Feelin’ good

Today, I’m feeling great.  Yesterday, I was a bit anxious and low.

Does it matter how I feel in God’s eyes?

Well, the apostle Paul believes it does. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16, he says: “Be joyful always.”

“Always” seems to mean “in all circumstances and in every situation”.

I am reminded of Nehemiah’s statement to weeping Jews bewailing their sin in Jerusalem: “Don’t grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  (Nehemiah 8:10)

It was right for them to be sorry for their sin, but it wasn’t right to focus on themselves.  God was not pleased with their sin, but he loved them and wanted them to enjoy him.

So, was I wrong to be anxious and depressed yesterday?

It was natural.  The greatest men and women in the Bible were anxious and angry and even denounced God.  It is healing to express our feelings as David often did in the Psalms.

And God understands our human feelings.  Jesus told his listeners that they should mourn with those who mourn.  Offering compassion to someone who is suffering is Christ-like.

But I don’t think God wants us to stay “down in the dumps”.  He is the God of hope.

We might not be able to thank God for the hard things in life as I recommended in a blog post a few days ago.  But we can certainly find joy in God.

There is so much to thank God for.  His creation is a gift to us.  A couple of days ago, I went for a stroll in our neighbourhood and enjoyed the mild afternoon and the gold and crimson colours of the autumn leaves.

There is the fact he has given us life everlasting. There are the gifts of families, friends, food, jobs.

There is the fact that he orders events according to his own good plan.  Nothing that happens in the world is by accident.  We may not see what the good is, but we can be sure from the Bible that it is leading to good.

Most of all, we can rest in the knowledge that he loves us.

It is this truth I turn to most of all.  I picture Jesus with me, smiling and enjoying me.  I think of Zephaniah’s wonderful words in Zephaniah 3:17:

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love.  He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Knowing he loves me, how can I not take joy in him?

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2 comments so far

  1. Caroline Lewandowsky on

    Hi, Bob
    I know exactly how you were feeling…in fact, as I say these words, there are so many situations that the words “I know how you feel” are found in many of us. Not to minimize the depression, and low self-esteem people might sometimes feel, but it’s safe to say we have all been down a similar path at one time or another. Today’s sermon was a great reminder that we must keep our faith in Christ! I know that sometimes it’s easier said than done, but there is no other way to get through day to day “stuff”. The more we fill ourselves up with the Love of Jesus, the more we know how to get out of the “pit”….I pray that everyone I know would try this amazing form of counselling.


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