Thursday, October 22, 2015

blessings for growth

Lately, I've been thinking about my default reaction in how I approach new circumstances and new experiences. In particular, I've been thinking about my attitude and how I respond to God as a woman devoted to following Jesus Christ.

Do I approach the happenings in my life with the mindset of, "Lord, how can I best serve You,” or do I have an attitude of, "UGH! Now what do I have to go through, God?" As the saying goes: Is my glass half empty or half full? In truth, I want my glass to be completely full! I want it to be spilling over the rim and gushing down the street while drenching others in the process! You see, to live the Christian life well, I believe attitude is everything.

If my default mindset while living in service to my Savior views every situation as a chore rather than a blessing, and if I view every trial that comes as just another burden to endure, then what's the point? What would make my new life of victory in Christ proof of anything different from the life of the next person walking down the street who is also living through a variety of hardships or happiness?

I am to live fully in Christ no matter what the circumstance to showcase and give platform to the hope I have in Jesus as my King! That means, I am to live in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control no matter what comes my way. Simply put, if I truly believe what I say I believe, I should welcome God’s ability to stretch and mold me into a healthy woman who, despite my circumstances, is willing to lay the status of my emotional optimism in His hands. For I am being transformed into a new creature. To grow in the newness of my redeemed life, I must also be willing to allow my Savior to transform my spirit. Sure, I might not “feel” like trusting God, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t. I must be willing to bring my A-game in attitude for His Name’s sake. Rather than lean on my own understanding, I must know that my emotional reaction is just that... a reaction. By the grace of God, I am able to turn over all negative emotions to Him so He can in turn change my heart and use me effectively. This way, my focus is always on Him, acknowledging Him.

When I am reminded of the hope I have in Jesus, then my attitude can’t help but reflect His light to the world. Nothing is greater than God’s love. Nothing. With Him, I am able to reflect His light by displaying His presence in my life. The good news of heaven is the truth that changes an old wretch like me to shout praises from the mountain tops. Why? Because He is Lord of Lords, people! He is the Way, the Truth, the Life! I am redeemed and free because Jesus saved me from sin and death! WOO HOO! This is the attitude that should be present in the life of every person who has accepted eternal victory in Christ. This should be our default reaction in every circumstance.

The Holy Spirit is always with me, comforting my heart and directing my ways while He presents new challenges before me. Everything God deems entry into my life occurs for a reason... a good reason. I believe that, because I know that He uses all things to work together for His good. Why? Because He is good! Also, I know that my good God loves me more than anything! So, I can trust Him more than I can trust my own insecurity about what is going on. When the Holy Spirit pulls at my heart strings to share myself with others, or when I am faced with a hard situation that is overwhelming and and can potentially beat me up, I can still rest assured that God has brought the moment into my life because He knows it is an opportunity for me to trust Him and live out my faith while representing Him well. (And I soooo want to represent Him well! Don’t you?)

My Redeemer is fully aware of what difficulties will come. But He allows them to occur in order to mold me to become more like Him. Because of this, how I choose to react to trying circumstances is so important. God is fully able to do a good work in me when I am present with Him and show up willing to serve. When I start out from the get-go approaching my circumstances as blessings for growth, He receives center stage in my life and is then able to reveal His glory in a big way... which in turn makes me more secure in who He is... which in turn makes me healthier and happier in spirit and eager to worship... which in turn brings me closer to the Lord... which in turn allows me to share the good news of my wonderful, loving Savior with others... which in turn changes my heart to further seek His glory... and the whole process continues over again. This makes me stronger in my faith and more enthusiastic to see Him face-to-face in glory. Through every trial, I long to hear Him say with satisfaction, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” This is true growth that moves me closer to my King.

We are told, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) This seems pretty clear. No matter what, we are to be joyful. We are to seek God and pray all the time to Him. We are to thank Him for every circumstance and look at what comes as an opportunity to do the right thing as we live out our part of His perfect plan. I especially love that these verses point out that doing these things is God's will for our lives. So many times I have women say to me, "If only I knew what God's will is for my life." Here it is, ladies!!! Be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks to God always... at ALL times. His lifelong plans for you to be living in the center of His will is a reality today. How wonderful is that?

