Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What to do when you're surrounded by sadness...

I've been surrounded by sadness lately--there has been an accumulation of losses this past year.  And it's so easy to get consumed by the sadness and just give yourself to it.  Sometimes I don't even realize I'm grieving until tears are just leaking out of my eyes and I don't even know why.  (A good sign that I'm not very in tune with my emotions.)  Or it can play out by just feeling exhausted all the time.  This time, it's like I can't even focus.  I'm trying to plan an event and I can't even remember the times or what I need to do next.  And when I get alone, tears leak out again.  Have you ever been there?  I know some people who struggle with even deeper depression or sadness.  For them, it's a constant battle...I can't even imagine how that feels.

What do you do when you're in that hard place?  Praise.  That's not something we normally think of doing when we're sad, depressed, or grieving.  God knew we'd be in those low places, so He gave us the antidote...

"Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of the lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name."  (Hebrews 13:5)

It won't be easy.  It's turning your mind from fixating on all your problems or losses to looking to God Almighty.  That's why it's called a sacrifice.  It's laying your "flesh" on the altar before God as a willing sacrifice.  It's opening your mouth wide as a grateful offering.  It's lifting your voice with words of praise and thanksgiving--all to glorify God.

Things may not change immediately.  But keep doing it--offer that sacrifice of praise.  It will bring a depth to your relationship with God you may have never experienced.  It's easy to praise God in the good times.  It becomes a sacrifice in the hard times.  But it's the axis which can change everything.

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