The Bible reminds us, “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
Sometimes this is easier said than done, right? We tend to become anxious, worry and overthink everything which can cause us quite a bit of distress.
What is Spiritual Distress?
Spiritual distress occurs when you experience a disturbance in your belief system. This may occur when you experience a conflict between what you believe and what is happening in your life. Signs of spiritual distress include hopelessness, loss of purpose/direction, social withdrawal, negative self-talk, pessimistic outlook, fear, or anger with God.
The good news? You don’t have to stay stuck, and you are not alone (see Ex. 14:14). Stress and life trials allow you to become more aware of who you are, who God is, and stand firm in your faith (see Luke 21:19). Through trials and difficult times, you will learn patience, perseverance, determination, and endurance to overcome whatever you are going through (see James 1:2-4).
Psalm 119:143: “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.”
What is Spiritual Wellness?
Spiritual Wellness includes our beliefs, morals and values which guide our actions. It is the process of finding meaning and purpose in life, as well as connection with the One who is greater than us. Research shows that those people who have spiritual practices experience less anxiety and depression, are better able to cope with trauma and life stressors, and experience feelings of peace and hope.
Tips for Improving Spiritual Wellness
1. Join a faith community. God created us to be in community. We were not meant to be alone, rather, we were designed to share one another’s burdens.
2. Have a conversation with your pastor about any spiritual questions you may be wrestling with. Many believers have had questions. It’s ok to have questions and to seek out answers.
3. Spend time in prayer and scripture. God already knows what you are struggling with, and he wants to hear from you.
4. Engage in worship. The act of worship can shift your perspective and mindset as well as provide a sense of hope. It is an act of communication between you and the Lord.
5. Serve others. A lot of our time is spent focusing on ourselves and our own problems. When we take a step outside of “self” and help others, we gain new perspective on our own situations.
6. Cultivate time for self-awareness through the practice of journaling. Be intentional about setting aside time to reflect and to hear from God.
Everyone’s spiritual walk goes through peaks and valleys. There are seasons when you feel close to God and there are seasons where you feel like you are walking in the wilderness. You are not alone. He is always with you and wants to know your heart.
If you are feeling stuck in your spiritual walk reach out to a trusted pastor or Christian counselor in your area. A trained professional is equipped to walk along side of you through life’s difficult moments.