Have you ever had one of those days when life hits you all at once and it seems like everything goes wrong? Some people experience weeks, months or even years in this kind of situation. The advice “just think positive” doesn’t always work. So what should you do?
Many times it’s not one big problem but many little things instead. The little things pile up.
Or maybe a certain stumbling block just won’t go away. Even minor issues can take up a lot of your time. In these moments, every new misfortune takes on monstrous proportions.
Being overwhelmed is real – it’s not all in your head. You might experience a string of inconveniences or even outright disasters. However, your reaction to negative events makes a big difference. If you’ve ever blown up at the smallest things, then you know how stress can effect you.
It’s easier to navigate a crisis when you have clarity and peace. Here are some methods you can try to maintain a healthy outlook:
Invite God into your situation by praying about it. Don’t try to do it alone, no matter how small or petty it may seem.
Remember that this too shall pass.
Try to focus on one problem at a time.
Resolve the most nagging issues first.
Visualize a future where the problems are solved.
Accept the things that you are powerless to change. And ask God to give you peace concerning them.
Be aware that trials produce patience and character.
Go for walks to clear your head.
Ask for help. / Accept help.
Even though these methods are useful, some of them echo the “just think positive” advice that oftentimes doesn’t work. And what about the problems that do last forever?
For some Christians when things don’t go as they had planned, Satan is blamed. While this might – or might not – be true, the Devil certainly enjoys seeing us stressed out or paralyzed in despair.
In chapter 20 of Jeremiah, the prophet hears “many whispering ‘Terror on every side!’” And that’s exactly what it is; the enemy trying to convince you that your life is a disaster. Many fall into this temptation, and once they start believing Satan’s lies, things get worse.
Jeremiah goes on to say, “the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.” Who are your persecutors? Pessimism and the lack of hope. These are the things that keep you from invoking the “mighty warrior” that is our Living God.
When you feel like everything is going wrong there can be an overwhelming resistance to prayer. You feel like you have to do something, anything, besides pray. It seems like a waste of time or you’re just too exasperated. But know this: God fights for you fiercely. He’s a mighty warrior that will rise up to cast out evil and doubt. Cry out to Him and things will change.
You might think that prayer isn’t practical, but have you tried it? Begin by sitting quietly and saying, “God I’m here. Speak to me.” If your mind begins to race, just let it. Let your thoughts unwind naturally, but stay aware that you are in God’s presence. As your mind begins to clear, praise God and ask Him for help. You can use simple phrases like:
I praise you Lord.
Fight for me God, I need you now.
Dear Jesus, I trust in you.
These words have a tremendous power to put things in order. Just talk to God as you would a close friend. As your prayer continues you will experience something incredible – you will begin to think clearly and realistically. God won’t always take your challenges away, but He will give you the right mind to face them. This is the Holy Spirit making a concrete difference in your life. And difficulties will be resolved in ways you have never imagined.
One thing is clear, Satan certainly does not want you to seek God’s presence. Evil wants you to remain emotionally isolated and convinced that your life is a series of failures. Sometimes you have to nearly force yourself to pray. And when you do, the truth comes out. What is the truth? The truth is that you are loved by a great God who forgives you and places you upon a throne with his Son. Satan does everything in his power to hide this truth from you. But a simple prayer and a moment of grace can dispel the darkness.
For Jesus it seemed like everything was going wrong too. His friend betrayed Him and His disciples left Him. One of His most loyal apostles denied Him. Then Jesus was sentenced to death even though His innocence was unquestionable. But in every moment, Jesus looked to His Father – He gave it all up to God and the end result was glorious.