Proverbs 18:14 – The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
What a vicious cycle a person finds himself in when his spirit is crushed. He can’t see the light of day for all the clouds that fog his mind. His emotions are in turmoil. His reasoning is impaired. His thoughts are circular. And there seems to be no way back to the light.
William has been going through depression. He lost his job and can’t find another one. His life was mostly made up of his friends at work so he is now out of the circle. He doesn’t get out much. His weight has ballooned up. And every time he tries to start fresh something pulls him back down again.
In talking to him you can easily see how his reasoning has become circular. If you try to help him sort through things William easily comes back to reasons why that won’t work or how he has tried something similar and it didn’t help. As a friend, it gets frustrating to endure. So those who visit with him usually try to talk about something else. But no matter what topic you start, it always ends up back to Will’s troubles.
Most of us know someone like William. In fact, most of us can probably relate to Will in one way or another. When we are down in the dumps it is hard to get out. We get stuck in the muck and mire of our own making. Our circumstances can get us down but it is our attitude that either gets us stuck in a rut or helps us break out into the sunlight.
I have another friend who lost her job back in July for illogical reasons and unfair circumstances. But she has not allowed her problems and feelings to keep her down. In fact, she has used her time wisely to pray for others, study God’s word, and to work on losing weight. So far she has lost 60 pounds!
What is the difference between these two? One word: Attitude. One friend has let attitude dictate what he can and cannot accomplish. While the the other friend has determined that wonderful things can be accomplished in Christ.
The teacher writes, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” If it can be done, God can do it.
Joseph was a man whose circumstance seemed bleak. He was beaten and sold into slavery by his own brothers. He was falsely accused of rape by his master’s wife. He was imprisoned for several years before he was released. And when he rose to power he could have exacted revenge on everyone…especially his brothers. But this is what he told them before he died, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Joseph’s faith and attitude allowed him to look back on the dark pits of life and see the good that God can accomplish if we just trust and follow where he leads.
Dear Heavenly Father, There are days that seem dark and bleak. Help me to maintain my faith and an attitude of trust. I praise you for setting eternity in our hearts and showing us the might of your hand. Lift me up, give me strength. Give me the words to share with my friends that they too can find their way back into the light and that I may share the good news of Jesus. I come to you in prayer through the name of Jesus Christ, your son and my savior, Amen.
“Faith don’t come in a bushel basket, Missy. It come one step at a time. Decide to trust Him for one little thing today, and before you know it, you find out He’s so trustworthy you be putting your whole life in His hands.”
― Lynn Austin, Candle in the Darkness
“God alone knows exactly what you and I must endure in order to form His character in us. It is in our trials that God refines us and removes our impurities. Like refined gold, when we pass through our trials, people will see His perfect reflection in us.”
― Wendy Blight, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story