Today I could not get a statement out of my mind from a teacher whom I respect greatly. He said, "It's okay to not be okay, but it's not okay to stay there." My day had started out a bit rocky, so I was not in the best of spirits. Then I heard that statement–the jolt I needed to not let me ruin the morning or the upcoming hours of the day. The hard part about the statement "it's okay to not be okay, but it's not okay to stay there" is that the decision lies in my court. Do I choose to stay in a funk, full of pity, or do I forge ahead, press into Jesus, and pull out of the valley? I then started thinking about Set Me Free Ministries and how the desire of the ministry is to encourage, provide hope, and walk alongside of you no matter what your circumstance. Set Me Free provides an avenue to help you "not stay there" when you hit a rough spot.
So where are you today? Are you okay? Are you finding joy, peace, and hope as you walk through life? Or is there something that is dragging you down or maybe something that is holding you hostage from the life God planned for you? Life throws us all daily challenges and curves. Perhaps you're thrown as a result of strained relationships, or maybe the curve is something as simple as a glitch in your normal routine that sent everyone into a tailspin. You may not be okay because of a poor choice or maybe because you have been in denial about a problem that needs to be addressed. Sometimes we are dealt tough circumstances that overwhelm us.
As we face our daily battles on this earthly walk, 2 John instructs us that we must have lives that are rooted in truth and love. Let's start with truth. The one and only truth we can wholly depend on every day is God's Truth–the Bible. For years I have thought of the Bible as a love letter from God to me. I don't know about you, but when I receive a love letter, I cherish and treasure every word! Those words impact me and build me up. I trust the words in the letter to be true. The Bible, a love letter given to us from God, is 100 percent perfect and true and written just for you. Trust in those words. Read them often; seek them for comfort, guidance, hope, and direction. Allow God's truth to take hold of your life and direct your steps and decisions. Once we are following and trusting in Truth (the Bible), we can begin to retake control of our day no matter what it presents.
As we stick to the truths of the Bible, full hearts just happen! We naturally begin to live out truth in love. Our attitudes and actions are transformed. You see, truth and love are inseparable in the life of a follower of Christ. When we choose Jesus and His truths to guide our days, we cannot lose. Love is the by-product!
Here are a couple of other tips that may help you as you move to a life that is motivated by the statement "It's okay to not be okay, but it's not okay to stay there."
1. Surround yourself with a support system of people of God. Those people will pray for you, hold you accountable to live in truth, and love you for who you are no matter what!
2. Trust God's truths and accept His love regardless of your doubts.
3. Whenever possible, express love to others so they can hear the truth and witness it firsthand. Love is a key conveyor of truth. After you share love with someone else, you are left with a full heart. Living out truth in love is an act of obedience. Obedience leads to abundance. Abundant hearts are joyful hearts. God's desire for you is to be full of joy!
4. When you feel your day begin to spin out of control, remember that you have a secret weapon–a love letter from Jesus. Seek truth from those words and take control of your life.
5. Commit to this verse from Ephesians as a goal for your life every day no matter what! "We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ." (Eph. 4:15; New Living Translation)
In closing, here is something the consider: Are you putting your faith and trust in the Lord? Some people seem to trust God with their eternal salvation, but they have trouble trusting Him for their everyday lives. Take comfort from these words of scripture. You can trust God with your needs today! Remember, it is the first step to being okay!
Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding."
Psalm 91:2: "This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety."
Psalm 18:2: "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety."
Oh, by the way. My day ended up to be pretty good. This was my facebook status last night: "Thankful for a relaxed and great Sunday! Started with awesome worship and reminders about truth and love–followed by lots of gardening, a dip in the pool, fish on the grill, ping pong, and now Downton Abbey."