Monday Motivation #1
Uh-oh. Yesterday I felt fabulous. My mood was up, up, up in the stratosphere. That usually means that the next day will be not as good. Yesterday I felt like I could do no wrong. Today I am second-guessing myself and my motivations.
Yesterday I had a wonderful idea of a motivational article that finds joy in scripture. I would call it “Motivation Monday.” Every Monday I would find some joy in the scriptures to start the week off right.
Today it doesn’t seem like a great idea.
I am struggling to start digging into scripture.
Does the enemy know that I will find strength there?
We are told to rejoice in spite of difficulty. We will start today with a prayer:
“Lord, I am having trouble today. Please comfort me and be with me. Your word says, ‘Where I am weak, He is strong.’ I feel very weak today. As I read your scripture, please show me your might and your strength. Praise your name. In Jesus name, Amen.”
I pulled up Bible Gateway and I did a random search for the word “joy.” That’s what I need right now. What does the Bible say about joy?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…— Galatians 5:22 (NLT)
I definitely want more fruits of the Spirit. I want the fruits I already have to be bigger and more apparent to others.
You will know them by their fruits…— Matthew 7:16 (NKJV)
In this verse, Jesus is speaking of false profits and how to identify them. But I don’t want to be seen as a false profit, either. I want my words and testimony to ring true in my actions—my fruit.
To make your fruit bigger and more apparent, you will have to be pruned. Pruning is painful.
I stop right now and I thank God for my hardship and the way I’m feeling now. I know that God wishes all things for my good. Even when I don’t understand it, I thank Him.
I know that there are others in the world that have it harder than I do. I thank you for all the things you have given me.
Praising when you don’t feel like it
Let’s go back to our scripture about “joy.” I’m still not there yet. The above trail of thought made me feel guilty. I should feel joy. Why don’t I feel joy? What are you trying to tell me, God?
The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.— Psalm 22:26 (NLT)
That sounds good to me. I am poor. I want to eat and be satisfied. I am seeking the Lord. I praise Him even when I don’t feel like it. Maybe because I don’t feel like it.
If I praise when I don’t feel like, will it bring joy? I like the sound of that “everlasting joy.” Give me some of that, please!
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.– Psalm 28:7 (NLT)
I know that he shields me from harm. I have been shielded once that I am aware of, and I have a home. I am not on the street. How many other dangers have I been shielded from?
Yes, I feel a bit more comfort. “Burst out in songs?” I’m not there yet, Lord.
I earned more from my writing this month than the month before. That is a bit encouraging and gives me the strength to continue, but boundless joy? Reason to sing?
Maybe that reason is still coming and I am still waiting. I wait for you, God.
What about my mood today?
Joy comes in the morning
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.– Psalm 30:5 (NLT)
Have you ever felt like God was mad at you? He probably was not, but even if he were, it would have been a fleeting thing. That makes me feel more at ease. I am ready for dawn to come, Lord.
Will morning come here on Earth, or later in heaven? I know, religious scholars have debated that. Who am I to have the answer? The answer is “later.” We will not worry about the “when.” Our only job is to wait.
And so I wait. I will find out when God wants to reveal it.
I am currently in the night. Joy will come when it comes. I live by God’s will.
Huh, I kinda feel a bit better. Maybe admitting that it is out of my hands prevents me from feeling too anxious about it.
King David was a pretty happy person. My search for “joy” in scripture is pulling up a lot of Psalms. That book is attributed to King David and his musicians. There is a lot of “joy” there—a lot of scriptures. But as I’m reading them, I’m not feeling the joy.
Maybe I should switch search terms. Let’s try “laughter.”
Sadness has a refining influence
A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born. Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.– Ecclesiastes 7:1-3 (NLT)
Wow, that’s a deep one. It popped up with the word “laughter,” but it is talking about the opposite. This verse is a bit sobering. I can be grateful that I am not dead, at least.
That makes the depression seem a bit silly. Why spend any time on it? The clock is ticking.
I do want to be more refined, but do I want to go to more funerals to get it? Is depression/anxiety/struggle also refining? I think I am becoming a stronger person. Maybe a bit more jaded and cynical.
Now my depression is turning to a bit of anger.
Anything is better than depression—depression makes you not want to do anything. Anger is the fuel to make something happen.
What does the Bible say about “depression?”
Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.– Psalm 143:7 (NLT)
Now this is interesting. This one is also in Psalms. The same guy who wrote so many verses about joy is here writing about depression. King David also got depressed.
If we read more Psalms after this, they turn back to joy. The deep darkness eventually turns to joy for the author.
My darkness will eventually end. It will eventually turn to joy.
I will wait for that day.
I thought I needed “joy” when I started the reading of the scripture today. I actually needed “strength” and “endurance.”
Keep fighting the fight.
Hold your head up.
You can do this.
As I read this through a second time, I felt some peace. I think that’s what God ultimately wants. Feel peace in the storm. Life’s not all right, but I’m all right. Now I can smile. It’s not “joy,” but it’s a start. Thank you, God.