Life can be hard sometimes. For most people, when difficulty comes their way, they tend to stray from God. They can’t seem to feel His presence and they feel hopeless like their hard times will never end.
Here’s the thing though, just because you’re going through rough times, doesn’t mean you can’t thrive. You were created to thrive under ALL circumstances.
What is thriving, you ask? Thriving is not allowing your environment to influence you in a negative or sinful way. Thriving is obeying the Lord during easy and difficult times. Thriving is knowing how to stay peaceful in ALL circumstances.
So you’re failing your class, or you just got laid off from work, or maybe you had another miscarriage.
That sucks. It’s true. That’s a fact. It sucks and you’re hurting. I feel that pain. Nevertheless, you don’t have to sulk in that sadness or frustration forever. Based on Philippians 4:6-7 NLT, here are 4 steps I’ve done to learn how to slow down and center my inner peace in order to thrive during the bad times:
1. Don’t Worry
Philippians 4:6 NLT “Don’t worry about anything…”
The bible tells us not to worry. Of course, that’s hard not to do right? When you find yourself worrying, practice slowing down your thoughts and realize you can’t control everything. You can only control how you react and respond to things. Your response is your responsibility. So instead of worrying, looking for the positives.
2. Express Your Feelings to God
Philippians 4:6 NLT “…instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need…”
It’s good to acknowledge how you feel. Whatever emotion you are feeling, express that to God. He already knows how you feel so might as well go into detail on how and why you feel that way. Remember, he’s the best friend with a listening ear that’s available 24/7.
3. Remember the Past
Philippians 4:6 NLT “…thank him for all he has done.”
Remember all the times you were scared or worried in the past? And remember how God got you through it? Well, what makes you think He won’t get you through this pain? This is how we should remember the past. Not to torment ourselves over guilt from the past, but to remember the bittersweet moments of our past hardships; remembering how God got us through our pain and suffering. Count your blessings, be grateful, and thank Him for all He has done for you. Thank Him for the situation you are in now because it’s only going to make you stronger just like your past made you a little bit stronger than you were before.
4. Pray for Peace
Philippians 4:7 NLT “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
And finally, pray for God to give you peace. After (1) handing over your problem to God, (2) explaining to Him how you feel, (3) praising Him for what He has done in the past, and (4) anticipating His peace to wash over you. With practice, you will learn how to see each up and down in your life as a blessing and learn how to thrive in any situation that comes your way.
This post from Britt Null inspired me to write this blog. She explains the story behind her cactus tattoo:
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I get asked a lot about the meaning of my tattoos so I thought I’d share about my little cactus I got earlier this year. It was my first “fun” tattoo. Underneath it is the word “thrive”. The meaning for me is that no matter how dry the soil might be or how hard life gets we can choose to THRIVE. Just like a cactus that somehow manages to stay gorgeously green with little to no water. T h r i v e. Always. ❤️🌵ps. If you have tattoos, I’d love to know the meaning behind them! Feel free to share!
Just like anything else, it will take practice to grow the fruit of peace inside of you.
As Philippians 4:8-9NLT states, “…Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
This is how I pray, and let me tell you, God washes His peace over me every time. I feel better about my situation and feel confident that I can move forward in whatever comes my way.
I want the same for you. It’s possible. How? Because the Holy Spirit lives inside of you.
So get serious about your prayer life and learn how to hand over your problems to Jesus the proper way that best fits you.