Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Choosing Happiness

      I am having one of those days where I awoke with a little dark cloud over my head.  This is rare for me.  I am a very optimistic and resilient person, and it takes a lot to knock me down even for a little while.  But one thing after another has challenged me lately, and while none of it is overwhelming in itself I feel my peace being nibbled away.  The last straw has been this barking, exhausting cough I have now after a week of fighting an allergy/cold thingy. It hard to even sleep well.
 
     The Enemy of my soul knows that when I am physically weak it makes it harder to maintain strength in the rest of myself.  We are Body, Soul and Spirit--all in one--not in separate compartments.  Just like the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we cannot separate one part of ourselves from the rest. Each entity directly affects the others.  So the "little foxes" are nibbling away at my optimism, telling me that my hopes and dreams will never come true.  That everything I work so hard for is for nothing.  That I have no place to turn to for help.  That nothing will ever make it better.  When it rains, it pours.  Nibble, nibble, nibble...first on my body, and now on my soul.  Nibbling away at the tender things of my heart. 

      My Soul is made up of my Mind (Intellect) and my Emotions ("Feelings").  They are wrapped up tightly in each other, and yet they, too, are separate entities.  I used to think they were one and the same.  I used to let my thoughts be taken wherever my emotions led them.  One day I would be on top of the world; the next day would find me in the pits.  Life was a roller coaster, and I never knew what was around the corner.  But I actually remember the moment God spoke to me, from deep within myself, with words that I know I could never have invented myself, because I never knew it before that moment.
     "I gave you a Mind to think with--not your Emotions.  Use your Brain to make decisions--not your Feelings." 
      That may sound like common sense to you, but it was a real life-changing revelation to me.  And I have never forgotten it.  So now, on days like today, I have decided to use my Mind, and not my Emotions, to make the Decision to be happy.  Rather than wait for happiness to return, all on it's own by it's own fleeting whim,  I will seize by choice. 
      I have given myself a little while to be sad, to let the feelings out, and to stew in my own self-pity.  But I only allow that for a bit, and I will not allow it to grow, unchecked, into a monster.  I really do loathe self-pity, so I only allow it to squeeze itself out, like a lanced boil, and then I attack it immediately with healing medicine.  That medicine is made up of regular applications of equal amounts of (1) Gratitude to God, and (2) Trust in His promises. 


       So today I am thanking my Lord out loud for His wonderful love, His mercies which endure forever, and His faithfulness and power on behalf of those who take shelter under His wings.  I am reminding myself of how He has always answered every prayer in the past, and that He will never let me down in the future.  And I am reciting the promises I read in His word; promises that He will rebuke the Devourer for my sake. (Mal. 3:11)  That if I ask ANYTHING in Jesus' name, He will do it.  (John 14:14)  And that "All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose." (Rom 8:28)
     And I remind myself of something else God once told me about this life on earth.  "This is a test.  This is ONLY a test!"  I look forward to each and every test as an opportunity to learn and grow, and to show the Enemy that my Father God in heaven is Mighty on behalf of his children.  Every fiery dart the evil one shoots at me will be seized and used as a sword to defeat him, by God's grace and power. 

      "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (II Cor 10:3-5)

      This is simply a battle of the mind: Who will I believe--the Evil One who whispers discouraging lies, or My heavenly Father who loves me with such great tenderness? The fleeting discouraging feelings of the morning are nothing but a minor skirmish; a ripple on the waters.  My Father's truths, spoken out loud in faith, send every dark spirit running for cover!  I have to laugh at the thought of it.  In fact, I plan on doing a lot of that today. 


     
      

4 comments:

  1. Making the decision to be happy- I've had to remind myself of this so often. I don't know how many times I've caught myself starting to snap those nearest and dearest to me because circumstances had put me in a fowl mood. I've had to learn (and this is definitely a work in progress) that I can't control circumstances, but I can choose how I will react to those circumstances.
    Whatever it is that's had you down, Linda, please know that I'm so glad to have found your blog, and you are a blessing to me and so many others.

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    1. That is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said. Thank you for blessing me, Kimberly!

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  2. A timely blog for me today "Choosing Happiness"....let it be.

    j9

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    1. Yes, I know you are suffering right now, missing your beloved dog, Zuzu. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Time does make it better, as we both know, but we can only embrace the grief at first. Love, Linda

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