Anyone else ever think like this?
I have been thinking this way too often over the past few months and days:
This is hard. I’m tired. I don’t want to think or suffer anymore. The world is ugly and getting uglier.
I am tired of people hurting the ones I love. I am tired of those I love hurting each other. I am tired of hurting.
I miss the ones who have gone before me — Those who lived a long life and saw their grandchildren grow and play as well as those who were taken way too soon for my liking. I want to be with them and to be in heaven with Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!
Or just take me out so I don’t have to deal with this stuff and these people anymore!!!!
Have you had those same thoughts and feeling?
Rejoicing daily, walking in joy again and again, is a choice!
I can choose depression and self-condemnation. I can choose hurting myself by rehashing things over and over in my mind. I can choose hurting others by lashing out. I can choose isolation, anger, and self pity over my situation and my pain.
I can choose to become more Christlike.
I can choose to study His Word, do His will, pray, worship, and listen to uplifting stuff (music and talk).
I can surround myself with people who give life and joy to others instead of rejecting their efforts to love me.
I can avoid negative people such as gossips and those who tear others down in word and deed and instead choose to be around godly people.
I can give in to the world and all the ugly stuff it has to offer me, or I can rejoice in The Lord. I can know He is near. I can let my own gentleness, kindness, love, and patience be evident to all.
Take time to read in the book of Acts about all the horrible things that happened to Paul Then read what he wrote in the book of Philippians.
Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Philippians 1:18-26 (ESV)
Am I living in a way that I should be ashamed?
Am I bringing joy to others? Am I helping others have joy? Am I letting others love me? Am I accepting the joy they offer me?
Yes, to be with Christ in Heaven would be better by far. But God, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen to give me another day of life on planet earth. Living on earth will mean labor for me, but it will be fruitful labor if I choose to do the next right thing. And I can walk in His joy while laboring.
I pray that I may glorify you today and encourage others. Help me to love others well, to chose to do the next right thing, to accept your grace and to walk in forgiveness towards others and myself.
Note: I updated this in April 2017.
This “choosing” is not always easy. It’s not as simple as just choosing to stop being depressed. It takes work, lots of work! And it takes help.
We do this one step at a time, one moment at a time.
Learning to take our thoughts captive begins in little ways, little steps. It requires that we seek God and study the Bible. We cry out to Him for help.
We take tiny steps in the right direction. Then we rest and remind ourselves truth and that we are going the right way. We cry out for help, take another tiny step. Then rest in Him.
And over time we learn that choosing truth over lies results in peace and joy! We learn to choose truth. And this choosing eventually becomes a way of life.