“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God….” (Psalm 146:5)
I love everything blue.
Blueberries. Flow-blue china. Blue-painted walls. Bluegrass music. Bluebirds. Blue toile fabric. Cobalt blue glass. Blue Ridge Mountains. Blue jeans. Blue fingernail polish.
Periwinkle blue is my favorite shade—same as the fragile “blue sailor” wildflowers that are particularly fetching right now alongside our local roads.
Blue is such a happy, peaceful color, which is why it doesn’t make sense for the word “blues.” Blue—like yellow (sunshine) and green (life)—brings to mind a joyful day with cerulean skies and white fluffy clouds. No warm summer weather should find us in the doldrums.
Yet depression can strike any time of year, any time of day, based on circumstances or a chemical imbalance. When it arrives, however, there are ways to fight it…and your victory over despair will come faster and easier in the light of summer.
Here are a few ways to arm yourself with spiritual “ammunition”:
- Focus on God’s love and His blessings. Negative thoughts breed depression, and vice versa. Break the cycle by turning your eyes to Jesus instead. Count out five blessings you have experienced from His hands in the past 24 hours, big or small. Praise Him for each one, in genuine gratitude.
- Go for a quiet walk. Turn off loud music, and listen to instrumental hymns or the sounds of God’s creation outdoors. If you’re on a city sidewalk, use earplugs to shut out the noise around you. Make yourself available to what God might reveal to you. Listen for His gentle whisper.
- Get out your Bible and read. Immerse yourself in verses that speak to God’s truth and His offer of abundant life. Search for words like “hope,” “joy,” and “praise,” and read those passages first. Underline God’s promises to His people. Psalm 146 is a great place to start.
- When you’re tempted to “wallow in despair,” choose a better option. If you’re a sweets addict like me, your first response to discouragement might be reaching for chocolate, ice cream, or cookies…whatever’s in easy reach. Switch your “indulgence” to fresh veggies, fruits, or other healthy snacks. If you’re tempted to sleep in, force yourself to get up and make up your bed…don’t roll back over. Instead of lazing as a couch potato, grab a weight and exercise while watching television. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- Spend time in prayer with others and for others. Join a prayer group or enlist a prayer partner. When you take the needs of loved ones and acquaintances before God’s throne, you empty yourself of self-absorption. It’s a gift to those in need and a healing balm to your own soul. Your own burdens are lightened by joining hands with others in lifting up petitions to Jesus. Trust Him with the outcomes.
- Put on your crown. Remember to Whom you belong…you are a child of the King, and His royal blood has covered you. Jesus is your faithful Lord, and He is worthy of your very best. When the blues paralyze you, ask for His Holy Spirit to embrace, enlighten, and embolden you. Put your crown firmly back on your head, take up your cross, and follow His mission for your life.*
As you run across blue flowers or see snatches of blue sky this week, let them remind you of God’s joy and His great love for you. Let these beautiful blues chase away the ugly blues!
Heavenly Father, thank You for sharing little glimpses of Your beauty through the colorful hues of Your creation. Thank You for bearing with us when we fall into despair…for lifting us up by Your Holy Spirit and freely giving us Your joy. Deliver us from the despair and discouragement that comes only from the evil one, and lead us away from his temptation. Help us to remember that we belong to You, and that You are faithful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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© Copyright 2022 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
*For more about “wearing the crown” with joy…see https://lightbournecreative.com/2021/07/05/the-privileged-life-wear-the-crownwith-joy/