I am Light by Indie Arie

Three Beneficial Things to Do When Facing Difficult Times

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1.    Elevate Your Thoughts

God wants us to align our thinking with His thoughts. The natural mind does not understand spiritual things. It is a constant battle to think on a higher plane because our world is so negative and evil. It’s so much easier to think negatively which immediately drains our energy. That’s why we should always be aware of our thoughts, actions, and environments.

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As soon as our thoughts begin to focus on fear, disbelief, doubt, or any other toxic emotion, we need to consciously change our thought patterns. It is very challenging to switch your thoughts when so many problems are staring you in the face. The advantage is knowing the Gospel and being able to draw from God’s promises and meditate on His word which is life and substance to your soul. Once we elevate our minds, we raise our energy level and begin to feel much better. It is a spiritual war that manifests in a physical realm. Often times, we use physical components to fight our spiritual or mental battles such as sleeping pills, medication, drugs, alcohol, or sex. We may even contemplate suicide as a means of escape.

2.    Take Care of Your Body

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We must take care of our bodies including eating healthier and exercising daily. Many people overlook the importance of a well-balanced diet.  However, diet plays a vital role in how we deal with stress and challenges in our lives. When we eat healthily, we have a clear mind. Our bodies are able to fight off disease and illness and even stress better. You can also take vitamins to supplement your diet such as B- complex vitamins which alleviate stress.  It’s best to consult your doctor for specific vitamin supplements based on your physical needs.

Another important factor is to get enough rest. When all else fails, go to sleep! Just make sure you have a balance. When we sleep, our stress levels go down. We are able to fight off illness, deal with problems, and make better decisions. We are less irritable and able to manage frustrations with ease. We are also able to control our emotions and we are much more productive in our daily lives.

“He who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:10–11

Unfortunately, Satan understands our weaknesses and attacks us when we are most vulnerable which often means we are lacking rest. When we are tired or weary, it disrupts our peace of mind. When we have inner peace, we are able to interact with others much better as well as have the ability for the Lord to direct us in our daily decisions. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” I Corth 4:33

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God is actively at work at all times even while we are resting. The Lord never slumbers. “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved. He that keeps thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121

3.    Seek Solitude in Prayer, Worship and Reading the Bible

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Most of all, this is the most obvious but required. We should have a set schedule to spend time with God. We should continue to seek  God in prayer. We must not give up hope.    We should pray without ceasing knowing that God will answer our prayers in perfect timing.

We must also continue to worship Him regardless of our situation.  It’s in the hardest struggles that our praise is strengthened. No matter what the situation looks like we must continue to be faithful in worship. There is always something to appreciate and be grateful for.

We should read the Bible on a regular schedule to keep our spirits strong and to encourage ourselves daily. Faith is by hearing and hearing is by the Word of God. We should surround ourselves with a body of believers who will encourage and support us. This will raise our spirits, as well as our thoughts and actions.

When we take care of our mind, body, and soul, it strengthens our spiritual well-being to hear from God. By developing and building trust in Him, it draws us closer to Him. When we begin to see how He delivers us out of our situations and circumstances, our trust and faith will be strengthened to overcome any obstacle that we face.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed: because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3-5

Dealing With Anger, Rage & Frustration

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These six things does the Lord hate: seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies and he that sows discord among the brethren.” Prov 6:16-19

We have many things in our daily lives that can make us angry: Family, our children, marriage or relationship issues, death of a loved one, work related problems, job loss, political debates, economic hardships, racism, physical or dealing with physical, sexual or verbal abuse, childhood memories, school or workplace bullying and even traffic gridlock. The list is endless. Dealing with a combination of these problems or even one of them on a regular basis can really cause mounting frustration, anger, and rage.

Taking Responsibility for Your Actions

This escalating problem is based on the neglect of an individual who does not take full responsibility for their actions and emotions. “Be not hasty in the spirit to be angry for anger rests in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”  James 1:5

Anger is Not a Sin

As far as I know, there is no part of the Bible that states that anger is a sin. It’s how we react to anger that leads us into sin. Throughout the Bible, it warns us of the power of the tongue. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” Prov 15:1

“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words.” Prov 23:9

Holding onto the Fruits of the Spirit

Anger is a healthy emotion of expression as long as we understand how to handle it. However, in the Bible it states that we should walk with the fruits of the spirit which is: love, joy peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. Gal 5:22-23

Jesus also faced conflicts and opposition on a daily basis. Throughout His travels and teachings, He confronted others with truth and revelation. Jesus revealed his anger when the Pharisees turned the temple into the den of thieves. Jesus overturned the tables in the temple to express his anger towards greed used in the church. Matt 21:12-13

Taking Authority Over Anger Through the Holy Spirit

In our flesh, it is impossible to control anger. Our nature is to become defensive or revengeful, to prove ourselves or fight back. It’s so important to gain people’s acceptance, approval and respect for what we say or do. But, it takes true character and self-control to develop a tolerance level to dismiss anger, rage and frustration which can only be administered through the Holy Spirit.

“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

“I can do all things in Christ which strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Our flesh is constantly in war with the flesh. “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would. That do I not: but what I hate. That I do.” “For I know that in me that is, in my flesh dwells no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7: 15 and 17

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. 2 Corth 10:3

However, just as tempting it is to walk in the flesh. We do have the ability for control ourselves. “He who has knowledge spares his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise and he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Prov 17:27-28

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. Romans 8:6-7

Let God be the Contender of Your Battles

Many times, God wants to fight our battles if we will allow Him. We must not react so quickly to a negative situation before we have time to think. Many times reacting too quickly leads to a lifetime of regrets. “A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.” Prov 15:18

“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle. Set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you.” 2 Chron 20:17

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Prov 16:7

Taking a Look at the Man in the Mirror

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We cannot continue to blame others for failure to control our tempers. Pride gets in the way of truly being able to take an honest and healthy approach to the situation we face. We never want to admit that we could be wrong, but we are not perfect beings. Sometimes people are placed in our lives to allow us to take a deeper look at ourselves and reveal negative traits that we possess. “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Prov 16:18

There is always a chance that our situation, obstacle or conflict you face may be your own fault. However, it’s not about placing blame or feeling guilty but having the maturity, heart, and wisdom to receive correction. “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge]; but fools despise skillful and godly wisdom, instruction, and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkens unto counsel is wise.” Prov 12:15

“A fool despises his father’s instruction: but he that regards reproof is prudent.” Prov 15:5

Praying for Wisdom

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In the end, all circumstances and situations that we face need to be handled with wisdom. We need to respond and react in a Godly manner. We need the ability to discern the situations we face and handle with care. Meekness is often perceived as a weakness but it takes a man of great strength to stand in the midst of trouble in silence. Let us follow the example of Christ who when beaten, whipped and mocked but answered not a word. Matt 27: 12-31

“He that walks with the wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Prov 13:20

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened.”  Ephesians 1:17-18