How do you feel about your life? Would you say you love it? Or do you just get through each day, enduring the things you don't want to do, putting up with the things that frustrate you, wishing you had someone else's life? Do you believe you will finally be happy someday...when you have this or that?
People often say things like: "I'll be happy when I have a different job." "I'll be happy when I'm married." "I'll be so glad when the weekend gets here!" "I'd be so happy if I had children." And then after the children come... "I'll be so happy when these kids are finally grown and out of the house!"
It's a mistake for us to go through life thinking we can't be happy until we have something we want or our circumstance changes. The truth is we'll always find something to be unhappy about until we learn to be happy in the Lord.
I know about this from personal experience. I got a very bad start in life, and it made me a miserable, angry, insecure person who didn't trust anybody because I believed if I didn't take care of myself, nobody else would. And that caused me to be very selfish and self-centered.
But God didn't create us to live selfish lives, spending all our time trying to get what we want. He put a desire in us to have pleasure, but we will never really experience His blessings – His peace, joy, love, and all the good things He wants to give us – if we live with a "What about me?!" mentality.
John 10:10 (AMP) says, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]."
The enemy – the devil – wants to steal our joy and destroy our lives. But Jesus came and died on the cross to give us abundant life, "to the full, till it overflows"! And it's a tragedy when born-again Christians don't enjoy their lives because they have a "barely getting by, hanging on till Jesus comes to get me" mentality.
If you're unhappy and want to love your life, I want to give you two keys to help you get there.
The first key is to make an attitude adjustment.
Having a negative, critical attitude and feeling sorry for ourselves sours everything. We all have things we could complain about, but it doesn't do any good, so we're just wasting our time and energy when we give in to it.
Make a determined decision to have a more thankful attitude in your day-to-day life. Thank God for the good things you can think of right now, and actively look for more things to add to the list each day. This will help you stay focused on God's goodness.
Another way to improve your attitude is to get your mind off yourself and think about others more. Ask God how you can be a blessing and help make someone else's life better. When we're paying attention to others, it's easy to find something we can do, whether it's giving an encouraging word or compliment, a random act of kindness, or a hug. There's really no end to the ways we can show God's love to someone around us.
The second key is to have a proper perspective.
Loving or hating a thing often comes down to how you look at it. It's possible you can have more joy in your life simply by looking at it from a different perspective.
Whatever you focus on, that is what you're going to get. If you focus on trouble long enough, that's all you'll expect, and it will likely develop.
What we choose to focus on gets larger in our lives. If we don't have a proper perspective of it from God's point of view, it will grow and get out of balance. For example, in marriage, people sometimes get so focused on the things they don't like about their spouse that they totally forget all the good things they love about them.
I know life is not easy, and we all have to deal with hardship at times. But when you're struggling, realize that although you have some trouble, things could be worse.
I certainly don't mean to make light of a serious issue you're facing; my purpose with this point is to help you keep your perspective based on God's Word and His promises. Because when you choose to trust Him in every circumstance, He will always be bigger than your problems!
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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