Feeling down is a hard condition to manage. Whether you are over-tired, mistreated, discouraged, or even struggling with depression – being on the “down side” is real.
Often a down season seems to last too long. It can even feel like a kind of death. Perhaps a death of better times, or of cheerful disposition, or of what you thought was a dependable relationship, etc.
When you are down, what do you do?
Preparing to Address Your “Down”
First, pause. You need to be present even when you are down. It doesn’t help to ignore, disregard, or run. Pretending doesn’t work, either. In fact, these can make things worse. When you are present, you become more aware, more honest. Then you can make a better next step.
After pausing to become present – pray. Ask God for help. Invite Him into your down time, no matter how long it has lasted. Open your heart to His presence and companionship. Jesus wants to help you.
In this place, you may become aware of noise in your soul. Voices that are not welcome. Messages that don’t belong. Memories of wounds. Threats against your inner peace. The next step – take up the peace of Christ. He gives it abundantly. “My peace I give to you.” (Jn. 14:27) Have you accepted His generous gift of peace?
You might ask – “How can I make His peace my own with all the noise I’ve discovered in my soul?”
It’s time to participate in the power of Jesus. The Bible says, “Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Is. 65:24) Jesus is already working on your behalf. Partner with Him. Trust Jesus to meet your needs. But – how does His power become your reality?
Purposefully plug into it. It’s like plugging a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer or power tool into a wall socket. The appliance simply will not start without plugging into the power source. The cord will not wiggle over to the wall socket and jump up into it. You need to pick it up, carry it to the power supply, and insert it. That’s what you do in your heart. Take yourself to God’s invitation and respond. Plug into the Lord and His promises. That takes participation and faith. The Bible says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6)
There is one more step: praise. In a down time, this is the last thing you may want to hear. But praise puts you in the place to receive from God. It prepares your perspective. Praise helps you practice “up” by faith from your heart. You may feel a little fake because praise doesn’t always represent your feelings. However, practicing praise by faith is very Scriptural. It lets you act on your faith in God even before your scenario changes . . . before you get out of down and into up. Praise actually opens the gates of Heaven even as it changes you into a stronger, more confident, joyful person.
Now – you can address your down condition.
An Interesting Story
In Mt. 9, a little girl was really down. In fact, she had died. The little girl’s daddy plugged into Jesus’ power by faith. He invited Christ into their “down” scenario. Jesus was about to show the “up” side of their down situation. But before helping the little girl, Jesus did something significant.
People were wailing and mourning. It was as if they didn’t have hope. That crowd also mocked Jesus’ observations about “up” and “down.” They created a distracting cacophony. So, Jesus cleared the room! He put the crowd outside, silenced the noisy messages, restored peace and calm. In the pause, He created holy space. Connection with God. Then, He created “up” for a little girl and her father again as the power of Jesus flowed with resurrection life.
Managing Your Down Times
Are you down these days? Do you need some up? Have you been listening to the noise inside your head rather than the calm strength of God’s voice? Have you disqualified yourself from a miracle of up? Why not clear the noise in your heart and focus only on Jesus. Get rid of unhelpful voices, messages, and memories. Do this by intentionally setting them aside. Let God’s messages flood your soul in the quiet, holy space. Be alone with Christ. Focus here.
There is nothing healthier for you in a down time than to follow these steps. They lead you directly to Jesus. He will lift you up, even if your down lingers. Down does not have to control you even if the feelings don’t lift. Jesus is Lord over down. He promised He will never leave you or forsake you as He lifts you back up. (Heb. 13:5).
So – resolve to practice the “P’s”.
- Pause to be Present.
- Peace of Christ (take it up as your own).
- Participate in the Power of Christ by –
- Purposefully Plugging into it.
- Practice Praise.
Then – clear the room!
Get rid of the noise.
Enter the holy space Jesus creates for you and Him –
– so you can be healed.
Check out my library and store for It’s Your Move: Strategies in Thinking From Romans. This book gives you daily, purpose-filled thoughts from God’s Word and a peek into God’s great heart and plan. Suddenly, new hope rises as you see more of His big picture.
All the books in my library make great Christmas gifts.