Sometimes life can be difficult, and every day is not going to be filled with good news or things we like to do. But the truth is, God never intends for us to be miserable or have "a horrible day," even when things aren't going our way.
He wants us to expect good things and stay full of hope, regardless of our circumstances. And here are two words that will help you to do it:
When you dread something, it simply means you're expecting to have an unpleasant experience, which is the exact opposite of hope.
Without even realizing it, I think a lot of people dread their way through the day. We dread going to work, rush-hour traffic, doing the dishes, doing laundry, cutting the grass, grocery shopping, cooking dinner and on and on. When we live this way, dread steals our joy and ruins our day.
We also experience dread when we worry about things that might happen, especially when it comes to things we can't control or do anything about anyway. Instead, we can choose to stay happy and trust God take care of them.
In every situation, we need to have an attitude that says, "I can do whatever I need to do through Christ, and I'm not going to stop enjoying my life, regardless of what is happening. I may not have planned for this to happen, but I know God can work everything out for my good."
For example, my husband, Dave, used to get debilitating migraine headaches. If you've ever had one, you know how it goes: The headache comes on little by little, and when it first begins, you naturally begin to dread it and think, Here it comes again!
One day the Lord spoke to Dave's heart and said, "When you feel those headaches coming on, don't dread them. You can enjoy your life anyway."
Romans 8:37 (AMPC) says, "Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us." To be more than a conqueror means that before you ever get a problem, you already know that whatever comes your way, you can overcome it through Christ. You live with confidence that God loves you no matter what and He will never leave you nor forsake you.
When you have this kind of relationship with Christ, you aren't constantly afraid of bad news or dreading things that may happen that aren't in your plan. When the unexpected happens or you're disappointed, you aren't devastated by it because "amid all these things," you have peace and joy—you don't have to wait until they are over to enjoy your life!
So, Dave started practicing what the Lord showed him. When a migraine would come on, he'd say, "Nope, I'm not going to dread it—I'm going to enjoy my life." Not long after, he stopped getting the headaches altogether.
Start With the Small Stuff
Overcoming dread often begins with the little things in life. I remember years ago when I was quite good at playing "the martyr" when it came to doing housework.
I would often walk around the house in a huff, mumbling things like, "Well, everyone around here expects me to do everything. Dave goes out and plays golf and the kids make messes. I just cook their meals and clean their dishes and do their laundry. I want to know who cares about me!"
The truth was no one was forcing me to do those things. I chose to do them because I love my family. However, I rarely enjoyed myself because I was so determined to have a negative attitude.
Sound familiar? Your situation may not be about housework, but we're all tempted to feel sorry for ourselves and dread something at one time or another.
I encourage you to play "The Glad Game." It works like this: When you're faced with a negative situation, choose on purpose to look at the potential good.
For instance, if you get stuck in traffic, say, "I'm moving slow and running behind, but maybe God is protecting me from an accident that would have occurred if I was going faster."
This works for any situation, big or small. Even if it's something as important as losing a job, you can choose to shift your focus to the positive and say, "I may be out of work, but now I have an opportunity for God to provide me with a better job than I had before!"
The Bible says, "The Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you ... that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you ..." (Isaiah 30:18a).
No matter what life brings your way, God has a plan to make it better—a plan filled with hope and good things. I encourage you to get in agreement with Him. Approach each day with a positive attitude and choose to not dread. As you do, I believe you will begin to find joy in every single part of your life.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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