When it rains, it pours. Get in the habit of fighting stress spiritually. Really. Otherwise, it’s always going to be a downhill battle. Get in the habit of greeting every test with scripture. I have several on the tip of my tongue, at the wise counsel of my parents’ years ago. In terms of spiritual warfare, David Jeremiah once said the Bible is an arsenal of weapons, verses are swords to be used in times of trial. What, after all, did Jesus do when Satan tempted him in the wilderness? He responded by quoting scripture to the evil one.
My favorite is “Rejoice in everything.” (Philippians 4:4) I mean, this one will have me smiling in the midst of some really bad stuff, because of its hilarity in my situation if nothing else.
- Rejoice at the prospect of rinsing the third pair of grossly filled training pants that my toddler has produced in the last 24 hrs?
- Rejoice that my husband sold his best rifle with its scope and bipod just in time to pay the $500 deductible on my latest attack on our vehicle? (I went 11 years of marriage not even having a speeding ticket and in the last 2 years I’ve been at fault for 2 minor and 1 major repair jobs to our Suburban).
In past years, my mantra “Be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6) kept me sane through our 5 years of self-employment, where we didn’t even have the luxury of living paycheck to paycheck…more like project to project as we tried to live off of income that needed to go back into a brand new enterprise. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6) was another one I thought of often during those lean years. I’m still working on the contentment, but I’ve gained a lot of ground! And I’m so good at not being anxious now, that I’ve moved on to trying to find reason to rejoice—no matter what.
When times get tough, Christians need to be prepared. Have 5 or more promises or directives from scripture and be really familiar with them. This simple strategy is a powerful way to draw on God’s strength when you’re at your weakest. Little things here and there don’t get me down, big things by themselves just kick me into faith-mode, but the little things piling up…that’s where I struggle. Yet God says to “Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials.” (James 1:2) Consider it joy. Rejoice always.
We’ve been on a roller-coaster health trip the past two weeks. Sleep hasn’t been good. Money’s been tight. Dh has been selling things dear to him. Yesterday he had me advertise our registered paint mare that we bought in our newlywed days…great bloodlines, great kid horse—exactly the kind you don’t want to sell. But alfalfa and prairie hay are triple what they cost last year, thanks to the drought. We’re horse poor with our little herd. Property taxes are due, and our state is a killer for taxes. Christmas is around the corner. My dishwasher bit the dust. Last night I backed into a guard rail hard enough to cause hundreds of dollars of damage to our vehicle. That was the last straw and I didn’t even realize it till I was telling my parents about it. All of the sudden, here I am crying because my husband is selling things to help us pay our debt, and I cause him more debt. Of course, he’s an angel to me, glad no one was hurt, etc.
Rejoice! These are only the momentary afflictions of my human life here on earth. I have a Savior, a future and a hope. My husband and children are saved. We have a wonderful Bible-teaching church. I am surrounded by the best of family, with only one out of state “branch”. Me and mine are in great health considering. We have a home. We have vehicles. I like hand-washing dishes in winter!
Can you ‘rejoice in everything’ with me?
What better gift to give our Savior this Christmas, than the sacrifice of praise?