by Pastor Tim Burt
This morning I woke up tired. It was an exhausting week with little time to recuperate. I wanted to sleep in for just 30 minutes more, but didn't. I have a big day ahead and wanted to get my morning exercise in because I will be busy tonight and won't have the chance to get it in later. As I began my workout, my brain still felt asleep. My body was moving slow. It was even difficult to pray. Ever have a day like that?
When you wake up feeling great, it’s the greatest thing! You feel upbeat. Your outlook on life is bliss. Your personality feels engaged. You feel like you can conquer life. But when you wake up sluggish and can't seem to get going, it can be a tough beginning to a long day with your mind screaming to quit before you've hardly started! It’s for that very reason that I’ve learned the importance of taking authority over how I feel—in the morning or otherwise. .
If you’ve ever worked with someone who is moody from day-to-day—like an emotional roller-coaster, you know it’s not fun and it takes its toll. They can add emotionally draining drama to your day that can wear you out and bring you down. So why would you want to be one of those people?
Yeah, but I don’t want to be fake and have a smile plastered on my face when I feel like a snail under a rock! You may not, but I do! And I don’t consider it fake. I may wake up feeling less than exuberant, but I don’t want how I really feel to negatively impact everyone around me. And I really don't want to give voice to it like a negative whiny baby! Who wants to hear it? Who wants to impacted by it? It does no good and only increases more negative feelings. There might be that opportunity on occasion to talk through real problems and feelings with a trusted friend as long as they don’t become your dumping ground every time you see them. But other than that, to be an walking expression of getting up on the wrong side of the bed? It's not going to happen! I’m not bottling up the start-to-a-bad-day feelings. I am leaving them at the feet of Jesus as often as I need to.
Who can you share your feelings with and who will listen to you? The Lord will and he won’t disappoint you. He’ll listen to your every word. But then He’ll ask you to listen to His words. He will want to lead you away from all the drama and instead, have you cast your cares upon Him in faith. He’ll ask you to take His promises deep in your heart by faith. Why? Because He cares for you! He knows His promises are more than just words. They have the power to give instant hope and life! They have the ability to turn your feelings around on a dime when you receive them by faith. AND He is the only one that really can care for you! As 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.” Just that statement should make you feel better.
In Isaiah 61:3, God says to “put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Take authority over your feelings if they’re negative. Put on that garment of praise instead and just begin to praise Him! Think of His love for you! If you start there, put a smile on your face, and let your light shine, AND if you’ll take things one step at a time, trusting the Lord to lead you and help you at every point, your feelings will improve and so will you and your day!
I recently observed a young man who received news that he was being laid off from his job. He has a wife and young children and they were expecting another. Through the process of his last weeks on the job, he kept his feelings in check, put a smile on his face, and expressed his gratitude to those that had employed him. He expressed to them, his confidence in God being there for him and helping him gain new employment. Now this young man is just like you or I. He had big challenges facing him. It could have been tormenting and he could have walked around mad and angry, or with a face like a sad-sack. He didn’t. He put his feelings in check, a smile on his face, and put his words of faith out there before others. He prayed through every fear that rose up—instead recasting those cares before the Lord. A funny thing happened. Before he was let go, they decided to keep his job and him. They rethought their laying him off and decided they couldn't let such a quality individual go! He had passed this present test of life before man and God. I was so proud of him.
Let's take a lesson from him and forget about how we feel as we start our day! Why don't we declare how we are going to feel and lay our cares at the feet of the Lord! He cares for us!
Isaiah 61:3 To all who mourn…He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for His own glory.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt