rebelling against low expectations

God Cares About Your Bad Mood


I’m not in a particularly good mood right now.

In fact, if I had enough energy I’d probably be throwing stuff. But I don’t.

I was doing math all day. I really haven’t had enough sleep the last few nights. And I’m lonely.

I’m used to being lonely and tired. I’m used to the sky being grey. The sky’s always grey in New York.

But it’s Friday and Friday’s supposed to be a good day. Friday’s the last day of school. Friday means Saturday’s right around the corner.

Sometimes, I have friends over on Friday. Not today, though. Unfortunately, since I had time off for Easter, I had company on Wednesday instead.

Why is this unfortunate? Well, after bringing my friends back home on Thursday, all I did was practice piano and work out. I could have done that without having break.

It was also beautiful weather the last few days (other than the fact that the sky was grey). I spent hardly any time outside. I was going to run today. Well, it got late. I got tired.

I’m not running.

And my friends who were here on Wednesday left. Duh! Of course they did. They always do. But what if this time they don’t come back? Like what if they get hit by a car or something terrible happens?

Or worse, what if they suddenly decide to reject me?

Wait. Did I just say it’d be worse if they decided to reject me?

There’s another thing to complain about. I’m selfish. Very, very selfish – and self-centered. But wait. I just read a post on The Rebelution about how we’re not supposed to focus on all the bad things about ourselves.

I’m unhappy … and it’s my fault which makes me even more unhappy.

So I could choose to be miserable and spend 315 words describing just how miserable I’m feeling, which is what I just did.

Or I could decide to be thankful.

Thankful? Really?

Yes. Really. It’s better than moping and it’s commanded in the Bible.

“[G]ive thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

There are plenty of people in other countries who’d love to be learning math. God created math, and God called His creation “good.”

Maybe I could meet my math with fascination instead of frustration. Maybe I could pray about … math.

God’s put great friends in my life. Jesus died so that I could have the best friend in the world: Himself. God also cued me in just today that at the root of loneliness may be a heart that doesn’t believe God is enough.

I could be thanking God for each of these things. For the fact that Friday’s still the last day of school, and Saturday’s just around the corner. For my friends coming on Wednesday. For math.

But instead I choose to be in a bad mood.

And here’s something else.

Even my futile attempts at thankfulness can turn into cleverly concealed complaints.

“Oh, thank you for giving me friends even if I did have to wait until, like, last year to get any.”

“Oh, thank you for the beautiful day that I didn’t get to enjoy.”

“Thank you for math even though that doesn’t change the fact that I absolutely hate it.”

“Thank you for a break, even if I did use part of it to work out and practice piano.”

That’s not what God commanded us to do. He commanded us to give thanks … and that means from the heart.

Being in a bad mood isn’t even good for us.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

What’s the point of thanking God when we don’t have a joyful, happy spirit?

That doesn’t mean we necessarily have to feel happy or thankful. But let’s truly be thankful. The feelings may come later.

Hilariously enough, I wrote most of this post yesterday when I was in a bad mood. Today, I’m happier. It’s Saturday. The sky is blue, and I’m going to run … outside.

But God has a sense of humor.

Friday morning, I was going to write a post for The Rebelution about thankfulness. On Thursday, I had a bad mood. Today, I was going to be thankful.

On Friday, I still had a bad mood.

But then God did something even funnier. He didn’t just get me to write a post about thankfulness when I was having a bad mood. He sent me a little reminder of His faithfulness. Of the fact that I should be thankful even for the little, tiny things.

I have a thing about the Google koala emojis, and I was bummed they didn’t exist on Slack (a private messaging website). Well, God made it so that I could use koala emojis on Slack.

Does God even care about koala emojis? Well, He cares about me and He cares about koalas … so why wouldn’t He?

He knows my pet peeves. He knows why I was in a bad mood, and apparently, He also knows how to brighten my mood. He’s not too dignified for emojis, and I’m thankful for that!

So this week, I’m going to pray when I’m in that bad mood.

I’m going to thank God for being sufficient, and for the little things (even emojis), and I want to invite you to join me.

What are you thankful for? What has God done in your life?

I don’t mean how’s He changing you and making you a better person, though that’s important too. How’s He shown you that He’s there and He cares about your quirks?

Join me and be thankful!

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Photo courtesy of Jake Stimpson and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Jason Zimmerman

is a 16-year-old passionate about serving God through writing and drama and loves embarking in strong God-honoring relationships with other believers. He is currently working on a full-length middle-grade novel, The Cruel Cat and The Hero’s Tail. He is also part of a Christian dance studio and has been taking piano lessons for ten years.


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  • Aw this is so good! I love it! I’m not in the best mood this morning, so it was very timely. Hey, all I do during my breaks from school is practice piano and work out. 🙂

  • Great article John! Today is a really droopy day in NY, so yeah, this’ll help! Btw, when you said you were going to post an article on April Fool’s, I thought you were kidding!

    • Haha. Well. . .I mean, I wasn’t sure. Jaquelle could have been pulling my leg and not actually going to post it.

  • Ok, hearing about your koala was enough to make my day! 😀
    Luckily, I’m in a good mood this morning even though it’s rainy, but there have definitely been some days this week that this would have been very applicable. When we see things like a bad attitude as being sin, and “grieving the Holy Spirit”, it can really change our perspective. God has given us a lot and he cares about us, so we should be satisfied in him 🙂

  • This is fantastic, John. I’m really glad I stopped to read it again this morning. I needed this reminder today. God is faithful, and He gave me a blue sky today, just because He could. I’m thankful for that. Your honesty in your articles has really been a blessing to me! Please keep writing! 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement Haylie! Yeah, I try to write straight from where I am. . .which sometimes unfortunately means I’m writing about things that I don’t really have down. Like, I’ve definitely complained after I wrote this.

