In a world where people are obsessed by the questions of “what is my purpose in life?” there are things we can focus on in the meantime before the “big reveal.” Whether you know your purpose or not, the Bible is full of instruction for us to do. Here are 3 simple, short ones to live by:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New Living Translation
16 Always be joyful.
We talked about Joy the other day in: Happiness vs. Joy. Joy is enduring. Joy can be cultivated from memories just as quickly as a sudden event happening. We are told to “always be joyful”.
Well Kate, what about those of us who have depression? Yes, what do we do?
Start by filling your mind with the Word of God.
The Bible tells us that the Word of God is quick. It is quick to comfort us; quick to inspire us. If you are low– open the pages.
When you are not so low, cultivate the joy that has been planted within you. Dwell on the things of the past that you have to be grateful for. Make a list of things that bring you joy and start doing them again- one at a time. Make a bucket list and begin to cross one thing at a time off the list. Get out and experience life. Get close to others and fellowship in the Spirit. Enjoy people, places, and situations.
Make notes in a journal so you can remember these things. Dwell on them and be grateful to God for the joy each has brought you. We must choose joy everyday. Life is filled with ups and downs. There is plenty that is neutral as well. If we do not guard our hearts and minds, it can become easy to look at the neutral as negative just because it doesn’t WOW us. But joy does not have to “wow” us. Joy can be found in contentment and peace.
Then of course we find joy when we remember whose we are. We are blessed to believe- a gift from the Spirit. We are blessed to be chosen:
17 Never stop praying.
Are you one of the people that has a set time for prayer every day? Do you start your day with it or end your night with prayer?
I am the type that doesn’t have a set routine. I find myself just talking with God casually throughout the day and the evening. I don’t always even address Him. I used to feel bad that I didn’t have a scheduled time to pray so that I could keep at it persistently in a committed way. Every time I started out to have regular scheduled prayer I would end up blowing it soon after my “new habit” had started.
Whether you have an assigned time or not– neither is better. We are just encouraged to keep it going. There is so much to pray for. We can move inwards or outwards. By that I mean: we can start with the issues of the world/ globe/ nations – then- move to our nation- then our state- then our city- then our neighborhood- then our family and selves. OR we can move outward in the reverse.
If your mind draws a blank, just spend 30 minutes watching the news. That could keep you busy for a very long time.
Selfishness is a block to the Spirit moving in our lives.
I was listening to a Joel Osteen YouTube video and he was talking about how our breakthrough may be tied to us praying for others: standing in the gap…getting out of ourselves and bringing good into other people’s lives.
Now, we are not to just pray with the intention that we get something out of it. We truly should care about the welfare of others– our brothers and sisters in Christ. Point blank – we are told to:
18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
This one is a bit harder.
Can we be happy when under pressure? when sick? when going through a divorce? when struggling with an addiction? when we miscarry? For most people the answer is “no”.
I was reading this morning about attacks by Satan. Some people go too far and see every negative as a thwart by the devil. But whether or not you believe that– you have to realize that the enemy cannot, can NOT, do anything without the consent of God. Now, why God consents to certain things I do not know.
BUT hear me out…there is also free will. People make horrible choices that are outside the will of God. These choices can affect us. This is not an attack by Satan. But it can be used by him to destroy us mentally and emotionally (sometimes physically). Or it can be allowed to be used by God to grow us in our relationship and dependence on God’s goodness, grace, favor and mercy.
There are also events brought on by genetics, or natural weather elements. These too are not attacks by the enemy. They just are set in motion already.
Why do I bring this up under a section on being thankful? Good question. Because God is all powerful. He does not leave us alone. He does not throw us under the bus– ever. And regardless of what we walk through, we always have HIM. That should make us thankful…that when all else fails, we can turn to Him still.
We can be grateful that through the tough, painful, situations in life — He is growing us along the way if we will let Him. He cares so much about us that He will not leave us the way we were before things went awry. We have the opportunity to become better people. And for that, we can be grateful/thankful too.
It is easy to be thankful when things are going well. For most of us, this comes naturally. It is when things are tough that we have to take control of our perspective and search for the good that can come from it. I didn’t say it would be pleasant. But there can be something we are thankful for in most situations.
Today, if you know your purpose– don’t get so caught up in it that you forget this guidance. It is basic – yes, but how often do we get caught up in our daily lives and miss opportunities to practice these three principles. And if you do not know your purpose, maybe take a break from the pressure and stress of trying to figure it out– just do the basics, do these 3 things.
Life doesn’t always have to be complicated and deep to be real, authentic, and helpful. The Bible is full of basic life hacks that we can employ. Take them one at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a ton of things on a list that you need to do to “be perfect”. No one, especially not God, thinks you need to be perfect. NOPE!
We just try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be.
These are just 3 ways to live a great life.
Until Next Time~