Saturday, November 20, 2010

Up Days and Down Days

Lately, I've been up and down a bit. Nothing extreme, really, but I find that I tend to go down more frequently and for longer on days when I haven't spent time with God. It makes sense. Jesus Christ promised his followers a lot of things - joy, peace, forgiveness, provision, and so much more - but all of these things come from God. If I'm not there with him to receive them, I cheat myself out of the blessings I could have. Instead, I try to get them for myself. I end up worrying about how to pay for things and eating junk food that makes me happy... for about the thirty seconds it takes to eat it. I end up feeling depressed and listless - the opposite of how I should feel!

For me, and I believe for you, too, spending time with God is the key to preventing these down days in the first place. There have been times when I feel like I don't really connect with God or like spending this time with Him is boring. I completely blame myself for this. The God who created spotted horses, wild imaginations, and high seas is anything but boring. To tap into the excitement, to bring home His message for me, I've found that it's helpful to:

Read a good inspirational book. I mean the non-fiction kind that teaches you something new and exciting. Look for an author or a topic that is relevant to you, then look up verses they reference and pray about what you're reading.

Study the "current events" in your life. Worried? Look up verses that speak to that. Wonder what the big deal is about tithing? Use a concordance to study it. There are also books available that are organized by topic/subject and have select verses grouped together that speak to that topic. I have one, and it lends quick insight into a number of topics.

Memorize chunks of Scripture. It's wonderful to have have access to God's Truth when you're not even near your Bible. Something will happen in your day-to-day life, and you'll realize you know a verse that applies to the situation. Also, memorization requires you to think about every little word. I'd be surprised if you could get very far in your memorization without having a deeper understanding of God's Word.

Still feeling down? Pray about it. God promises us peace when we give him our problems in prayer (see Philippians 4:6-7). Claim that peace. It's yours in Christ.

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