When Your Misery Drags on For Months
In the book of Job we see Job’s misery drag on for months. During this time, his friends added to his pain. Job said of his three friends:
Miserable comforters are you all! (16:2)
Are you a comforter?
When I think of a comforter, I think of a warm quilt. A quilt wraps around a person and makes them feel calm. Job’s friends were the opposite. They added to his misery.
So how do we go on when our misery drags on for months and perhaps your friends are poor comforters?
First let me tell you what NOT to do.
Here’s how to live defeated.
1.) Stare at the television or Netflix or surf the internet night and day, waiting for the feelings to pass.
Boredom breeds misery.
2.) Make others responsible for your happiness.
No one can carry this weight – not your spouse, not your kids, not your mom or sisters and not your friends.
3.) Fight with people over trivial things.
No one enjoys a bitter person who is mad at the world. Starting fights with innocent bystanders like cashiers or having road rage will not make you happier.
4.) Assume the worst in your family, friends or co-workers.
Twisting typical remarks into insults or always assuming others are talking badly behind your back, only causes break downs in your relationships and makes you more miserable.
5.) Live selfishly.
God says it is better to give than to receive. Living selfishly breeds misery.
6.) Ignore the things you should be grateful for.
Studies have shown that those who keep gratitude lists are happier than those who do not. Giving thanks for the little things in our lives each day, lifts our spirits and reminds us that God is good even in the midst of difficult trials.
7.) Blame others for your misery.
Blame your parents, blame your teachers, blame your friends, blame your husband, blame your boss, blame the government, blame your past…just whatever you do – do not take any responsibility for your own feelings.
Instead of living defeated – here is how to live victoriously!
Job says in Job 17:9:
9 Yet the righteous holds to his way,
and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
Job says the righteous do 3 things when their misery drags on:
1.) They hold to their way.
The righteous do what is right in the midst of their trials and suffering. They do not stray from the path of God and they hold to their way.
2.) They grow.
Romans 5 tells us, “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.”
The righteous grow from their trials. Their endurance grows. Their character grows and their hope grows and they are not put to shame.
3.) They grow stronger and stronger.
The righteous don’t just grow – they grow and grow and grow. They become stronger and stronger and stronger and others can see this strength in them.
Oh friends, we cannot grow stronger in our own strength – we need Jesus.
Job proclaims where his deep strength flows from:
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
One day – we will see with our own eyes our Redeemer! He is alive today and forevermore and because He lives – we can face tomorrow with victory!
This reminds me of an old hymn titled Victory in Jesus:
I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
Live victoriously today through the power of our Redeemer – He is alive and one day we will see him face to face!
Walk with the King,
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Wonderfully wrote!! Such great encouragement:) Victory in Jesus!!!
Thank you Beth for the encouragement!!!
Lots of Love,
Oh Courtney, my father died a year and a half ago. And Victory in Jesus was his favorite song. Growing up I remember watching him sing it.
He was a mellow man, but he would get excited singing this song and would bounce his finger along with it as if he was trying to contain himself.
I remember so well watching him sing that song in church. That was the song we chose for his funeral. He died peacefully at 90 years old. So, although I miss him, it was not a tragedy, but a testimony of a life faithfully lived for God and a joy that he is receiving the goal of his life – the salvation of his soul and an eternity united with Christ.
I will also add that he faithfully taught scripture and it is a heritage that he left. So, I just want to encourage you as you so faithfully teach the Word to all of us on the Internet and to your kids.
God Bless you. So appreciate what you do.
Your reply brought happy tears to my eyes! My dad is a quiet humble hard working man and he loves to sing. I remember waking up to his booming voice singing, “It’s such a pretty world today! Look at the sunshine. Today and every day, since I met you.” He would also sing Victory in Jesus and like your dad, it seemed it was all he could do to not just fly away on the spot! My dad now suffers in pain from arthritis, but in his heart he is strong. Thanks for sharing your story.
TBG – I’m so sorry for your loss. 🙁 What a blessing it is that you had a father who worshipped God in song and who God gave many years of life too! What an awesome heritage he has passed down to you!
Thank you for sharing this!
Lots of Love,
TBG Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. Your father sounds like he was a wonderful man.
Thank you for sharing. I’ve been struggling with these feelings of depression for about 3 years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. I thought there’d be a time when I would be able to address and confront my problems, and try to figure out what the cause is and move on. But, life has not stopped, and we had another baby (a blessing of course) which has added to the busyness.Long story short, I’m finally realizing that things aren’t going to slow down, and there isn’t going to be time to take care of this as I had hoped. I have to turn and do what’s right, even if my circumstances don’t change. This is HARD for me. I never thought I’d return to being a “weak” person, succumbing to temptation (escaping with TV and shopping) and blaming my circumstances. I have almost become used to this feeling of isolation from God, and that really scares me. I appreciate what you’ve written here, and the simple and clear steps that need to be taken in these times. Thank you again for sharing!
