B.B. King was famous for his song, “Everyday I Have the Blues.” If he was referring to his brand of music, that is a wonderful thing; if he was referring to his emotions, then he had a problem.
The daily blues is a real epidemic in our nation. The constant feeling of depression and discouragement is a constant tug on most people, dragging them deeper into the cycle of negative feelings until they reach the point of despair. Often the depressed will listen to slow, drawling music, read sad books or articles, and will often seek comfort in the misery of others, whether those others are fictional (television and literature) or real (sad news stories). Like the old adage says, “Misery loves company.”
Modern psychologists offer solutions likes wearing something snazzy on days when you feel depressed. Others suggest learning to relax more, not skipping meals, listening to upbeat music, smiling more, or buying yourself something nice. The problem with these sorts of suggestions is that they are limited in their effectiveness, often only work superficially, and tend to be selfishly focused.
Many people have sought the comfort of pharmaceutical solutions, taking antidepressants or mood enhancing drugs. While these are absolutely necessary in some cases, it is admitted by the researchers that they are overprescribed as quick fixes to problems that need more long term solutions.
So what is the answer? As you would expect, God gives it to us. Look at the familiar passage in Philippians 4.4-8:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
While there is much we can say about this passage, let’s boil it down to three points:
In the Lord—Rejoicing is found in the Lord. If someone is not in the Lord, saved, redeemed, made clean and given a clear conscious through baptism, they cannot experience the joy of the Lord and the “joy of salvation” (cf. Ps 51.12; Hab 3.18). Here is a reason, if you have no other, to share truth of Jesus with your friends and neighbors.
The Lord is near—This is great for two reasons. He is close by and can give comfort. This also means life is short, and therefore our cause of discouragement is also temporary.
The Lord hears—No matter what bothers us, God desires to hear and comfort us. He wants us to have peace.
Also, listed as solutions to our despair is gratitude to God, peace from God, protection from God, and controlled and positive thoughts. God gives us our answers for handling our daily blues. So instead of singing, “Everyday I Have the Blues,” we can busy ourselves with joyfully singing praises to our God, “Everyday I Have You.”