      • Yeah, I mean, It’s not like I was always smiling after my “3 reasons to smile” article (yeah, not even close). But being honest can really encourage people, and that’s one of the things I’ve really enjoyed about your articles 🙂

  • Great job, John! I needed to hear this today. Being thankful when I’m in a bad mood or tired is really hard. BUT, God is faithful and He has given things to look forward to and be thankful for today! Thanks for the great reminder! 🙂

  • Okay. That was perfect. I didn’t even want to get up today, because it’s April Fools and my brothers go crazy. Anyway, I was about to explode, so this was really helpful. Thank you so much!

      • My sister always tries to prank me or my other siblings, but it’s too obvious that she’s about to do something, and then she’s disappointed that she wasn’t able to trick us.

        This year though, I don’t think she realizes what day it is so she hasn’t tried to do anything 😀

  • Goooooood post!!! Its true, even in the midst of all the rough spots, God’s goodness always shines through!!! Some times its really little things that make you feel better, like I was feeling super-duper SAD and they gave a free drink at DB…it seems lame but it really brightened my day in the moment!!!

    • Nope, there are too many different writers! The guy that wrote this article, John, is actually an intern for the Reb, so he writes multiple articles. However, most of the articles on here are just written by people like us who comment frequently. Anyone is allowed to write an article and send it to Jaquelle and the team that helps her edit via email, and sometimes they accept the article and post it here for everybody to see. That’s how the Reb works pretty much.

      I have written two or three articles, and one of them got posted here a few months ago. Both Hailey and Haylie have also written articles that got published here, and so have plenty more people that I just can’t think of right now. If you like writing, you might want to try some time! The “Get involved” section in the “About” page tells how you can do that 🙂

  • “He’s not too dignified for emojis.” I love it!!😁😁 it’s so true though. God blesses me so often in ways that some people would call coincidence, but I know better than that. Just for example, I’ve written down older CDs I wanted and found them at a thriftstore. This happened a few times with a Hawk Nelson and Relient K CD I wanted. And I found it just laying there on top of all the other CDs, it was the first one I picked up! Since it worked 4 times, I decided to deliberately try it again and wrote down the names of two Hawk Nelson CDs I wanted. I wasn’t sure which one I wanted the most, so I just wrote them both down. A couple months later, I found one of the CDs at a thriftstore in PERFECT condition for a dollar.

    Recently I was really wanting a new black purse, but couldn’t find what I was looking for anywhere. Then my Grandfather came back from a trip to his sister’s house and brought a bunch of stuff back with him. In one of the boxes I found a black purse exactly like I was wanting! And it was free!!! It was also in perfect condition and we had no idea why she even had it in the first place, cause it didn’t look like something she would use.

    But it makes me feel good to know that God cares enough to get me the purse or CD I wanted. And that’s just two examples of ways he’s blessed me. I’m only reminded of the verse that says “delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

    When you talked about being Thankful always, I was reminded of that story Corrie Ten Boom told in her book The Hiding Place where when her and her sister got to the concentration camp, they discovered their beds were infested with fleas. Corrie’s sister, Betsy, remembered that verse about giving thanks in all circumstances and decided to thank God for the fleas. Then later you find out that because of the fleas, the guards never went in that particular building, so they were able to get away with reading the Bible and stuff.

    Sorry this was so long By the way, haha. 😅

    • Talk about God caring about the little things! That’s awesome! I had something similar happen to me. I was going to Juneau, AK to talk to our legislators about establishing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act here in Alaska and after that was the academic decathlon competition, and I needed business attire for both. I found some super nice burgundy shoes clearance, and I really wanted to find a burgundy blazer to go with it. (Pretty impossible, right?) Well, me and my mom walked into a thrift store and BAM! There sitting right out in the open was a really nice burgundy blazer that matched my shoes perfectly and fit me PERFECTLY. I’m not kidding, it looked like it was tailor made for me! I was so blown away by how God cares about the little things! P.S. I love Relient K:)

      • Ohmygosh, this made me smile😊😊 that is so cool. God looks out for us! And yes, Relient K is awesome. I love their newer song “Look On Up”

  • Wow!…I was acting like that just the other day…just annoyed at the world and everyone in general…God sure knew what I needed to read!!! 😀

    This was really funny and encouraging – Thanks John!! 🙂

  • Good post! While we are busy, we can often be in a bad mood. But God helps us with all the problems and He makes us smile. He doesn’t want us to be sad or angry. He’s happiness! He makes us thankfull and happy! He’s good God!

  • This morning I felt like this, I was in a bad mood about waking early on a Saturday. I yelled at my mom and then at my ten year old brother. Then I got in the car and K-Love turned on. I listened to the Christian music and I began to get in a better mood. I feel like this all the time, but I have to hide it. At my school I’m the kid who mismatches to help others lift up there spirits. Thank you for this. I never thought of God actually caring if I was in a bad mood. I knew that he loved me but I never thought of it like that. Thank you for helping me get a new point of view on this.

  • This is how I felt this morning. I started crying in homeroom today, and I snapped at a few of my classmates. Then in gym, I kept on bumping the volleyball over the net. Sometimes, self-accomplishment can beat your bad mood. Also, in Language, one of my classmates cheered me up by trying to use the Force on me. This went on for another period, and it cheered me up so much.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →