a helpful strategy

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” (Colossians 3:16, NLT)

Today’s verse came to me as a gift the other day. It was a bad morning…one of those where I just wanted to crawl back into bed and start over some other time. With a racing heart and adrenaline pit in the ole tummy, I opened my favorite Bible app, smiled, and thanked God. Has that ever happened to you?

Days like that day, I need the message of Christ to fill my life, because the things that sought to fill it (even with my permission, mind you) were draining away life. Luckily there is some eternal wisdom for how to deal with times like that I followed and want to share with you:

1. Pray: take your anger, angst, anxiety, all of it, to God; that’s the first thing I did, giving it all to Him as opposed to my family. That’s the first thing any of us should do.

2. Connect: share with another believer who can support you and help hold you accountable. You were never meant to struggle alone, and someone who can give you some perspective in the midst of your struggle can be a serious help.

3. Fill: consume some soul food, things that nourish your spirit; for me, I turned off the news and played some worship music. Bingo! I felt a shift.

4. Focus on gratitude: adjust your negative attitude to one of gratitude. This one isn’t always easy, when you’re off balance spiritually, but it’s essential. You can always find something for which to be thankful, even if it’s a call to draw closer to God.

5. Share: teach someone else about God’s love, grace, and mercy; for me, I wrote this daily water. Externalizing your faith and hope helps you internalize it better.

It’s amazing what happens when Christ comes and displaces all kinds of muck at the center of your life, but you have to let Him. As the Good Book says, He stands at the door of your heart and knocks, longing to be let in so He can linger with you in times of need. Let that be your cue to kick out the unwelcome houseguests and receive the greatness of our good, good Father.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the strategies I can employ wherever I am to re-center myself in your love and grace. Thank you for meeting me in my prayer, music, and relationships. I need you and praise you in the helping name of Jesus. Amen.

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