I am only one person. But I represent the full power of heaven in how I choose to live in the Name of Jesus each day. As His child, I willingly choose to fill my glass to the top and share His love to all the world. Why? Because I know how good He really is. I know where I would be without Him. I need Him. I love Him. He gives life, because He is life! So, I choose to approach the happenings in my life with a positive attitude and sing praises of joy to my wonderful Counselor always! He is the Mighty God! He is the Prince of Peace! He is my Redeemer. A = Attitude, and I choose to bring my A-game so that I am spilling over in victory and living abundantly and free in His perfect will.

I choose to respond with a positive attitude and ask, “Lord, how can I best serve YOU?"

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

6 comments:

  1. I can understand what you are saying ... but when times are tough - and i mean REALLY TOUGH I can't see how you can 'be joyful' .... when disaster strikes - you loose everything! Your child or partner dies! .... real earth-shatering times how cay you 'Be joyful'? Yes you hang on in there and cry out to the Lord, you take console from Him and hang on to your Anchor in life ... but Joyful?? No. Throughout the bible there are lots of occasions where the 'greats' cry out in anguish and lament - not Joyful but hanging on in there and crying out to the Lord! Or am I missing the point to this?
    Dear Lord be there with those who are hit with heartache and disaster, those who feel their lives are retchid and in need of your help. Be their anchor, comforter and carry them in their dark times.
    Amen

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  2. The scripture is clear to be joyful always. This means that no matter the trial, we can find joy in our Savior's grace - if nothing else. It does not mean we should pretend that hard matters and negative or emotional moments don't exist... but an attitude of defeat is not of the Lord, no matter what the occassion. The joy of the Lord is where our strength should come... even during the most difficult and toughest situations.

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  3. Being joyful and thankful always whether god or bad. hmmmm yes I have done it it is not easy but it is the only way. When trials strike thats when you need to be on your knees more. And that connection is made and he fills you with peace. Not saying it is always easy. But it is something in your mind that ou have to set and say whatever I am going through God is with me, I picture him with his arms around me when I am going through hard times. When there is calm he is walking beside me. God is amazing he talks to us through the good and bad, give thanks for everything constantly because we are alive today because of him.

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  4. Such powerful truth and meaning, all what is written, we do spend our time wondering when God will fulfill his will for us,when we should spend more time living as Jesus did,thank you for bringing this to light for me and others. God Bless you all x

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  5. 'Rather than lean on my own understanding, I must know that my emotional reaction is just that... a reaction. By the grace of God, I am able to turn over all negative emotions to Him so He can in turn change my heart and use me effectively. This way, my focus is always on Him, acknowledging Him.'
    That is where I am today, where I have been for the last year actually. My first reaction that lasted months was to fight where I was and grumble because I didn't want to be in this situation. It took so long for me to see that my reaction was to fight where God had placed me because this is where he needs to change me to help me grow into the person he wants me to be. It was easy to trust God when I was doing what I wanted to do in my life but in the last year I had to decide to be joyful where I didn't want to be. I slowly began to get the right perspective and started singing and humming even when I felt like crying and it is getting better for everyone involved and I'm more relaxed and as receptive of the Holy Spirit's leading as I was before being put in this situation. If I weren't so stubborn it wouldn't have taken so long to hand the reins over to the one I easily called the reason I live. I can easily imagine my loving Father crying as many if not more tears than I have because I wasn't trusting him. It is a struggle praying even before my feet hit the floor each morning giving God control of my mind, will, and emotions,every hour in my day and the words that I speak as I determine to keep the fruit of the spirit evident at all times when what my flesh wants to do is control everything. Such is the battle of dying to self and living unto God for me.

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  6. This post was so relevant for me right now! And actually.. if I'm being honest with myself.. always. Not sure how many times I will have to learn to stop placing my joy/happiness in tentative things and rely fully on God to fill my heart. Thanks so much for this reminder. And thanks for being such a blessing! :)

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