Are you afraid to be happy ? Have the experiences of the past two years or the past twenty or fifty years caused you to look at life through dark glasses?
Is your heart closed off or angry because it’s been hurt or betrayed by people who you trusted? Or are you just a born pessimist or skeptic or cynic?
If you’re naturally bent towards seeing the negatives, you are probably feeling pretty confident about your assessment of reality these days. You always knew things were going to turn out bad !
All the signs have pointed to the world becoming a dystopian nightmare for years and now it sure seems like we are only one step away from something terrible, right?
I bet it drives you nuts when anyone tries to point out that things are actually about the same as they have been. Look, they say, most people are still working , going to school, shopping, and even traveling and going to concerts and events.
Yes, but, you answer, there are restrictions and mandates and virtual meetings and what about Australia and Austria and Germany locking down again? Booster shots, myocarditis, threats of smallpox?!!
I get it! It’s hard for some of us to just ignore unscientific, conflicting data and seemingly unnecessary encroachments into our previously free lives. And who can look the other way at political ineptitude and corporate monopolies?
Who can be happy knowing what you know ?
It’s very upsetting to see just how quickly the entire world, minus a few countries, was forced to give up our rights to come and go as we please at least temporarily and to some places.
Many of us do not believe that the extreme response to the virus was warranted. We know that the majority of people who have died were over 75 or had other health problems.
We believe that normal safety precautions could have been used instead of economy-crashing, life-altering shutdowns.
We are not heartless or uncaring about those who were sick or died. But we believe that the shutdowns did too much damage and probably will result in undesirable permanent changes to the world.
All that being true, I think we have to try to refocus. It’s hard to do when there’s just so much going on, but our positive friends are right .
Step away from the keyboard. Delete some apps and turn off notifications. Unsubscribe from those emails bringing you frightening and outrageous information.
You will find that there is still a lot of normal stuff going on if you get out of your house and off your devices . Most businesses are reopened, most stores have full shelves, and the holiday season is coming.
The sun is still coming up and the birds and bees and flowers and trees are waiting for you to pay them a visit.
Put your phone on silent and in your pocket and have a face to face conversation with your mom or best friend or dog about anything but current events.
Watch a funny movie, read a great novel, bake a cake, sign up for a class or a marathon. Pick up your guitar or sketch pad. Make a list of things you want to do in the next month.
Take your mind off negative reality for awhile and focus on the positive things that are also real.
The bad things won’t get worse if you don’t obsess over them. It’s okay to keep living your life even when you can see that things could turn bad.
In fact, it’s your right and responsibility to take advantage of the freedom you hold so dear.
Not everyone is so lucky . Be thankful you’re alive.
Counting your blessings or looking for reasons to be grateful is not just for positive people anymore. It’s essential for everyone’s mental and spiritual health.
Even if you have excellent Bible knowledge and the gift of prophecy , you still don’t know the day or the time that Jesus is coming back . Anyone who claims to have that information is lying.
So , breath in, slowly let it out . Again.
Living in a chronically emotionally charged state is not healthy. It literally makes you more likely to get sick if you encounter a pathogen.
Jesus commands us to have faith. He has overcome the world system and the devil!
Being on high alert is a defense mechanism that we use to feel in control when life seems chaotic.
It’s not your fault if you’re feeling anxious , but God wants you to come to Him with your fears. It’s okay to feel sad. God knows.
Maybe your real life has been very difficult for a long time and COVID only made things worse. God is still able to give you supernatural peace in your spirit, even if your situation is not calm.
I understand how you feel. I’m not judging anyone for being negative or cynical or depressed.
I’m just offering you some hope . Real hope. Jesus is real and he gives life, peace, freedom, and healing. He is the light in the darkness. He’s also the King of Kings and a mighty warrior!
The Bible is a record of his actual life. He really lived on earth and he’s really in “heaven” right now ruling with God. And he’s really going to come back, defeat Satan, and create a perfect Kingdom for his children.
You can count on that truth !
Realistically Hopeful in a Depressing World episode 60 – Blue Skies and Green Pastures with Paula Adams
Ask Jesus to help you trust Him with your fears and anxiety over the things you can’t control or change or fix. He can help you be peaceful in a confusing and changing world.
Pray that He will show you the good things that you can participate in and find joy in . Look for where He is working and join with other believers in making the world a little better. There are a lot of good people out there doing good things in Jesus’ name .
Talk to someone if this all seems impossible. Get help if you can’t stop thinking about the things that are pulling you into depression, anger, or despair.
Life is still worth living in 2021! Let’s start a movement of people who know what’s going on , but refuse to stop living life. Don’t let the bad guys win.
There are support groups and counselors online that can help you change your thoughts and habits. Reach out . Your life is worth it.
I love your advice. Love it. Thank you, PK.
Not happy. Content. I’m ok with content. Happiness is something you chase. Content is just accepting what’s in front of you
Content is good. But I don’t want to confuse contentment with surrendering things I can still have control over, like actually going to church in person, going to visit family , or doing real things instead of virtual things.
Doing things virtually is like watching things on tv. You’re not actively participating…you’re passive. I don’t do passive
This is an excellent post and wonderful advice Paula. I’ve written about the same thing. When we bombard ourselves with bad news a lot, it turns us from joyful to fearful. I found a super peaceful farmhouse for vacation and the number 1 reason it is peaceful…no internet access! I was amazed at that I could focus on the activities that make me happy and Godly, just by not communicating and being communicated to for a week. Your advice about turning off notifications…my devices are permanently on “do not disturb” so I am not seeing the pop ups every minute. Really helps. ❤💛❤ Happy Sunday.
Oh, amen! Beautiful post, just what we need hear. Be “realistically hopeful, ” I like that. 🙂
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Thanks for sharing . All glory goes to God!
Amen! I wrote a post just today on one of my blogs about this subject.
Great! I’ll check it out.
[…] My last post about being hopeful in a depressing world seemed to speak to many people. The problem is that for many of us it can be difficult to switch from one mindset to another. […]
Anyone who is not a depressive is in willful denial of reality or just cannot see things clearly.
The bible supports this, I do believe.
Thanks for the comment. Yes, Jesus said I’m the world we will have trouble but that He has overcome the world , so we can look forward to seeing his Kingdom.
One thing we learned in Bible study is that in all situations, God is in control. So I don’t think it is any different now. Trust in the Lord. That doesn’t mean just sit back and do nothing, but while we are doing what we can to address whatever the situation is, we know that God has a plan and it is for the best.