Sarah sat staring at the TV, but not watching it. Her mind was going over the last few days and everything that had gone wrong. Do you remember that song, “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll go eat worms”? Well, that is how she feels right now.
She knows that there are things she should do, and in the back of her mind she hears the still, small voice of God reminding her that things will be OK, but she is so down that she doesn’t listen to that voice. Over the course of the next few days, things get worse. As she continues to focus on everything bad in her life, some old temptations start to creep back and before she knows it… well, we won’t get into the rest. It might make you feel down.
We all have short periods of time when we feel down. Things don’t go right, we have issues with people, a winter comes that seems like it will never end; there are so many reasons why we feel down. Here is the important thing. Don’t give into it. You have to fight it. It is not from God.
Now before we go any further, I need to give this warning. This blog post is only for people who occasionally have a down period. If you are always down, and no matter what you do, can’t make yourself feel better, then you need to seek professional advice from your pastor or your doctor.
God Is Good
Here is something important to understand when bad things happen: God did not cause them. God is perfect in goodness and never does anything bad. We live in a world that controlled by a sinful world system, the devil, and our wicked desires. It is that way because we humans choose to have it that way. We opt to live apart from God.
God, on the other hand, sees the mess we are in and wants to help. While He never causes evil, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28 NIV. So God never gets you into that situation, but He can help you get out of it or through it.
One thing I have learned about down periods in my life: they are usually tests to make me stronger. God has amazing plans for my life, but to achieve some of them, I have to become more than I am right now. These tests cause me to grow in Him and become more than I ever thought I could be. Realizing that has given me a different outlook on the things that happen in life.
Obstacles and challenging times cause me to trust God for more and more when I turn to Him. You always have two choices when you are down: fight it and grow, or give in and things take longer to get better.
I love what it says in Psalm 42:5, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.'
Ways to Stop Feeling Down
- The first thing you do is make a choice to fight it with God’s help. At this point, you are only making a decision of your will to trust God no matter how you feel.
- Look at the situation realistically. Many times when we take a close look at it, we realize that it is not as bad as what we thought. An excellent way to do this is to ask God to show the truth and then take the time to listen.
- If you have done something wrong then make it right with God and whomever else you have wronged.
- Focus on the good things in your life. It is so tempting only to look at the one or two bad things in our lives and miss the many amazing things that are happening.
- Find Scriptures that apply to you and read them out loud until they become more real to you than everything else, including what is making you feel down.
- Worship God. There is nothing like praising God for who He is to lift a person’s spirits. Start your day with one of these morning prayers to put yourself in the right frame of mind.
- If it is an obstacle that is stopping you from achieving something, then get the help you need to overcome it. Many times when I have asked God for help, He has sent someone my way with the knowledge I need. Many times they have already been through what I am going through and have the answer. Actively seek out godly people who are wise and knowledgeable in the area you need and talk to them.
- Do not watch TV, especially the news. When you are feeling down, the last thing you need is to look at the news which will bring you down further.
- Don’t talk to negative people about it. They will only want to start a pity party and won't be any help to you.
- Remember that this life isn't permanent; there will come a day when Jesus returns and makes all things new. Hold onto your hope for a better day.
Throughout this whole process, you need to thank God for at least one good thing a day. Thanksgiving is an amazing way to get out of a funk and realize just how much you have. So don’t wait. Don’t allow yourself to continue feeling down. Fight it and have the victory in Jesus and then rejoice.