“How is it that you’re always smiling, never down, you never have mood swings? Seems like you live a perfect and problem-free life! How do you do it?”
My friends asked me these questions one day at a restaurant. How funny, I definitely do not live a perfect and problem-free life, I am just like any other person in this world going through battles here and there. The difference, however, is that I have given my problems over to Christ and He has given me peace in return; He says: “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”-Matthew 11:28. Here is a woman who has gone through three civil wars at a tender age, lost most of her friends because of Christ, had empty bank accounts, gone through a major surgery, and presently experiences demonic attacks, has sworn enemies, and the rest. Yeah, my life has definitely been filled with sufferings but my Lord is in charge.
It’s common that when people go through trials/pain that their attitudes go with the flow, and this is normal. You probably wouldn’t be all happy after hearing the death of a loved one, nor would you be smiling after being dismissed from work. King Solomon put it this way:
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven… A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. -Ecclesiastes 3:1,3-4
Nonetheless, dangers arise when we allow these trials/pain to shake us permanently. It is a devastating thing to see one’s parents go through divorce; there is a necessary time for mourning but we cannot allow this tragedy to perpetually strip away our joy, integrity in the Lord, or desire to marry some day. Nick Vujicic, an evangelist, is a man born without limbs. He grew up as a depressed child due to his condition. Nevertheless, today his renewed attitude towards life is more inspiring than the rest of us with limbs.
Why should we even speak about danger? Well, the Bible tells us that we are Christ’s ambassadors to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20), therefore, we have the mission to represent Christ adequately to those who do not know Him or have misconceptions about Him. How do we want a lost and dying world to be attracted to Christ when our own attitude towards life is not even attracting? The people around us watch the way we live, the way we handle trials, the way we go through suffering, etc. If we backslide at every tragic opportunity or lose it at every bad news, this is not a good indicator to the world that our God is in control or powerful. But if we, on the other hand, commit our fate into the Lord’s hands during times of sufferings and act in faith despite our present trials, this gives a better picture of God to the world because they cannot explain this indescribable joy and peace in us. It causes them to ask questions like the ones I received earlier: “How is it that you’re always smiling, never down, you never have mood swings? How do you do it?”
We also speak about danger for our own sake: spiritual, physical, and emotional health. The apostle John in his letter to his friend Gaius said: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well”, 3 John 1: 2. It is the desire of God to see His children prosper spiritually, emotionally, and physically no matter the situations we’re in. When we shut off from our surroundings or decide to dwell in melancholy, we are only harming ourselves and missing the good communion we could enjoy with God. It’s not that we should wear a mask, pretend that all is well, and repeat “the Lord is good all the time” when we are suffering in silence, but it is trading our sorrows for peace, applying the Word of God that says:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in
every situation, 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 -Philippians 4:6-7
So, the reason why I smile and never have mood swings is because the Lord Jesus is the source of my joy, strength, and peace. I may be down at times but I do not choose to remain down. And no, I don’t live a perfect and problem-free life because I still live in a fallen world. How I do it? I exactly don’t know because it is not I at work but the power of the Holy Spirit in me: “It is not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts”, Zechariah 4:6.