We all have times when we wake up in the morning and feel the blahs and blues; we don’t feel very excited. But just because we feel those emotions doesn’t mean we have to stay there and give in to them; we can shake it off and move forward in faith relying on God’s strength.
A great example of someone in the Bible who had a lot of experience in shaking off negative emotions is David. He had to fight being moody, and he was the King of Israel. He had all kinds of opportunity, power and position. He was wealthy, and yet, he still struggled with being depressed and discouraged. That tells me that having to choose to rule over negative feelings is something every person has to deal with. Don’t think you’re alone if you feel this way. Turn to God and His hope. Don’t think, “If I just had more money, if I had a better job, if I had a different spouse, then I’d be in a good mood, Joel. Then I wouldn’t have to deal with these feelings.” No, you may think that, but every person has to fight the temptation to just give in and live by how we feel.
I love what David did; he talked to himself. He said, “Why are you cast down, oh, my soul? Hope in the Lord.” That’s Psalm 42. He was saying in everyday language, “David, what are you doing in a bad mood? Stop looking at your problems and start looking at your God.” That tells me that true joy is found only in God, when you take your eyes off of how you feel and your circumstances and place them on God and His Word.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is talk to ourselves and speak scripture over our lives. When you’re tempted to be in a bad mood, go look in the mirror and say, “Listen here, self. You need to cheer up. Get your joy back, get your peace back. I’m not going to live this day defeated.” You have to stay on the offensive. Don’t wait until you’ve been down for three days before you decide to do something about it. The moment you feel that discouragement trying to come on you, rise up and say, “No, I’m not going there.” You wake up in the morning and feel the blahs, you say, “Nope, that’s not for me. This is going to be a good day. It’s the day the Lord has made.”
Do you know being in a sour mood because of your problems doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse? It puts more pressure on you. It makes you more miserable. A better approach is to say, “God, I’m turning this situation over to You. I’m not going to let it steal my joy. I know You’re in control. And at the right time, I believe You’ll not only turn it around, but You’ll bring me out better off than I was before.” That’s how we rule over negative feelings. It’s simply a decision that we make every day where we have to dig our heels in and decide that our feelings are not going to dictate what kind of day we’re going to have. You can rule over your emotions and choose to be in a good mood in spite of how you feel. You can choose what kind of day you’re going to have. You can choose how you’re going to live your life.
I know some of you, maybe in the natural, have a good reason to be down and discouraged. But don’t allow yourself to go there. When you are stable in spite of what’s come against you, that’s one of the best ways to show God that you’re trusting Him.
Decide not to live by how you feel. Go deeper than that and start living by what you know. You know God is in control. You know He’s got a great plan for your life. You know His power is greater than any other power. When you wake up and those old negative, discouraging thoughts and feelings come, shake them off. Be done with that roller coaster living. Don’t give into your emotions and let them keep you from God’s blessings and promotion. Start choosing to live each day in God’s peace. Decide that you’re going to have a great day. By doing so, you will see God work in your life in greater ways because your eyes are fixed toward Him instead of your situation, and you’ll live the life of victory He has in store for you!