Have you ever wondered if you would ever be able to just enjoy life? I’m talking about not being stressed about anything – just to enjoy life. I know I have. As Christians we know we should experience inner peace and calmness, we shouldn’t be concerned about the day of tomorrow and joy should be part of our everyday life.
But there are just about no limits to the challenges we have to face from day to day. How can we be calm, have inner peace and enjoy life while the pace of living is just getting faster and faster?
Sometimes it feels like you are in control, yet the very next day it feels like you are fighting a losing battle. Fact is; you are not alone.
Let’s have a look at our little list of four things that can help you to enjoy life.
4 Things That Will Help You to Enjoy Life:
1) Take Every Thought Captive.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
It all starts in your thought life. Your daily thoughts will determine the quality of your life. Your thoughts have a direct influence on your emotions and how you feel. By not resisting, but allowing negative, depressive thoughts to dominate your thought life, God’s promises won’t do anything for you. You will constantly feel overwhelmed by circumstances and you will think that there is no hope.
“Yes, but I can’t help that I’m thinking those negative thoughts”, you say. Oh yes you can. Look at 2 Corinthians 10:5 again…..”we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
“But how do we take our thoughts captive?” you ask. It is simple, but not easy. For some reason, we just love to meditate on the negative stuff. If someone has done you wrong, it seems like that is all you can think of for the next couple of days. When the company you work for, starts down-sizing due to the bad economy, you almost automatically stop focusing on your strong points at work. It is as if your mind shifts into overdrive just to find every possible reason why you would be the next person to be laid off.
The solution to this problem is the following: It has been proven that your mind cannot focus on more than one thought at a time. So, when you are focused on a negative thought, that will be all you are thinking about. But, you can consciously make a decision to think about something else. Make a conscious decision to think positive thoughts.You are not what you think you are, you are what you think - Anonymous Click To Tweet
Deal With Those Negative Thoughts
Those negative thoughts will come, no doubt. When thinking negative thoughts, you will experience negative emotions. Accept that. Give recognition to those thoughts and their accompanying emotions. But then you need to take control. Determine whether there is anything you can do about it, and then do it. If you cannot change the situation, what can you do to make it more bearable, or to avoid it altogether. Or, in case of risk, how can you reduce the risk to a minimum if you cannot eliminate it?
Take action on what you can do, and make peace with what you cannot change. But find the best solution possible, and then focus your attention on the solution, not the problem.
That is how you take your thoughts captive. You decide what thoughts will dominate your mind. You cannot think strong, positive thoughts and still feel weak and negative.
Philippians 4:6-9 (NIV) says “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
2) Receive God’s Grace and Be Yourself.
1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV) says “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
Whatever you are facing, it is not in yourself or by yourself that you need to accomplish anything, but by the grace of God. What a stress reliever? It’s not about you or your ability. It’s about your availability.
Philippians 4:13 (NIV) says “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Take note that this scripture doesn’t say “I can do some things” or even “I can do most things”….it says I can do all things through him that gives me strength.
No matter what the obstacle or the challenge, you can overcome it.
Getting anxious or worried is not going to solve any problem. Matthew 6:27 (NIV) asks the question “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?”
Think about the solution, not the problem. Then find comfort in the fact that God loves you and that by the grace of God, you can overcome any situation and do whatever is necessary. Determine what you should do, what you can do, and start doing it. Just be yourself and take action. But start small and take one step at a time. Without rushing yourself, just keep on taking one step at a time, doing what you know you should do.
It doesn’t always have to be pleasant. You will not always be able to do what you want to do. But there will always be something that you can do.
3) Have Faith
Romans 4:16 (NIV) says “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.”
How do you develop your faith? Romans 10:17 (NIV) says “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
By constantly hearing the word of God and His promises, and by meditating on it, faith will come. Meditate on the promises of God by repeating it to yourself through the day. Then start acting on those promises.
This is not some ‘magic – just think positive for a week and get everything you want’ kind of formula. You will still face challenges. You will have to persevere and practice patience. But if you decide to make God’s Word final authority in your life, He will come through for you.
How do you know when your faith is becoming strong? When you really, spontaneously start acting according to your faith.
4) Your Faith Becomes Visible Through Your Works.
To have faith also doesn’t mean that you pray about something and then passively sit around waiting for miracles to happen. Yes, you do pray about the situation. But then you get up and act in faith according to your prayer and you do something.
James 2:14-26 (NIV) says “14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e]and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
Action Speaks Louder Than Words.
It is easy to talk about faith, and to tell others what to do. Often, people with the least to show, are the first ones to give advice to everybody else.
You don’t have to walk around talking about your faith all day. Your life will do the talking without you saying a word. Action speaks louder than words and your life will tell the story.
So, just maybe we should become less focused on all the stress and the ‘rushing around’. Maybe we should just calm down a bit. Move as fast as you can, but stay calm and do one thing at a time. This way we can get things done and start to enjoy life again.
What do you think? Do you get more done by being worried about everything? Did you solve any problems lately by being anxious? Do you sometimes catch yourself feeling guilty about ‘not performing’ enough – especially when you start listening to the guy down the road who is always bragging about how busy he is?