– the psalms: people crying out to God with the full range of human emotion. Lost a loved one? Lonely? Angry with God? Confused? Despairing? Full of guilt? Thankful? Overwhelmed? Whatever you’re experiencing; it’s here. No edits and no air-brushing; just those who have walked this path before us and are taking it to God.
– praying for others. When I bring loved ones before the Lord, it changes my focus and takes me out of myself.
– forget what is behind: all of us have regrets – but Jesus died so they no longer rule us. However big or small, the death of God’s son means that everything is paid for: and every day is a new start
– reach to what is ahead: remember what our hope is in. It’s not X returning my call, it’s not the new car, it’s not the validation of friends, it’s not my health. It’s in the unshakable hope of the gospel: and nothing today or this week can shake it.
– talk back to your feelings. They do not define you. It’s okay to feel sad or shaken or frightened: but it’s not who I am.
– surround yourself with people who are joyful. Don’t gossip or compare yourself to others – and focus on the gifts that God has given you: from a cup of tea, to a smile from a stranger. Take time to thank Him and ask Him to open your eyes to more of His beauty.
– remember that joy is not the same as putting on a happy face or feeling ‘up’. It’s a deep sense of peace and thankfulness: and it’s something He can teach us all, whatever our temperament.