital as we cause our system to go into overload. Stress and worry and anxiety are all common occurrences among the sick and diseased. If we don’t get the rest our bodies need, we risk mental and physical breakdown.
Satan doesn’t stop when he gets us to a point of breakdown; no, he just presses harder as he comes in for the kill. How many good people got sick and then cursed God for their hardship? We can read in the book of Job that during his time of testing, his wife told Job to curse God and die already. This is exactly what Satan wants us to do.
So, if you struggle to some degree, or if you lose sleep due to fear, don’t think that the enemy will go away laughing at you. Understand that he is just getting started.
However, if in this time of testing, you are able to remember the Lord, He will protect you and help you. God has a mighty army of angels who are ready and willing to stand guard all around you; read 2 Kings 6:8-23 for a story of God’s protection using His army of angels.
This is a hard emotion to deal with. We can literally lose our minds in loneliness. For whatever reason, when we end up in a state of loneliness, we can suffer intense pain and unrest. We try to sleep away the day but wake up feeling much the same; we buy things to pass time, but they sit there unused.
There are many people who are living a life of loneliness to some degree. Maybe it’s just for a short time while their partner is away on business, or, maybe it’s long-term due to a relationship separation or death of a partner or even an emotionally distant spouse. Loneliness is difficult either way we look at it.
For this, I would encourage you all the more to seek out a relationship with God. Some people think of the bible and remember the story of Jesus dying on the cross and they just accept the idea that He’s dead.
Ask any faith-filled believer and they will tell you; “God is a Living God and His Word is the Living Word.” We are told that God resurrected Jesus three days later and seated Him at the right hand of God; the Living God. Jesus is alive and victorious over all that the enemy has to use against us. This is good news. Jesus is a real person who is willing to come hang out with you right now!
If you are lonely, call on Jesus today and He will enter your life and restore you and destroy all that the enemy has done in you. Jesus is a comforter, more so than any person ever could be, and He is ready to meet you where you’re at.
What’s also interesting is that when we put our trust in Jesus in times of great distress, such as, loneliness, He is faithful to bring good people into our lives.
I don’t know all the ways God works, but I know He does. Call on Him; ask Him and find out for yourself.
A relationship with Jesus is necessary
Before finishing up this article, I just want to share a couple verses that mention the way to a relationship with God.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
In these verses, first, God introduces His Son as the Savior – who is the gateway to eternal life, and second, Jesus tells us that He is the only way to have a relationship with the Father – God.
In all times past and especially, today, there is a misunderstanding that God is accessible through any and all means. But the scripture in John 14:6 is clear that Jesus is the only way. We must be careful to not take this lightly, or Jesus, for that matter.
Related: How To Grow Your Faith In God
Other than the pain of conviction or the idea of giving up control, I struggle to understand why anyone would care to avoid a relationship with Christ. In my experience, and as we can see through the four Gospels in the bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), Jesus is a Spirit of Love who is called to heal. He is a fair Leader and the Great Teacher. Most importantly, He is the Savior of the world.
All who refuse to believe this will have their eyes opened on the Day of Judgment.
Again, I’m not trying to be depressing or to spread fear, but instead, to showcase that God is faithful to help us and protect us, but it requires acceptance of His Son, Jesus.
As you can see by now if you’ve read the whole article, the enemy is working to destroy, and God is working to rebuild. We must choose our path wisely here. God is a forgiving God and He is patient, too. But He is not a forceful God who barges into our lives and makes us do this or that. Instead, He calls on us often with His hand held out for us to grab onto in our darkest times.
If you are experiencing any of the hardships in this article, or one not covered here, I encourage you to put your trust in Jesus and start building a wall of protection from the enemy. If you don’t, you will remain vulnerable to his attacks. Reach out and accept the rest that Jesus is offering today.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, click here to send in your prayer request. My wife and I would love to pray for you.