As it does every year, the Gallup Poll has published its “NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE INDEX” for 2021. They asked adults in 122 countries if they had five different negative experiences on the day before the survey -- and they compiled the results.
Here’s what they found:
42% of adults worldwide said they experienced a lot of worry.
41% were stressed.
31% experienced a lot of physical pain.
28% experienced sadness.
23% experienced anger.
The conclusion was that:
· People had more negative experiences, and fewer positive ones
· Stress, sadness, and worry all inched higher worldwide
· People felt less well-rested, and experienced less enjoyment
You can breathe a sigh of relief, because now you know that you’re not alone if you’ve felt this way.
Life is constantly changing, a never ending series of “highs” and “lows.” At times we reach breath-taking mountaintops, where we enjoy the beauty of life and we can relax in the sunlight. At other times we must endure deep, lonesome valleys filled with heartache, pain, and despair.
Some trials seem like a small inconvenience, while others come suddenly, without warning, and we wonder how we will ever survive.
In these times of difficulty and despair we either need a means of escape, or the courage, and wisdom to weather the storm and overcome. But the plain truth is that at times we are afforded neither of these. Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that is impossible to escape, and we lack the inner strength, and the wisdom to deal with our adversity. At times like this we need someone who is able to deliver us from the storm, or at very least, secure us while we remain in it.
We will all, on day or another feel overwhelmed by our circumstances but the good news is we don’t have to be faced alone. Jesus taught His disciples that prayer is a lifestyle, not just an activity in which we participate. When we feel overwhelmed by our circumstances, prayer is the one way to change the direction of our mind and heart. It places our focus on God, who is the only Source of hope and truth.
The Psalmist gives us some valuable instruction about prayer in our scripture text for today. Let’s take a few moments to dissect it. Here it is again:
Psalm 61:2, “From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
by Corville Peters