This chapter comes at a time of revelation for me. Seriously, I harbor anxiety during the week. The ONLY times I do not feel anxious…. Wednesday night (Worship team practice), Thursday night (my Ladies bible study) and Sunday (church). Make sense? Days of the week that I find myself totally enveloped in God.
Let’s talk our way through her seven good ways to get free of negative emotions….
1. Refuse to be anxious. I hate being anxious because it means I am not trusting God. I KNOW that God can do all things, but why do I still get so anxious sometimes. I need to post John 16:33 everywhere I look. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” I am less anxious and at peace when I spend more time with him. I need to remember not to be anxious about anything.
2. Refuse to be ruled by anger. I have one employee at work that I have the hardest time getting not getting angry at. Her voice grates my soul when she chooses to be argumentative with me. I am so quick to anger with her. For the most part, I am one of the least likely persons to get angry and hold on to it. This is one area that I am in need of major work… this situation with my employee.
3. Refuse to be dissatisfied. I feel that I do very well in this area. I have so many friends with so much more than we do, but I am really at peace with our situation in life.
4. Refuse to be envious. This kind of goes along with #3. I refuse to make myself miserable over what someone else has. If I was supposed to have something, God would provide it. The Joneses either have what they have because (a) God provided or (b) they are going to get themselves in trouble for being in over their head trying to keep up with someone else.
5. Refused to be depressed. I had to stop here. This is mine. It’s me at my worst. It’s sometimes very visible to others, but mostly it’s invisible to all but God, Satan and me. Satan loves to use it, too. It may be my current “thorn” in my flesh. When I catch myself, I begin reciting the first verse that comes to my head like a mantra… “I can do ALL things in Christ who strengthens me.” DEPART FROM ME, SATAN!
6. Refuse to be bitter. I try my very hardest not to be bitter. I try not to hold onto anger. I try not to let bad situations or bad people consume me. I’ve seen what it does to others, some that are very close to me. I can’t do that. God doesn’t want me to live with this. I just let it all go. It’s something I have had to learn, but I feel pretty confident I’ve beaten this one.
7. Refuse to be hopeless. I’ve felt hopelessness in the past. I never want to feel it again. I’ve banned it from my life. I felt hopeless up until the moment when Christ became my Savior. I refuse to feel that way ever again. Dear ones, don’t be consumed by hopelessness. My hope is in God. He loves me. He watches out for me. He does what is best for me. My hope is in Jesus Christ.
I love this last paragraph before her prayer…. “Negative emotions reveal doubt. If we thoroughly trust God, what do we have to be anxious about? Why would we be angry, dissatisfied, envious, depressed, bitter or hopeless? Yet we are all susceptible to experiencing these kinds of emotions at some time in our life. So don’t feel bad about having them, but don’t live with them either. Refuse to allow the ugliness of negative emotions to mar the beauty of life God has for you.” AMEN, sister! AMEN!