So you feel like crap. You can't shake the feeling of uneasiness. You had a bad day at work, or it could've lasted a week. You may be exhausted from the responsibilities of raising your kids, or have been praying for that financial breakthrough and been met with lack.
Whatever it is, these days happen and can last longer than we like. It can feel like a battle to get our mind out of this place of heaviness. It IS possible though.
Here are 4 truths reminding you that not only will this pass, but regardless of the circumstance, God can work it into something that will put a smile on your face.
1. There is no situation God can't turn around
It's easy to convince ourselves that nothing can be done about our situation. That may be true in our eyes - but God doesn't see things like we do. He specializes in the difficult, seemingly impossible, of situations. What we often need to let go of is our sense of control. Once we do that, we are free to watch God move on our behalf. Sometimes he wants to get you through a situation and not out of a situation because then he can demonstrate his power and glory.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he didn't work in the time frame people were expecting. When he heard Lazarus had died, he decided to stay where he was for two days. Um, what? Martha and Mary were so disappointed bc they had expected Jesus to come quickly and heal him. In utter anguish, Martha even cried out, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died." (John 11:21). Jesus, being the strong and manly man that he is, wept. He grieved with them. He let his sorrow be known - and then he kept his promise to them that the illness Lazarus had would not end in death. He demonstrated the miraculous, raising him from the dead, 4 days after he was laid in the tomb.
Are there situations in your life where you cry out to God, "This wouldn't have happened if you showed up!" I definitely have. It's not pretty. Each time, I've learned God's desire to comfort and cry with me. He wants us to know he is with us through it all, not causing it, but there to comfort us in our difficult times. He doesn't stop there.
His plan and his will is to turn a situation around radically - in his time.
Martha didn't know God could raise a man from the dead until he did it. That was a game changer. Maybe there is something God wants to do that you never even thought of because in your human limited mind, you can't fathom how. I challenge you to hand him the reigns with the simple trust of, "Okay God, this is yours. I trust you to turn this situation around". Watch and see what the Lord will work for you today. (Exodus 14:13).
2. It is impossible for you to mess up God's plans
This is a big one for me. I think somewhere down the line, I had convinced myself that if I didn't do something right, I had the ability to mess up God's plans for me. This mindset is rooted in religion and control - if it were up to us to accomplish something, what use is there for grace? One definition of grace is the empowerment of God to do what we cannot do. The entire New Testament is based upon grace. God created the law knowing that people wouldn't be able to keep the law and be in need of a savior. Do you think God is shocked when you mess up? Your friends might be, your spouse may be, but God is not. He knew you before you were even born. (Jer 1:5).
Let's say you decide you're not going to lie anymore. So you try really hard not to lie - except it doesn't work. You lie, and you say sorry to God. This happens over and over again. You don't know why you are doing it and you convince yourself that because of this problem, you aren't worthy of any promise of God and have utterly ruined the good things he has in store for you. Perhaps you don't have a lying problem but it's porn. Regardless of what it is, this is where repentance comes in.
Repentance is a change of heart - it is a shift but instead of leading to shame, it brings freedom. True repentance is recognizing that you have a problem, that you messed up, and that you want to change but you can't on your own. In real repentance, there is usually a root to the sin. For instance, maybe you have a fear of what people think, so you are a people pleaser which then pushes you to lie to make others happy. The fear of what people think is where the change of heart needs to happen. God's grace is sufficient to lead you into wholeness, it's important to invite him to the difficult areas so he can bring real freedom. Sometimes, he will lead us to tell people about a problem we have, so that we can get accountability and help. Whatever it is, he has a way out and it is not by punishment.
3. Any accusation against you isn't the truth
We sometimes find ourselves in a bad mood or bad week because we are believing the voice of accusation against us and consequently feeling guilty for things that aren't even true. Kris Vallotton says, the enemy puts a thought in your mind that isn't yours, and then blames you for thinking it. These thoughts can come in the form of feeling inadequate, like you aren't qualified for what you want to do. They can make you feel like people don't like you, or that you have failed too many times and are undeserving of good things. You may feel shameful because of a secret you feel you need to keep. These are all lies, things to make you silent and isolated. When you feel yourself going down this road, it's important to remind yourself of the truth. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1). Nothing can separate you from the love of God. (Rom 8:38). Actually, all of Romans 8 is filled with promises that counteract accusations and lies against yourself. Read them, meditate on them. Remember who you are and whose you are.
4. You are worthy to receive love with no strings attached
I think as humans, we are hardwired to believe we need to work hard to deserve reward. This isn't not true, it's just not the only truth. God loves to give good gifts to his children. Extravagant gifts. He gave us Jesus, while we were still sinners, how much more will he give us good things? (Rom 5:8). God loves hard workers, but he also loves us when we receive love freely - meaning, sometimes he wants to just give us things we don't deserve. Why? Because he is a father who loves extravagantly. What are your love languages? Gifts, words of affirmation? He can meet you there. Just like we love to give gifts to our friends or spouses or children out of love, God loves to do the same thing. Be open to receiving things from God you don't deserve. Receiving is just as important a lesson as giving is. It'll open your eyes.
I love this video by Dr. Rick Rigsby. It's AMAZING. Take 10 minutes to watch it - you will feel better I promise.
There are many truths we can meditate on during those days or weeks when we can't seem to shake off that gray cloud over us. What are some of the other ones you like to remember? We'd love to hear your comments!