Looking for Inspiration

Looking for Inspiration

Inspiration infuses you with renewed zest for life. It influences, moves, or guides you to action. But we all have times when we hit the inspiration skids; when we not only lack inspiration but might even doubt that we’ll ever feel inspired again.

Maybe you’re facing a big challenge at your workplace. Perhaps one of your children is going through a rough patch and you’re overcome with worry. If you’ve had some unexpected expenses and your finances are tapped out, that can bring a lot of anxiety. Or maybe you’ve become estranged from a close friend or loved one and you feel guilt and sadness. Or maybe nothing “bad” has happened, but you just feel flat.

When you feel like you’ve lost inspiration or hope or like the wind has gone out of your sails and you don’t know how you’re going to get it back, there are some things that can help. God created many things that can boost our sense of well-being and reignite our inspiration flame.

Whether you’re trying to make it through a tough spot or seeking a creative boost for a project, these sources of inspiration can serve as recharging stations to your spirit.

Reading God’s Word is paramount. The Bible is a direct source of divine inspiration. Jeremiah said of God’s Word: “Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.”1 Communing with God should be your first priority when your inspiration has run dry. This results in the wonderful “joy of the Lord” referred to in the Bible,2 the inspiration that does not fade.

Friendship, good company, and camaraderie are central to a happy life. We all need the support of others, and most of life’s best experiences are shared with those we love. And when we’re feeling low or facing hard times, friends are even more important. If you find yourself living far away from your friends and it’s not easy to have face-to-face time together, pick up the phone or have a Skype call to keep in touch. True friends not only provide support, they also inspire us to be our best selves. Friends encourage us to keep going. They remind us that the best is yet to come, and that if we hang in there, we’ll pull through, as we have so many times before.

Nature is a magnificent source of inspiration. God’s creation is a constant and amazing proof of His power and design. Not only is nature, in its many forms, breathtakingly beautiful, it also showcases God’s power and love for humankind. The majesty of creation is an ever-present reminder that the God who made everything is more than capable of caring for every burden, fear, worry, and prayer that we entrust to Him.

Seek out good news to lift your spirit. “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.”3 You can pay more attention to the good news in your life by pausing in the morning or evening to think about and note them in a gratitude journal.

Appreciate the arts through such things as music, painting, sculpture, literature, dance, photography. There are countless beautiful expressions of human creative skill, and when we take time to appreciate these things, we can be inspired and uplifted.

Enjoy life’s simple gifts. It doesn’t always take something significant or amazing to boost your mood. One small thing enjoyed fully at just the right time can have a big effect. There are countless small blessings that we receive daily from God and others that can bring us a lot of joy and a sense of well-being if we are mindful of them.

Exercise. Science has proved that exercise is good for both your body and your emotional and mental health. It’s a mood-booster. So when your inspiration is lagging, get your body moving.

Try something new! New scenery and new activity bring new inspiration, so when you can, do new things, explore new places. Break out of your routines. Consider a new hobby. New environments can bring new insights. God made each of us to be creative in some way, and activating your creative processes can both be enjoyable and open a pathway to new inspiration.

Make time for silence. God made us to need quiet. We need white space in our lives. You can gain a sense of purpose and joy from times of quiet, thought, reflection, prayer, and communion with God. Sometimes we need to think, meditate, and pray about our lives, where we’re headed, and what our goals are.At different times in your life, different things can help to boost your inspiration, to rekindle the flame, so to speak. So while you may have your “go-to” inspiration primers, don’t get stuck in a rut. Try new things! Let’s keep ourselves open to the many beautiful ways in which we can be renewed.

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Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.—Isaiah 40:31 NIV

1. Jeremiah 15:16 ESV
2. Nehemiah 8:10
3. Philippians 4:8 ESV

Peter Amsterdam

Peter Amsterdam

Peter Amsterdam has been active in Christian service since 1971. In 1995 he became co-director (together with his wife, Maria Fontaine) of the Christian community of faith known as the Family International. He has authored a variety of articles on Christian faith and theology. (Articles by Peter Amsterdam used in Activated are adapted.)

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