I’m so sorry you are in this place today. If you have not sought help for your depression, I encourage you to go to someone and talk about it. I am saying a prayer for you today – that the Lord would give you strength and that you would sense his presence with you – loving you, guiding you, comforting you, and helping you.
I’m so glad you are here – stay in God’s Word – He loves you so.
Lots of Love,
Dear sweet Meg,
I have been where you are. Already depressed, and then having another baby. #1 You are unconditionally loved by the Almighty Creator of the Universe, you are the apple of His eye, and He always keeps His promises: He will never leave you nor forsake you. #2 You are not weak. I want to say that again. You are not weak. I thought that the reason I was suffering from depression because I didn’t have enough faith, which of course made the depression worse. If God never leaves us why do I feel so alone? If Christ is our strength, why do I feel so weak? If we are more than conquerors, why do I feel so defeated? Why am I failing to take every though captive and submit it to Christ? My dear sweet sister in Christ, these verses are true and every word in the bible is a fact. Even though I couldn’t feel it at the time, even though the darkness weighed me down like a huge, heavy, wet blanket. There are evil lies that came with my depression and these thoughts I had were not from our Father and they were not and are not true for any of us. I thought I was helpless, life was hopeless, I was worthless, a failure, alone. I begged God to let me die. I am guessing that you know already how hard it is to fight these kinds of thoughts. The battle did not leave me with the energy to do much of anything else each day, once I managed to get out of bed, and meet the needs of my children. The desire to escape into something to relieve the pain was valid, real, almost tangible. I too watched a lot of TV and slept a LOT. At once point I was taking 4 bible studies at the same time. 1. They had free child care. 2. I wanted to find out why I was such a “bad Christian”. 3. The only time the bad thoughts stopped was when I was at bible study. I cried out to Jesus, I ordered Satan out of my head. I did not tell a single soul about my depression. I finally, literally, both physically and mentally crumbled. I had no choice but to tell my husband what had been going on in my head. I did what I very much beg everyone with depression to do: I sought help. I am praying that God will bring the people and the resources to you that will save you from depression, and bring you to a place of victory over depression. A Christian counselor, a doctor, a pastor, a friend, a neighbor, all of the above. I want to mention that it is OK if it takes medication to get better. We are but dust, and if you had diabetes, you would need insulin. If you had cancer you would need chemotherapy. One day we will live in paradise but here we are in a fallen world. I’ve heard that if we wake up and we’re still breathing then God’s not finished with us, yet. He brought me comfort and I try to use my experience to comfort and encourage others. You are a child of the One True King! You are fighting depression which makes you one of the strongest people I know! You are clinging to God which means you are faithful! Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit, and that Spirit, which has the power to raise Christ from the dead, lives in you! You are worthy, you are loved, and you are not alone!
Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)
24 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Thank you so much for this. I am going through yet another depression (it just keeps coming back) and am feeling very discouraged. I have good Christian friends, a caring church community and a wonderful therapist, but it is still hard. Your post has really helped me today.
This is a beautiful support note! How lovely
I am a fairly new Christian (4.5 years ago saved) and I’ve dealt with anxiety and manic depression all of my adult life, 25 years, and I have to say that even though it’s still difficult, I am so thankful for God’s promises I have as a Christian as opposed to what I had in my prior life which was no hope. At all. So much so I tried to end my life 7.5 years ago and have been hospitalized a couple of times. I know it’s hard, but cling to the promises of God, read the Psalms, if you don’t have a therapist or shrink, find one. There is no shame. God gifted people on this planet to help us with various disorders and diseases and mental disorders, temporary or not, are no different. Unless God chooses to heal me from mine, I’m stuck with the predisposed genetics I was given for these particular things. And I use my testimony to encourage others and you can too when you come out the other side. We don’t go through things just for God to work on us but so we can encourage others when they experience similar things. And they will absolutely know you are genuine when you say you understand because you’ve been there done that.
And always remember, in your weakness God strength is at it’s best, doing a work in you that will come forth like gold (I hope I got that right!) I will absolutely be praying for you as I do for everyone who lives with mental stuff. It’s a very misunderstood thing with a lot of stigma attached, especially in Christian circles I have noticed, but God WILL see you through and it looks like you have some people here praying for you. Praise God!
Thank you for this encouraging post Courtney. And the reminder to live for Christ and not self. Kx
Another Meg here. I love this so much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are an encouragement, for sure. I struggle daily with my health. I’ve had to give up so much of what I loved doing because of the pain I’m in due to mostly arthritis, but other issues as well. I try to stay fit and no one would look at me and think, “oh, she’s in pain.” Sometimes it’s exhausting and there’s nowhere to turn, there’s no help, no cure, and my friends and family are surely tired of it as it’s been like this for years. But God…. the tips you shared today are spot on! The ones to do and the ones to not do – 100% accurate. I can attest to that. I would add to the list to not compare your life with someone else’s. I may not understand why I’m going through something hard, but staying fixed on Jesus will get me through – focusing on Him and not what I can or can’t do is key. I will say that on those days that I don’t think I can bear it one more minute, the pain, exhaustion and disappointment sets in, I don’t give up and leave the path, but I hold firm to The Way.
