Seeing opportunity in every difficulty
By Bill Holland
Moods are a very real part of our daily lives but also an area we need to discern carefully. We seldom think about human behavior and why we fall into certain attitudes but I believe it would be worth our time to examine our thoughts on a regular basis. The Bible and psychology has much to say about the ups and downs of our emotions and it’s critical to understand how our human nature can resist and oppose our relationship with God. The fine line between our mental impulses and our spiritual line of communication with the Lord are difficult to understand, however this battlefield of the mind has everything to do with whether God or our feelings are controlling us. Whether you are beaming with happiness today or walking around in a melancholy fog, may you embrace the Lord’s goodness and recognize His mercy and love is all around you. Yes, much of the world is saturated with hatred and confusion but there is always perfect peace in His presence. I enjoy taking long walks where I can quietly talk with Him. I know He loves us and wants us to live in His spiritual freedom. Have you ever been around people that were downcast and always negative about what they are doing and how bad their life is in general? If we allow our feelings to dictate us, our life is going to be a manic roller coaster that will prevent God from filling us with His consistent hope and joy. His desire is that we learn how to know the difference between His voice and all the other voices in the world including our own. Depression and discouragement is like being in a deep hole and as you look up to the sky, there seems to be no way out. Emotional negativity can come from being offended, disappointed, wounded, neglected, betrayed, deceived, and unappreciated just to name a few. I’ve been to the valley of despair and do not enjoy anything about being attacked with thoughts of failure and sadness. I realize that many have suffered a great deal, nonetheless Jesus has promised that He will help all those who call on Him. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” — Isaiah 41:10. “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” — Psalm 9:9. When we find ourselves in the valley of despair, the last thing we desire to do is to worship God, but praising and trusting Him is exactly what we need to do. There is no place so hopeless that God cannot deliver you! He is never distracted or too busy to hear your cries and there is no darkness where God’s light cannot find and save you! Jesus wants you and I to be filled with His confidence and reassurance but this includes ignoring the opinions of our emotions and embracing His truth. Be encouraged today in knowing that God desires to hold you in His arms of love but is waiting for you to trust Him. Yes, the three Hebrew children were in the fiery furnace but remember that Christ was also in there with them. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, while the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” We realize that life is filled with disappointments but we cannot remain curled up in a fetal position with the blanket over our head. After a season of prayer and receiving a more clear understanding, we are to arise, wash our face, put our armor back on and return to the battlefield in the faith that God will continue to heal, guide, and empower us. The apostle Paul wrote, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” — Galatians 5:1. This verse might sound confusing, but when a person is born again, they are delivered spiritually and are given the opportunity to be set free from mental and emotional deception. As Christians, let us remember our bodies and our minds are to be our servant not our master. We are an eternal spirit and have the opportunity to live victorious no matter how we feel or what is going on around us.