There are some quips and quotes that produce a downward spiral of our inner joy and happiness. Although the reality is that the words may summarize the situation, they still leave a bitter impact on the mental and emotional well-being of the person who embraces these counterproductive statements. Let’s explore a couple of examples:
- “Good karma versus Bad karma.” If you are kind and do good, then good things will happen to you. But if you do bad things, then you will get back worse than you’ve given out.
- “Bad things happen to good people.” Because our perception of what constitutes “bad” differs from our life experience, I will only give one example of a tragic event. We can certainly agree that the premature death of a baby or child ranks as one of the highest on the list of bad things.
The reality is that both of these statements can easily be disproven. “Good karma versus Bad karma.” We have been given an innate drive to provide for our basic needs. So if a child never had enough to eat and learned that stealing was a method to diminish hunger, then certainly their perception of stealing is that it is a vital part of life. These children mature into adults with a skewed value system. As we differ, so do our definitions of “bad and good.” But the reality is that suffering impacts all of us.
“Bad things happen to good people.” Tragic events happen to everyone and are not dependent upon our good or bad character traits, personality, ethnicity, social, or financial status. Death is one of the cruelest events that humanity faces every day, and death is no respecter of persons.
How Negative Thoughts Are Ruining Your Life
“Whilst we know that a person’s genetics and life circumstances contribute to mental health problems, the results from this study showed that traumatic life events are the main reason people suffer from anxiety and depression. However, the way a person thinks about, and deals with, stressful events is as much an indicator of the level of stress and anxiety they feel,” said lead researcher Peter Kinderman, Head of the Institute of Psychology, Health, and Society. psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compassion-matters/201408/how-negative-thoughts-are-ruining-your-life
“Don’t say things like that!” “Why would you say that?” “That was really a terrible thing to say.” Have you ever been told that something you said was inappropriate? It was not a slip of the tongue, nor was it based on an emotional response. Your innermost thoughts that were hidden in the deepest recesses of your mind finally erupted like a volcano. The vicissitudes (a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant) of life will make us better or bitter. Focusing on our circumstances produces anxiety and worry, which cancels our Faith in God.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. Psalm 103:1-2 NLT
For those who are following my blog, you are aware that I place a lot of emphasis on studying the Bible and maintaining constant communication with God through prayer. The Bible provides the way and the means for us to live a faith-based life. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15. And prayer is so vital that we are admonished to always pray, whether in times of peace and prosperity or turbulence and poverty.
Believers in the Most-High God, this is the expectation that God has for us:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
There is something that I love about the Bible; there are no secrets. No, we do not know the date that Jesus is coming again or the cause of the Apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Nor has the physical appearance been described when the righteous receive immortality at the Second Coming of Christ. Still, the Bible is a complete guide to living a victorious life as Overcomers!
The scriptures reveal the tribulations that we must face in our earthly journey:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 3:3-5
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19
The trials that I have suffered have been harsh, and if it were not for my faith in God, I probably would be institutionalized from a severe psychiatric disorder. But I am not! God delivered me and gave me complete mental and emotional healing, and I am sure that in those tribulations, my faith was only the size of a mustard seed.
The book of Job tells us of the extreme, harsh sufferings that Job, a righteous man, endured because Satan challenged God that Job only served Him because of his wealth.
9 Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” 12 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence. Job 1:9-12
The “wall of protection” is a gift from God that we have, or Satan would cause a continuous flow of tragic events, including death, to destroy the Believers in God. While we are blinded by our circumstances, the army of angels are protecting us, For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; Psalm 91:11.
In studying the Bible, I have never found a command for self-help in the “good or bad” times. We are admonished to have love, faith, trust, and obedience in God. Yes, we will cry many tears because of the hardships in our lives. Even so, I have learned to cry and pray at the same time. While the tears are flowing, I begin to feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and my prayer of distress becomes a prayer of thanksgiving and praise.
Human effort is required to remain joyful! Trust in God’s process because our times of struggle will produce necessary spiritual growth and development. After all, what is the purpose of faithfully serving God? We are eagerly awaiting our reward of Eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or discouragement. You can do much to brighten the life of others and strengthen their efforts, by words of hope and holy cheer. Steps to Christ 119, 120. Ellen G. White
God’s promise to His Believers:
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3
Bible Reading: Psalm 91
God, we thank you for providing for us and for guiding us through the vicissitudes of life. We ask forgiveness for our lack of faith, focusing on our circumstances and thinking and saying negative words. We desire to live with a spirit of gratitude. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.