OH Meg –
I’m so sorry for what you have been going through physically. You make a perfect point about not comparing our lives to others. Comparing is a thief of joy.
Thank you for sharing your heartache and for your resolve to follow hard after God and hold firm to his path. Keep going!!!!
Lots of Love,
Also, please consider the following information:
If you think you or a loved one might be depressed, it is important to seek the counsel of a trained mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. Depression is an extremely common mental illness and there are many treatments that benefit most people.
A proper diagnosis and treatment may be an answer to your prayers.
Thank you Katie for sharing this. I agree.
Lots of Love,
God knows me so well – and He knows when a post will be so timely. My fibromyalgia pain is really getting me down. I don’t want to exercise. I’d rather sit around and think “poor me” and instead of getting a few things done at a time…I stare at the computer, TV,…
My REDEEMER lives! Time to get off of the couch – do a little, rest a little, and live the life that Jesus wants me to live!
AMEN, Jackie! Your post encouraged me! I have late stage Lyme’s disease and several auto-immune issues as a result. I just posted about mindless distractions in TV and the internet. It’s so true that when I just start doing things by putting one foot in front of the other, I actually feel better. There is a time for rest too though, you’re right! His power is made perfect in our weakness! 🙂 (2 Cor 12:9)
This really spoke to me today! Especially #1 on “how to live defeated”. I struggle with turning to the TV or mindless surfing on the internet just for distractions. I call it the water that never quenches my thirst! I’ve been dealing with a chronic illness for over 2 years now and I kept a journal of encouraging quotes, scriptures and teachings on trials and #1 reminded me of this quote from Chuck Swindoll:
“Even though suffering may force us to slow down, to wait, we complain and seek solace in mindless distractions and miss the refining of our character that God intended”.
I’m so sorry for the chronic illness you are dealing with. Thank you for sharing this quote. It is excellent and true! And I love that you are keeping a journal. That is a wonderful way to grow in your walk with the Lord and strengthen your soul. Keep going!
Lots of Love,
This was very timely. God bless you for this message.
Thank you for what you are doing! I really needed to read this article and the video made it more personal for me in that I could feel his love for me and that he knows me. Thanks again GMG!
Thank you Courtney for your blog and ministry. I am struggling lately with the expections and standards we place on ourselves as humans. I am always struggling with the free gift. I feel as though I have to earn it. I know in my head that this is not true but I have grown up in a home and life that there is always a contingency on love and acceptance so it is so hard to let that go. Its exhausting to always try to meet those expectations and standards. Do you have any advice? (I understand if you are too busy) Again, thanks for your ministry!
Thanks for sharing this. Today we’re saying farewell to a much loved family home after the death of one of my parents and the hospitalisation of the other. These events have stretched out over 6/7 years and some of that time has been so painful. So good to be reminded through Scripture of our one strength and refuge.
I absolutely loved this post! My favorite was when I got to the end and saw the video you posted of the song. It had been going through my head as I read your post and I was already planning on finding it after I finished reading. And there it was. ?
I so appreciate you Courtney, and love reading your insights on the bible……
I know my Redeemer Lives. It is a song that I adore. It is a song that brings me to a place of worship. In dark days this song gives me hope and when I hear it brings me to a place of reverence for the King. Our most awesome God. I love at the end when she says she knows my redeemers lives because I spoke with him this morning! I am in a dark time in my life, I found out last summer that my husband was deep in a drug addiction, he has done to rehab and been clean for 94 days and then relapsed, he says he is clean right now but I have my doubts. I have been getting so much out of my study of Job. I am seeking the face of God and I am learning I have to Trust God with it all. I have to release my husband to Him and stop trying to control my situation. God gave me the word Trust for 2016, He is calling me to trust without borders. I like to control everything and I know He is asking me to let HIm be God, that I am not God and I can’t control anything. I am confident that even in this trying time that God is with me and He has great things in store for my life. I just have to trust and obey Him!!! Counting my blessings and Trusting the King!!!
Pam, Amen. Trust is a great word for 2016. I have been trying to find my word for this year and God has brought me to it through your reply. Thank you
So needed this tonight!! God truly spoke to me through this post. Thank you for sharing!:)
I thought you article was well written and knowledgeable but could have been a little better balanced. Initially it was pointed out what we do in actual ways to keep ourselves miserable where as the way to not be miserable was in principals only. I would have appreciated specific ways other than just a gratitude list to work my way out of miserableness.
