Sometimes the days go by so perfectly that it feels like the moments of comfort and joy have no end. Even the mundane duties work out to our ideals— we wake up on time, we meet our deadlines— and feel so grateful to God for all the blessings that He has given us.
All of a sudden something happens— it could be something simple like a mistake, an uncontrollable circumstance like the weather or a colleague’s plan to ruin us— and it invalidates our perception of the blessings we recently experienced.
Whatever happened made it difficult to look forward to upcoming days as each moment is a reminder of the pain we felt. We don’t want to be alone because the silence is deafening and our thoughts keep reminding us of the blows that shattered our bones and weakened our muscles. We want to let go of the thoughts and the feelings, but they stay, they linger, and we have no idea of how to deal with the pain.
A wave of sadness filled my heart in the past and apparently these waves of negativity don’t stop. Gloom entered my mind and my heart yet again but the good thing about this occurrence is that I was able to handle the anxiety better. I still need a lot of work on handling my emotions and negative thinking, but I say progress is good even if it’s just baby steps.
The silver lining in this experience is that I learned something. My takeaway from this state of broken-heartedness is that our emotions are affected by our priorities.
If our priority is money, then earning more money will give us happiness and losing money can cause sadness. If our priority is getting things, then obtaining physical gifts will make us happy, losing or being denied things will make us sad. If we prioritise attention—for example, getting likes in social media— then getting noticed makes us happy, and being ignored makes us sad.
I could go on and on. The bottom line is, our priorities can determine the outcome of our emotions. If we learn how to set our priorities right, then we could have the ability to manage our thoughts and emotions.
The Bible says,
New International Version (NIV)
29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Instead of prioritising the things of this world that cause condemnation and depression, seek Jesus. Let’s make Jesus our priority.
Don’t buy the misconception that prioritising Jesus means you need to abandon your job and connections. Prioritising Jesus could mean anything and to be honest, I don’t think anyone could predict what God would ask of you. God could ask you to be the best at your job or win your friends over to Jesus. Who knows?
Whatever task God asks you to complete will be between you and Him. It’s personal, and what I strongly believe is, if we decide to seek God’s will in our lives, we already took the first step to success.
Another misconception is that seeking God will always lead to victory, success, comfort and pleasure. Technically, this statement is true because everything that happens to us— both the negative and positive— is for our good if we look at our circumstances through God’s eyes. However, we see things through the eyes of men, and when we look at a Christian’s life we definitely see heartaches, struggles and suffering which we often perceive as failures. The Bible says,
New International Version (NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Seeking Jesus doesn’t mean we will have a life of endless pleasure and comfort since God allows us to go through challenges to develop our character. The trials that we face have purpose, and we should be grateful for the obstacles we face because it is for our gain.
In line with this, prioritising God can give us the ability to rejoice in difficult times because we know that it is all part of His marvellous plan in our lives.
Can we be happy all the time? I guess not. However, if we prioritise the things of God we will gain wisdom that will enable us to thrive in this challenging, condemning and depressing world. We should remember that God will not give us a trial that we cannot handle, and He will be with us through all our struggles. Let’s set our priorities straight and seek Jesus first.