Long ago I quit watching the local news. Why? It was mostly murder and mayhem, plus political corruption. I think of the local newscasters as the original "bad news bears." Often it left me longing for good news.
"Rejoice in the Lord always," was St. Paul's advice, even when he was in prison. How did he manage to do that? I think he told us when he told the Philippians what to think about: whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, whatever is excellent or praiseworthy. Think about these things, he said, and you will have peace (Phil 4:3-9).
It is advice I have tried to follow. For example, I listen to a number of different radio stations for news and music, but my default choice now is a Christian praise music station. When I need the weather or traffic report, I switch to a news station, but then I switch back. If my mood is down or depressed, Christian music lifts me back up again.
The Psalms have always been my personal go-to spot for a written pick-me-up. It seems to me that many of them begin with "woe is me" and end up praising God (see Psalms 69 and 71 for example). They never fail to lift me up from my personal "pity party".
What about you? What picks you up when you are down? What helps you to "rejoice in the Lord always"
"Don't worry; be happy" has become a familiar refrain the last few years. Remember the Bob Marley tune, "Every Little Thing Gonna be Alright"? Strangely enough, St. Paul says the same thing to the Philippians: "Rejoice. Do not be anxious" (chapter 4:4-6). Paul wrote the letter as a thank you for the gift they had sent him. Paul himself was in prison in Rome. So, yes, Paul, while in prison, is writing to other people - Don't worry; be happy. It's all good.
i would guess that most people in prison are not able to write such upbeat, encouraging letters to people on the outside. But Paul knew that he had his Lord with him in all situations. And if God is with you, then you can still be happy. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 2:6-7)
If we have Jesus, we can bear anything that comes against us. Remember the story of Joseph in the Old Testament? Joseph's jealous brothers sold him to traders in a traveling caravan passing by. Those traders sold him to Potiphar in Egypt to work in his house. Potiphar's wife tries to seduce Joseph. When Joseph refuses her, she cries "rape" and Joseph is put in prison. In all these situations, Scripture says, "And God was with him." Joseph not only survived, he thrived. He became the most powerful man in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh.
You too can not only survive, but thrive. No matter your present situation make your requests to God. Draw on his strength; rest in his presence in your life. Don't be anxious about anything for God is with you. Rejoice!
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.