First of all, I’m sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I had some personal things to deal with so I decided to take a break from blogging but I’m back with a bang!!! (I hope lol).
This post has been on my mind for a while now but because I was on a “blog-cation”, I couldn’t write it. Also, I’ve been speaking to a few people about what I’m about to share so I thought to share it here and stop procrastinating.
Life, as you may already know, is not a bed of roses. I had this mindset before that everything would always work out if you do the “right things” in each circumstance, so there’ll be no glitches (safe to say that I was living in La-la land). I struggled to relate with scriptures like:
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord will deliver him from them all.”(Psalm 34:29) and “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) because my head was in the clouds! I didn’t believe that I was going to be faced with any kind of ‘affliction’ or ‘trouble’. (Please don’t judge me).
That was what I thought — until reality hit me sometime this year. I was faced with a difficult situation that made me a total mess! I was so upset afterwards because I felt like I could’ve handled things better as opposed to throwing tantrums, being downcast and wallowing in self-pity, amongst other things…
I then decided in my heart that I was going to handle things differently when I was faced with another challenge. Little did I know that this challenge would come sooner than I expected. When it came, the first thing I did (as a human being) was to cry and worry. I spoke to a few people about it and they were able to reassure me that everything was going to be alright. I felt so unhappy for about a day until I remembered the promise I made to myself earlier in the year which was that nothing was going to rob me of my joy.
The Word of God says that He will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is steadfast and you trust in God (Isaiah 26:3). There’s a saying that “Peace is not the absence of a storm, it is the presence of God.” Trusting in God has so many benefits including having peace. When one has peace which comes from God’s presence, one will experience joy, just as the scripture assures us that “In the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11).
When one goes through difficult situations, it’s imperative that one’s hope and trust must be in God and for this reason, I will be sharing what I did to ensure that I didn’t lose my joy or peace during the challenging situation that I was faced with.
1. I surrounded myself with Godly/positive people: Joyce Meyer once said that “You can’t have a positive life and a negative mind.” I personally like to keep negativity far from me. Apart from the fact that it does me more harm than good, as followers of Christ, we are encouraged in the Scriptures to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). Part of obeying that word is by surrounding yourself with people that’ll help you grow spiritually. People that can provide succour when you go through tough times— not those that will saturate your mind with panic and fear.
I attended an event hosted by The Eden Ministry called Spontaneous and Unusual Conversations (IG- @suc_eden). Their events are so impactful (even when the devil tried to discourage me, I still tuned into the Zoom call)…
It felt like the message at that session meant for me! The guest speaker spoke about God’s love amongst other things. I’d encourage you to follow them on Instagram and join their next Zoom session. I assure you that it is a safe space where one can learn and share one’s burdens with fellow believers.
2. I had a prayer partner: Look, the value and power of prayer cannot be overemphasised. (By the way, it is normal to have days where you can’t pray because of what you’re facing). Sometimes, I want to pray but my heart gets so heavy that I can’t utter anything. I believe that this is when a prayer partner comes in handy; someone who can stand in the gap for you in the place of prayer. This person could be your spouse, friend, sibling, parent, colleague…the list is endless! With time, I was able to start praying on my own again.
3. I meditated on and confessed God’s Word: The devil attacks our mind with negative thoughts and whenever these negative thoughts are thrown our way, we must dispel them with the Word of God. For instance if the devil says to you that you’ll be broke, counter it with the word of God which says that, “God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” (Philippians 4:19). There’s always a word for every situation, so search for scriptures about your situation and confess them. Say these scriptures aloud; let the devil know that you’re not a pushover. Personally, I look for the scriptures in different Bible versions and use the one which resonates with me. Someone once said to me that if you have the ability to worry, then you can meditate. This is because worrying simply put, is replaying negative thoughts repeatedly in your mind. So if you replace these negative thoughts with positive thoughts (essentially the word of God) then you’re meditating on God’s Word.
Voila! It’s really that simple.
Thankfully, the Youversion Bible app has different Bible plans tailored to any situation you’re in.
4. I listened to Worship songs: There’s a way worship ministers to your spirit especially when you’re going through tough times and find it difficult to pray. This has helped me greatly! I play some worship songs when I’m in the shower or when I’m working so that my spirit is constantly encouraged. I particularly love this song by Jonathan McReynolds called Lover of my soul . This song has been on repeat for the past few days! I’ve also got other songs which were recommended by one of my very close friends (you can send me a message if you’d like to know them / for me to send you my worship playlist). When you can’t pray, try worship- it works.
5. I listened to messages on Faith: When you’re not confessing God’s word, praying or listening to worship music, try listening to faith based messages. When you’re going through a challenge it’s important to renew your mind with God’s word (Romans 12:2) which is what will serve as the anchor of your faith. A word is enough to change your situation, for the Bible says that, “anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down but a good word makes him glad.” (Proverbs 12:25). I listened to faith messages from Bidemi Mark-Mordi Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, and searched for devotionals on the subject of faith on the Youversion Bible app. I also started using the NSPPD prayers by Jerry Eze which rekindled my prayer life. If you are struggling with your prayer life, just try to watch one of the videos and join in the prayers or any other prayer sessions which you feel comfortable with.
Finally, try not to dwell on the challenge — God says you should cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you (Proverbs 12:25). When you cast your anxiety on Him, you should trust Him enough to leave it there.
He is a loving father so there’s absolutely no need to worry! There’s nothing that’s too difficult for Him to do (Jeremiah 32:27) so we should have more faith in God — He has never failed and will never fail. Man of your word by Maverick City Music (which is another fave worship song) assures us that “God has never failed and He won’t start (to fail) with us.”
Hold your head up high, rest in the promises of God and bask in the joy that God alone can give. Take walks, go to the gym, read a book, bake a cake and do things that you enjoy doing! Self care is extremely important.
If you’ve come this far, thank you so much for reading. I hope you’ve been encouraged by this post.
How do you stay afloat when the storms of life try to sink your boat? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.