Have you ever heard the popular phrase “the struggle is real”? It’s more often used in jest, but perhaps it’s so frequently used these days because so many feel down-trodden. If we’re honest, we all have areas of our lives in which, whether we admit it or not, we struggle. I like a good fight, but sometimes the battle just wears me down. Maybe you’re feeling a little worn down too. I pray this post encourages you.
When we experience struggle, whether it is sadness of losing a loved one, hurt from betrayal, anger at an injustice or anxiety from an overwhelming situation, we each own a powerful prescription without negative side effects. Sometimes emotional pain feels like something we should brush aside because it isn’t an “urgent” thing like a broken leg. Friend, it is real and we do need to address it.
As I urge myself, I urge you, look to God and ask Him what to do. How will you hear Him? Through Scripture. In Psalms, David works through his emotional pain as he says, “Oh soul, why are you downcast… Forget not the Lord and all of His benefits” (Ps. 42:11).
As I share this prescription, I want to first clarify that this is by no means a substitute for professional counseling or medication. I am well aware some people need those and I’m not judging that at all. This just works for me and I wanted to share.
1. Pray for God to open Scripture so we can hear Him.
2. Once we find those scriptures of comfort, encouragement and healing, speak those truths to yourself as David did “ Oh soul, why are you downcast… Forget not the Lord and all of His benefits!”
3. Remind ourselves (really think about this) Whose we are.
4. Repeat until your emotions listen to the truth
Ok, hear me out, there is nothing wrong with feeling sadness, hurt, stress, anger or anxiety. And we need to find healthy ways of expressing and experiencing our emotions. That said, God did not design us to stay in that emotional state and live there forever. There are no free passes on that one.
I have had times in my life where I was overwhelmed by terrible things. I am aware our emotions do not always recognize or bend to the love of God. But our emotions are not our compass. God is our Compass. And God is greater than our emotions.
Ok, maybe you’re mad at me a little. “You do not get what I’m dealing with right now” you grumble as you read. That’s OK. You’re right. I’m not in your shoes. But God is. And He is available at all times. He always hopes we will come to Him so He can give us comfort. He wants to be our first option, not our last resort. I know sometimes life beats us up within an inch of our lives. Sometimes the steps above feel both too shallow or too challenging and feel like they aren’t working.
So remind your emotions that God has good promises for you. He has a host of blessings in store for your future. You’re loved. You’re chosen. You’re hand-created by a masterful loving God. I could say I’m praying for you, and I am, but more importantly, God is waiting to shower you with love right now. I hope you get to spend some time in that reality today.
If you would like to share prayer requests, comments or stories about this topic, please feel free to share them below!