1. Realize there may be a greater purpose for your situation. You may not be happy at your job, but you might be there because the person across from you is open to the Gospel and you are the person God chose for that blessing. Maybe there are things you are learning where you are that you will use later in life for your good or the good of others. We weren’t put on earth just to find a situation that makes us happy. We need to find joy in every situation.
2. Look for the good and be thankful for it. Count your blessings. No really, I mean sit down with a piece of paper and write down all the good things. I do this often in my marriage. Living with anyone day in and day out things can get on your nerves. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy over a bunch of little things, like for instance, my husband generally does not put things away after himself, and when he does most of the time he doesn’t put it back where it belongs. Silly I know, but sometimes it can feel like everyone is out to sabotage all the cleaning that I’ve done. If I start dwelling on this line of thinking I can start to go crazy. But there are so many good things about my husband. How silly to get bent out of shape over one little habit of his right? So when I feel like I’m going over the edge I sit down and write down all the good things that I can think about him. He works hard, comes home after work, plays with the children, teaches them God’s Word…. I list his great qualities, and then I thank God for them. When I start to dwell on something that gets on my nerves, I go back to the list.
3. Pray. Pray for the people that are making your situation difficult. Pray that God would bless them, that He would change their heart. Ask God to show you how you can be a blessing to them. Realize they may be behaving horribly because of other situations that are out of control in their life that you know nothing about. Genuinely seek to love them even if they don’t seem to care about you.
4. Realize your situation could be worse. Things can always be worse. And I don’t just mean people in other countries don’t know where their next meal is coming from, while that is true that’s not what I’m talking about. You might wake up tomorrow and lose that job that is making you crazy and all of the sudden you wish you had that regular pay check again. You might be in a hurry to take a different job only to find the next one is worse in ways you never imagined. Be patient. Seek the Lord’s will and not your own.
5. Seek forgiveness where you’ve been wrong. It’s hard to be the one to humble yourself and ask forgiveness especially when you also feel wronged by the other person. But doing the right thing is up to you, you can’t make someone else do what is right. I have never, ever regretted apologizing. I do however, feel regret for times I was stubborn and didn’t seek forgiveness.
6. Remember to laugh and find joy through the hard times. My husband and I don’t have the perfect marriage. We argue and complain when we shouldn’t, and so on, but eventually we always end up laughing, and I think that helps keep our marriage strong. When the kids are driving my crazy I will find that nice thing one of them said or did and I will repeat that in my mind. I think joy can be found in every situation if we will just look for it. Even if it’s only to realize how much more we’ve learned to depend on God or to realize more and more that He IS in control.
7. Take it one day at a time. I remind myself often that God gives me the grace I need when I need it and not before. I can lump in my mind all the things that might come in the next year and agonize that I won’t be able to handle it, but that’s just worry. Things will change. Time will heal. How does God want to use me in the situation today? Life is not all about me; it is all about Him.
Here are a few things that I remind myself of when I am struggling. What would you add to the list?