Change Your Life
If I knew something that would change your life, make you the most positive person you know and make it so others were attracted to you all the time would you want to know what that thing was?
If you could just do a couple of things that would literally change how people looked at you and made it so they couldn't figure out why you were so different than most people on this planet, in a good way, would you want to know what that was?
If you could be the person you always knew you could be by doing just a couple of things would you want to know what has been blocking your path all these years?
OK, here you go. As the great song writer and philosopher Bobby McFerrin said "Don't work, be happy." Ok, maybe he's not either of those 2 things but he did sing the song that gets stuck in your head.
Changing our life really comes down to being happy/rejoicing and not worrying/thinking right. Look at the following and tell me what you see.
Think About This
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, 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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Phil 4:4-9. Wow, that's a lot!
In Real Life
Have you ever wondered how you were really supposed to do this in real life? I mean really. Rejoice always, in all things?
Rejoice when you get sick or your friend or child dies?
Rejoice when there's more month than money and then something major "bad" happens?
Rejoice when friends forsake you and treat you like dirt as they are walking away?
Rejoice when_______? You fill in the blank because there are a lot of blanks out there.
Yeah right. Rejoice in all that stuff. Paul wasn't being facetious here, he actually meant it. Like the post I wrote recently about Job, all those kinds of things happened to him and then some and yet he was still praising God in the midst of the storm.
But how do we do that? I know I get discouraged at times. I see the waves and it seems like there is no way out. How do we keep our faith strong, our rejoicing high, our anxiety low and our prayer life vibrant? How, in real life, does the peace of God dwell in and guard our hearts and minds?
It seems like it is wrapped up in these verses for us already. Prayer and right thinking. Right thinking is the starting point but often times our thinking is whacked. Like Peter, when he jumped out of the boat, we start with strong faith and then 10 steps into the day our faith is gone and we are sinking.
We need to slap ourselves and talk to our souls about what we know to be true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable. As we think about these things and things that are excellent and worthy of praise then guess what, our faith grows, our rejoicing increases.
Does it Work?
How does this change your life, really? Have you ever been around someone who is negative all the time? These are the people that only see the bad in everything that happens to them. They say, "I am just being a realist". I used to say that all the time. They are, I was, choosing to think this way and instead of rejoicing in the situation, blame someone else.
Right thinking and the ensuing rejoicing is what makes us people that others want to be around. There are enough soul-sucking people in the world that we have to be around that as soon as we get to chose whom to talk with and hang with we want to be with someone who breathes life into our world.
You do want that too? I think the answer is "yes". So if we want to be with those people we have to start to become those people as well.
Do you Want to Grow Faster?
I don't expect you to be positive 100% of the time and there are times when it's my turn to breathe life into you and bring you up because soon it will be your turn to reciprocate.
Life is hard. Trials are coming and the trials are God's way of bringing growth a lot faster. If we want to learn and grow faster the trials need to be there. We need to be there for our friends who are going through those times to encourage them when their faith and rejoicing is weak. Don't worry, our turn is coming; it always does.
Think Right. Talk Truth. Readily Rejoice.
Think about the right things. Talk your heart into rejoicing rather than rebelling. Pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you. See what happens to your life when you do this. You will be pleasantly surprised how much difference it makes.