We all have good days and bad days. Then there are those seasons that seem to drag on forever where we feel like we’re barely keeping our head above the water, and we just wait and pray for things to change. In this post here I talk about why God lets us wait.
I strongly believe that the most important thing in life is not just getting your circumstances to return to an optimal state. In fact, things in your life can be going pretty great, and you can still be pretty miserable. I can attest to that. I struggled with depression at a time in my life where my finances were fine, my marriage was great, my health was awesome, and I had three perfectly beautiful children. Despite my husband and my mother-in-law helping me with the kids, I struggled with stress and anxiety. So perfect situations are not always the perfect solutions to our problems.
On the contrary, we can still be happy when life stinks. My whole life I have been inspired by a friend of mine who was plagued with financial and health issues but had an amazing positive spirit and loved to serve people. Matt Redman, an internationally-renown worship leader, had a tragic childhood and his father committed suicide when Matt was only seven. Matt continued to seek God and today his songs are sung around the world.
Whether you’re broke, your relationships are broken, or your child is in the hospital with a heart defect; how you react determines the path of your life and the state of your happiness. But how do you govern your reactions to the bad things that surround you? Here’s a few tips:
Focus on the good. Retain perspective.
Although there may be some challenges in your life, there is probably a lot of good as well. Make a happiness journal to recount all the good things that happen to you and all your blessings. Never take for granted the people that love you.
Keep your eyes on God.
One way to have peace and joy is to gain eternal perspective by thinking about eternal things. You see a snapshot of your life as it is right now; God sees the bigger picture. If you can meditate on Him and lay your burdens at His feet, your problems won’t seem so big. Do this on a regular basis.
I’m working on daily recounting with my daughter the things that we’re grateful for. I require her to be specific. The more we think about and meditate on the bad stuff, the more discouraged we become. The more we focus on the good stuff (there’s more than you realize!) the happier we become.
Recite mantras or “breath prayers.”
I’ve been dealing with stress lately, so my mantra is “your yoke is easy. Jesus, be my peace,” and whenever I’m having a moment I pray it. We call them “breath prayers” because they’re so quick you can repeat them throughout the day. “Jesus, I need you” is another one I like.
Volunteer to help someone else
This post here talks about all the ways that volunteering can benefit you. Helping someone else with their problems can take your mind off yours and give you perspective.
Once you realize that your biggest enemy is your heart’s attitude, life doesn’t need to make you miserable. You are responsible for your own happiness. Take steps to achieve it today.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to achieve peace and defeat stress and anxiety, sign up for my free Finding Peace in the Chaos Devotional below!