Saturday, December 1, 2012

10 Things to Do With A Tough Week

Ever have a day or a week where you feel like giving up? Here are a few ideas to help you through.

1. Don't react. Making big decisions or engaging in confrontation when you are at a very low point (or a very high point) is not wise. Wait until you have a clear and peaceful heart and mind.

2. Get your peace back. Pray, listen to others, rest, whatever you have to do to get your peace back. This doesn't solve your situation but it makes it much more likely you will be able to solve it. Some situations are unsolvable, but God offers us peace no matter the circumstance. Peace that passes understanding. Peace that guards our hearts and minds in Christ. Many of the Psalms are written in total distress but by the end of the Psalm the Psalmist is back praising God and resting in Him. Sometimes writing out your prayers (like the Psalmist who is pouring out their heart in writing the Psalm) is a powerful way to get your peace back. Sometimes we need to vent a bit before God before we let Him give us peace. We don't want to short circuit the process of being frustrated or grieving by ignoring or just pretending everything is fine; but we also need to work through it so we don't get stuck in it.

3. Find wise counsellors. Find some people who are careful with what they say. Who listen and care. Who will speak the hard truth to you. The best counsellor is God and His word. Be willing and open to hear what you don't want to fact, ask yourself what it is that you are purposefully not thinking about, what truth are you avoiding/missing?

4. Get some sleep and get healthy. Often our perspective changes a lot when we simply get healthy and strong again. Sleep has a powerful effect on our ability to mentally and emotionally handle what we are facing. It's amazing what an hour, a day, a week can do.

5. Look for a miracle. God often places little encouragements along our difficult path to remind us He is with us and has a plan in the midst of it all. He doesn't very often answer our prayers in these times the way we would like but we need to remember He has an even better plan than the one we do even though at times this is unimaginable. Tracing God's hand helps us trust Him in the dark.

6. Be careful what comes out of your mouth. In Psalm 73 the Psalmist is gong through a dark time but thankfully he does not speak out the garbage in his heart to anyone but God. Sometimes we are giving out poison and hurting others but spewing out our junk on them. Be careful.

7. Do the right thing even though everything in you is screaming to do something else. If you are unsure of the right thing use the "love test". Read 1 Cor. 13 and see if it passes the love test.

8. Remember that others are going through these things to. Get around people who have faced similar challenges and overcome them.

9. Pray something like this. "God I cannot see the way out now, but I am trusting that you will make a way and that a week from now (or a month or a year) I will look back and see how you orchestrated this so that it turned out for my good and your glory."

10. Keep moving forward. Deal with things as they arise. Move into the problems, don't just let them fester. Move slowly and deliberately but keep moving. Don't get stuck. Take a step, evaluate...take another step, evaluate...etc.