5×5: 5 Sources of Joy in God/How to Not Be Sad

Lots of people feel depressed these days. I am a very “rollercoaster emotions” kind of guy, and I’ve definitely had seasons of feeling blue. But I’ve also had seasons of joy. Here are five biblical cures for depression/sadness/bad feelings.

#1: God’s Word

Of course, Scripture is at the very top of the list. It’s totally the Sunday-School answer. Many of you have probably already heard the verse “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, ESV) Scripture was written to be our go-to-guide for everything, and we should never forget to look for joy in its pages and truth instead of in the labyrinth of mixed ideas that the world offers. What do I mean? One example can be found in my Google searches; do I type “how to be happy,” or do I admit that only God has the answer and pick up a Bible? I really need to work on trusting God for joy in His Word and the truths found in it.

#2: God’s Creation

Often, when I’m sad about something, I just take a walk or go for a bike ride! Being outdoors in the beautiful and refreshing Creation of God is wonderful. Here are a few ways to get outside any time of the year:

  • Take a walk around the block, up the road, or even just around your house.
  • Do some outdoor chores, like mowing, weeding, raking, or shoveling.
  • In the winter, go outside with full snow gear on, and just lay down in the snow and watch the clouds go by. It’s actually really relaxing.
  • Play outside with your kids or siblings or friends or people.

Sometimes the only reason we’re sad is because we don’t have enough sun. And that’s why it’s not good to rely on your emotions too heavily. But I’m no champion on that one…

#3: God’s People

The People of God, the Church, is a body. We need each other. Sometimes when you’re sad, you just need to get in contact with a good friend and share what’s going on. Often, the simple act of sharing puts you at ease, but if it’s deeper, they can talk with you about whatever is making you lose your joy. Christians are not individuals, but parts.

#4: God’s Rest

God had a Sabbath for a reason (he didn’t need to rest, he was showing us what we were to do), and just because the Levitical law has been fulfilled does not mean we should throw out the Sabbath. I think all of us can admit a day of rest is always nice. And it doesn’t have to be Sunday. It could be Saturday or Monday. By the way, Henry Ford invented the five-day work-week. I think that’s kind of freeing to consider. If we took a whole day to truly rest, we would have a better chance at working six days. Fatigue can often sprout into sadness, so keep your body energized and it will do your heart good.

#5: God’s Fun

I’ve listened to enough cutesy mega-church Pastors preaching to know that Christians can have fun. And God wants you to have fun. If your fun levels are running low, your happy level can often follow. So have fun!

True joy will only ever come from God. Go straight to Him and make no other stops. (I really struggle with this myself.)

I hope this little list helps you grab hold of the joy you have in Christ.

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-LeviGrant

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