Have you ever had a pity party? Oh, come on, sure you have. They are pretty depressing and lonely, huh? Unfortunately, no one gets the invitation except for you. Of course there are many activities at the party: depression, worry, sadness, gloom, loneliness, poor attitude. It's not the ideal party in which to attend but it is indeed a real party with real feelings. We stuff ourselves with negative feelings and thoughts that nothing could be worse and nothing is going right. However, we know that not to be true. Anyone who has Jesus as his/her Savior has everything he/she needs!! Isn't that right?!
What causes a pity party to start? Is it not focus on ourselves? It is not from comparing what we have in regards to what others have? Is it not focus on what we don't have instead of what we DO have? Is it a symptom of being in the pit, in the valley, in the trial of your life? I do not belittle times of deep depression, fear, worry, sense of hopelessness. Trust me, these are true and real feelings and our God knows these are not frivolous and selfish feelings but rather it is what the depths of our hearts feel. Life is hard and we will suffer trials. You know me, I can't say the word trial without referencing what my beautiful James tells us in 1:2...consider it pure joy, my brothers [and sisters :-)] when you face trials of many kinds. I tend to misquote James by saying "suffer" instead of "face". I guess my mind and heart sees the trials as very painful and hard; therefore, it is suffering. But really we should face them head on and not consider it suffering because we know we are growing more like Christ through each one.
Back to the pity party...as I reflect on the pity party I wanted to throw for myself today, I pondered how selfish is that? What is that saying about my Lord? A pity party is looking down on what we don't have or what terrible things we are enduring. That is not the attitude of Christ. That is not a cheerful and thankful heart. I cannot escape the feelings I have as they are real. Just as you can't escape the feelings you may have whether it be financial troubles, heartache, loss, depression, loneliness, worry, fear, physical pains. Those are real and we must recognize their existence but we must also put them in their proper place....and that is at the feet of Jesus! Our precious Redeemer, Healer, Comforter, Provider, Physician, Teacher, Lover, Friend, Counselor, Father, King. He is our everything.
I do not want to take anything away from Him so I want to throw away my pity party hat and put on my praise hat...praising Jesus for what He has done, is doing, and WILL do. He has provided abundantly more than all we ask or imagine. Ephesians 3:20. And He will continue to do that. He will knock our socks off if we only give Him a chance to do so. We must also take off our pity party hat so that we can SEE when He's blessing us. The pity party hat is a hindrance to fully see Jesus in our lives as He rightfully should be seen. I am amazed at what/how my Lord has spoken to me today. He has used three of His children to remind lonely ol' me, that HE is there. Who knows what else He might do during the rest of this day. I can attest that the pity party hat I wore this morning is gone as He has shown me His love by His servants contacting me. We have to look for His blessings and I indeed do see these three acts as blessings God provided to lift my spirits, refocus my mind, and give me the perspective to toss that pity hat aside. Does that mean I'll never attempt to put it back on? Absolutely not. Ya know, I AM human and do fail in my thoughts (and actions) but I always strive to give God honor and one way is to toss that hat right off my head! (I'm thinking of a song...but can't place it...can you? Help me. Actually, I think it's an old commercial...maybe shampoo. Let me know.)
So, won't you leave your pity party (if you are attending one) and join me in my praise party...praising Jesus for His ever-present, undying love and compassion for us. It is because of that love that I want to not focus on the suffering, the trials, the dips and turns of life, and honor Him with my attention, devotion, and love. That is the whole purpose for my being...for all of us! Every breath I take is for HIS purpose, whatever that may be, for my life and I must realize the life serving Jesus will NOT be without trials and even deep suffering. Serving Jesus is not a carefree life; it is a sacrificing life which dies to self and endures many crosses for the sake of His call on our lives.
Is my heartache gone? Is my depression gone? Is my pain gone? Is my worry gone? Is my fear gone? No, of course not but Jesus presides over all that and I will decide to focus on HIM and what I can do for Him as though this is my last day. Tossing your pity party hat doesn't mean all your feelings magically disappear (like Lucky Charms are magically delicious) but it means the joy and love of the Lord reigns and overpowers those feelings.
I was surprised when I searched pity on biblegateway.com to find 43 hits. Webster's defines pity as: "sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy." I do not want to live this day distressed, unhappy, and sorrowful, even though I'm in a season of trial and suffering. Regardless, I want to be pleasing to my Lord and I do not believe that entails being doom and gloom.
Philippians 4:4-7 is one of my faves but I find it appropriate to emphasize verses 4 and 5. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Your Lord is NEAR you. Now doesn't that provide such peace and comfort? Imagine the face of Jesus looking right over you and saying: "I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Be Blessed in Him,
Summer Bible Study
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