When You Can’t Shake a Bad Mood

by Jennifer Wier, COMPEL Training Member December 4, 2023
“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.” Exodus 34:29 (NIV)

I hated to admit it, but my houseguest was grating on my nerves. An old friend had kindly traveled across the country for a visit. But when differences in personality, parenting styles and preferences continually made themselves apparent throughout her stay, I found myself in a sour mood I couldn’t seem to shake.

Though I value hospitality and my friend, I felt tired and incapable of generating the warmth I knew I was meant to extend. I simply could not fake it.

Thankfully, Sunday came swiftly, bringing the opportunity to attend church with my friend. Bathed in the Word of God, I soaked up Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 about how we are to be the pleasing aroma of Christ. I continued on to read about Moses in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18; after meeting with God on the mountain, Moses shone so brightly with the light of God that those he encountered could see the light emanating from him.

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD” (Exodus 34:29).

I so badly wanted to radiate light to those around me, too, but it was painfully clear I could not produce this light on my own.

Then God gave me the most freeing realization: Moses’ light didn’t come from him. It came from the Lord.

My heart was buoyed by the thought that maybe I did not have to make myself more forgiving, kind and gracious after all — instead, just by sitting in the presence of God, I could absorb His loving nature. If Moses beamed with the glory of the Lord after he received the law, how much more might we, as partakers of the new covenant of grace, radiate the brilliance of the Lord as His Spirit rests upon us?

That morning, as I basked in the light of the Lord, meeting with Him on a “mountain” that resembled a pew, my heart was changed. After the church service, I apologized to my friend for my unexplainable gloomy disposition that had hung over much of our time together. She extended grace, and I wore a genuine smile as we spent the day hiking together in the mountains. I knew without a doubt what had caused my mood to lift: stepping into the light of God’s presence.

Maybe you, too, find it hard to manage turbulent emotions or relationships sometimes. If so, there is good news for you today: You don’t have to generate the light yourself! Your task is not to manufacture goodness for God but to be the recipient and bearer of the goodness of God. He Himself is the light, and He is inviting you in.

So turn on the worship music, open your Bible, or whisper a prayer to the One who sees your heart and knows just how to revive it. Rest a while in the warm glow of the source of light Himself. Soon enough, you’ll shine.

Dear God, thank You for shining Your light into my life. Please fill my heart with Your love so that I can share it generously with those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Today’s devotion writer, Jennifer Wier, is a member of COMPEL Writers Training. For free writing tips, tricks and tools of the trade, subscribe to the COMPEL blog today!


1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (NIV).

When is it hardest for you to display the graciousness of God to the people around you? How will you intentionally enter into God’s presence in those moments so you can receive the strength you need to love others well? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

© 2023 by Jennifer Wier. All rights reserved.

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