Have you ever had one of those days where you woke up to discover you were completely out of milk, or heaven forbid, coffee?! Have you ever gotten in the shower, with greasy hair, to discover you had no hot water? How about getting out to your car to find that it wouldn’t start? Were you ever served divorce papers by your husband? Maybe it wasn’t just a bad morning or day you had. Maybe you had an entire week or month, or even a whole year of bad things happen! I had one of those; it was called 2010! It has been through my trials and tribulations however that I have learned how to find peace and happiness in life.
Stop and think for a moment. Do you see how these things that I mentioned are things we think we cannot live without and yet we take them for granted, every day? We just expect to wake up and turn the coffee pot on and wallah there’s coffee in my cup! We expect the hot water to flow, the car to start, and our husband to be there until death does us part. We expect to die together in old age.
Now, I am not going to sit here and tell you bad things happen because of something you did wrong as if you are a bad person. You are not! I am a firm believer that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. What I will tell you is that we can both minimize the lack of in our life as well as add to our life. We can experience peace and happiness and abundance.
Have you heard about the concept that if you have gratitude the universe will give you whatever you want? Woah there Amanda, you say, that is of the devil! Well, I am a Christian myself but I am open to new thoughts. Before I lose you my friend I ask that you just bear with me a moment.
I was at a very low point in my life
From the outside my life looked great, no reason for anything but happiness. However, on the inside I was severely depressed and it’s ONLY by the grace of God I am still here today. On my lowest day when I just couldn’t take it anymore I went into my closet, got on my knees and cried out to Jesus. Literally begging him to either take me or heal me. I immediately felt SO strongly about finding a book I own that I jumped right up, ran down to a closet in the basement and started pulling out boxes and digging through them in search of this book.
I had originally packed it away because I believed people/fellow Christians dictated I should not be reading it. I felt that way because this book teaches that you can have whatever you want if you ask and I was raised that this idea is a sin. Now is it a sin to think we can use God as our own personal genie? Of course it is! However that is not what we are discussing here and I have to say I do not believe this book is wrong because I KNOW God urged me to find this book that day to save my life. This book that I speak of is called The Magic (The Secret)by Rhonda Byrne and I highly recommend it! It teaches the same concepts I will be discussing in this post. It also gives you daily activities to do that will help you to be in a continual state of gratitude.
Studies have shown that gratitude (the practice of giving thanks) literally changes your brain, like physically! Gratitude literally brings happiness and peace of mind. You cannot physically be sad or depressed when you are in a state of gratitude! Nope, it’s just not going to happen! Gratitude also affects a part of your brain called the hypothalamus which regulates bodily functions. This means your sleep improves, you digest food easier and your metabolism works better.
What does the bible tell us about gratitude?
The bible tells us over and over to be thankful. I Thessalonians 5:18 reads “give thanks in all circumstances”. Did you catch that? We are to give thanks in ALL circumstances. Ephesians 5:20 tells us, “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything.” Did you catch that as well? We are to ALWAYS give thanks for EVERYTHING. Gratitude should flow from our hearts, minds, and mouths continuously, no matter what situation we find ourselves in.
Ask and you shall receive
I want you to think about your children for a moment. If you don’t have children think about your spouse or someone very close to you. To make this example easy let’s go with that whiny and selfish child who exhausts you to no end! Do you want to do anything for this child? Do you want to go out of your way for this disrespectful and ungrateful being? Oh my goodness! All you want to do is shut them in their room and take all their fun away! Am I right?!
On the other hand, what if they are your precious little angel who is so pleasant and appreciative, even when things do not go just the way they had hoped? Oh be still my heart! Can’t you hear the angels singing from heaven?! You just want to give them the world! You are more than happy to buy them whatever they ask for. Not only that, but you are excited to surprise them with something you just know they will love!
Jesus tell us in Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?”. Did you catch that? All we need to do is ASK! Think about that! Just as we want to give our little angels the world, God wants to do the same for us. We just have to ask! Back up to Matthew 7:7-8 where Jesus tells us “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” How exciting is that?!
As amazing as all of this sounds, do you think a God who gives good gifts to his children will give you that dysfunctional relationship you are asking for? Will he give you that particular home that you think you can’t live without but what you don’t know is that a pedophile lives next door? Well, he may allow those things to happen. Sometimes God does allow bad things to happen for different reasons, whether it is to grow us or to further his purpose. However, understand that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8) therefore what we may think is good for us God knows he has something WAY BETTER!
Trusting is believing
One verse that has gotten me through many difficult situations is Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. We are to trust in the Lord. We are not to trust in ourselves or our spouse or our job, but we are to trust in the Lord. The fact that this verse tells us to not lean on our own understanding is again reminding us that God, not us, can see the bigger picture and knows what’s best.
We can trust God if we believe in God. Jesus tells us “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” Matthew 21:22.
So, the bottom line here is this: Be clear about what it is you want. I suggest writing it down. Then ASK for what you want and BELIEVE and be THANKFUL as if you have already received it. TRUST that it will work out for your good and in God’s perfect timing!
Stop the negativity
The moment you begin to think or say something negative STOP! Rather than complaining about the price of gas be thankful that you have money to put gas in your vehicle. Instead of complaining about your health give thanks that you have two legs to walk on. When you’re tempted to say something negative about how your spouse works too much give thanks instead that they are a good provider. Always always look for the silver lining in a situation and give thanks for that! You can either give negativity and get negativity in return or you can give positivity and get positive back! It’s your choice!
Finally, just amuse me and for the next week and make an effort to be in a state of gratitude always in all circumstances. In addition, you can keep a gratitude journal. You can also do what I do at night while lying in bed. I hold a special rock that was made and given to me by a sweet spiritual lady. I hold the rock in my hand and think through my day giving thanks for all the good that was in it.
Okay friend, now that you know how to find peace and happiness in life I hope you will put it into practice. Once you practice this for yourself I want to hear all about it!
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present”
– Lao Tzu
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