Principal to Practical.
Good gracious this is a gooooood post! Thanks for the reminder and breaking it down into specifics so we can see how we are living miserably! I know I’m guilty of a few of those and need to turn my eyes upward. Thank you!
I struggled for YEARS with depression. It was absolutely terrible! But the one thing I did have is the Lord and friends to pray for me. Eventually I was healed of this, and it was through Christian prayer counseling (there is a difference between psychology and Christian prayer counseling). I am not saying that there is a one-size-fits-all approach for everyone, but this worked for me. You can pray about if this is a route that God would have you to go, and that He would bring the right counselor. With prayer counseling, I was able to walk through some deep-seated hurts and pains from my past and this lead to my freedom from Depression. I know this isn’t for everyone, but I thought it was worth sharing my story for someone who needs to hear it. I was set free INDEED by Jesus to live the abundant life He talks about, and if I can be, you can too! Much Love XXOO
EDIT: Above post was written for those struggling with Depression.
(This is what I posted in my group tonight as I shared the link for this site! Awesome)
Truly this week’s image and message here for Monday are just what I needed to read and really reflect upon! Misery is dragging on. It will soon be the 6th anniversary of the day Bill was run over by the tractor and life as we knew it c-h-a-n-g-e-d!!!
It’s been 6 years of pain for him – deep physical pain. Heartache, loss and depression because the life he once lived, he now only can remember. The days spent on construction sites doing what he loved to do – design things and see them come to life in the construction process. Afternoons spent gliding through God’s glorious skies in an airplane as he neared the end of a dream – to get his pilot’s license. Decades of enjoyment from playing golf with friends and clients! Fishing – deep sea and the backyard lake. Hunting, farming, riding the tractor in the fields to cut the hay… ALL gone – he cannot do even one of these things today. The misery goes on…
BUT – unlike Job, BIll has good friends who come to talk and spend time with him. Friends who chat with him and encourage him. Friends who bring their magazines and share their stories. Friends who take him to eat and out to events, like a gun show, and wander through it at a snail’s pace so he can just be there. Friends at church who make sure he has extra pillows at his seat! Family who offer to help and neighbors who are here to do whatever needs to be done – not just when the accident happened, but still here 6 years later. (tonight one brought over homemade chocolate pudding – Bill’s fav – because she knew that he has had a few really rough painful days)
Giving thanks for the little things in our lives each day lifts our spirits and reminds us that God is good even in the midst of difficult trials! OH YES!!!
Bill is able to be here with us, his family each day. He vacuums, does all the towels and makes the beds and cleans the counters! What a gift to me! When I ‘fuss’ about him doing these things, he reminds me that these are the things he can do! How, then, can I fuss?
Yes, when misery drags on, as our sweet sister Barbara Bobbie can also attest to, we just do what we do best. We continue to give thanks to the Lord Above for the little things in our lives each day. The things that lift our spirits and remind us that God is good even in the midst of difficult trials. We praise The One who can do all things! God is good all the time, even when misery drags on!
I would like to know how to download this video, its was so very encouraging to me, I would like to share it with others! Thank you!
I’m not sure how to download it – but here is the link you can share with others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH0Mc7zn4vc
Hope this helps,
The last few years have been one thing after another for our family. It started with the death of a parent, and has included two advanced cancer diagnoses, the birth of our disabled child and everything that still goes along with this, me having surgery, medical problems for another one of our children, medical problems for my husband, depression, and anxiety. The worst thing people have said (several people have said this) is: “I’m so glad I’m not you. Thanks for the perspective.” I’m so tired of tragedies and jealous of my friends who have easy lives. I just live waiting for the other shoe to drop, since we’ve had no rest without something bad happening and I often wonder where God is.
Thank you for sharing this, Courtney. Working through Job with GMG and this article just… God truly is a master of timing and is obviously using you! Thank you for being open to His prodding.
There is another hymn I remember that goes along with your post:
I feel a bit weird leaving a comment here as all the other comments are from women.
Well here goes. Your article talks about misery dragging on for months. A few months would be wonderful. So far my misery has lasted for 42+ years.
Your article was a good read. I just don’t know if it applies for this long of a period of time. My misery is a mix of Manic Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and severe anxiety. Then there is this life of poverty that God has given me, with no way out. Now the misery caused by God’s complete silence, God’s obvious absence in my life. Plus a life time of unanswered prayers. Plus add that God has taken everyone I care about away from me. Life long misery is very hard to live with. Welcome to my waking nightmare. How do I cope when God won’t even take the time to be involved in my life?Yes Job suffered but not for his whole life. As for being patient and give God a chance to work. I believe 42+ years is more than a chance. God is not here for me. I am lost and God isn’t throwing me a life line.
Thanks and God bless you, in Jesus holy name, Amen