Are you going through a crisis right now? Though your circumstances may seem bleak, take heart—there’s hope! You may be discontent right now during these hard times you are going through. The Apostle Paul struggled with difficult days, too, but he learned that it’s possible to be content with very little. 1 Timothy 6:6 says, “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” Here are some tips to help you find contentment in a crisis.
1. Ask for Help.
Since going through a crisis is difficult, if not impossible, you may need to get help. If you need resources, whether it is financial, spiritual, or something else, your church may be a good place to start. Another place to ask for help is to meet with a licensed counselor who can give you a safe place to talk about your difficulties. They can help you deal with painful emotions and experiences and help with creating a plan for dealing with the challenges.
2. Change How You Think.
Be willing to change your thoughts—even if it means letting go of the negative thoughts you’re accustomed to. God’s Word tells us to meditate on things that are: “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable” (Phil. 4:8). Do your thoughts sound like this? If not, get rid of them! While you can’t control every thought that comes into your mind, you can choose what you dwell on.
3. Take Responsibility.
Although you can’t control your circumstances, you can control how you respond to them. Have you taken responsibility for any area of your life that you can control? Perhaps you need to make amends for how you have treated a family member or friend poorly. Maybe you need to take responsibility for an unhealthy habit or hurt that you still need to let go. Think of a plan to deal with these areas. Ask a friend, counselor, or pastor for accountability support.
4. Keep a Gratitude Journal.
It’s important to not ignore your feelings but to deal with them in healthy ways. Keeping a journal will help you be aware of feelings you’re struggling with and behaviors which may cause you to fall back into feelings of despair. Sometimes simply writing what you are thankful for in a journal can help you have a more positive perspective. Take it a step further—share what you’re thankful for with a friend or family member!
5. Find Contentment In Christ.
If you have a relationship with Christ, it doesn’t mean He automatically takes all of your anxiety away. But Christ understands what it’s like to go through suffering; He walks with you during these difficult days. Take time out each day to pray, read the Bible, and meditate on scripture or a spiritual thought. For example, you can pray the Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity,
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is;
Not as I would have it;
Trusting that You will make all things right If I surrender to Your will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.” —Reinhold Niebuhr
6. Attend a Life Recovery Group.
Learning how to be content is easier with regular 12-Step group participation. When you start going to a recovery group, you will hear stories from other people who have experienced difficult circumstances and overcome them; and it will encourage you to begin your recovery. There are even groups you can attend online. So take the first step and attend a Life Recovery Group.