[nz_dropcap type=”empty full” color=””]Change[/nz_dropcap][nz_dropcap type=”empty full” color=””] is not the word you enjoy hearing at some points in your life. From a very young age, you have heard the word change. Do you need a diaper change? Change the sheets on your bed. How about this one; Change your attitude! Transitions in life can be quite challenging, but at times they are also necessary!
When I was about 12 years old, my father walked into me and my brother’s bedroom and announced we were changing cites to become home missionaries! My immediate reaction as he left the room was, ” Missionaries? Okay, you all have fun with that. I’m staying here with my friends.” I muttered to myself in my mind. Looking back, I believe that was the beginning of my rebellious attitude that I would act out for most of my teenage years.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a creature of habit. I don’t know if it’s all the repetitive and relentless sports practices I’ve participated in over the years or the never-ending piano practicing. Transitions in my life have been difficult for me. I’ve even struggled to break-up with the wrong girlfriend on multiple occasions. However, the most crucial transition that has taken hold in my life is the one changing me from a sinner saved by grace to a saint living for Jesus.
Even though I have asked Christ to forgive me of my sins and have welcomed Him into my heart, I still struggle with the transition of being a Christian. There are some immediate confessions of sin throughout the day, and a more detailed disclosure while asking for repentance as I close my eyes at night before falling asleep. Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t trade being a child of the King for anything in this world!
Don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live the Christian life just being okay, I want to thrive as a Christian! Don’t you desire the same? I want the abundant life that Christ promised to us in John 10:10.
The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
Satan wants to steal your joy, kill your desire to grow as a Christian, and destroy your life and testimony of faith in Christ. So, what can you do to thrive in the unexpected transitions and live abundantly?
Today, I will share with you four habits you can develop to help you thrive in your walk as a Christian no matter what the circumstance. These are things that I am trying to practice so that they become habitual in my life. If you wait until the unexpected happens to implement these habits, you are in for quite a struggle indeed.
Take your Mind off Yourself
Selfishness has been a difficult one for me. I have struggled with it for years. Sometimes, I catch myself analyzing the motives in my relationships. Things that take place in the life of your family or someone close to you, I hate to break this you…it is not ALWAYS about you! One thing I practice is trying to see the unexpected through their eyes instead of my own. I know, hard isn’t it? Words of kindness or words of understanding can go a long, long way in keeping the peace, providing needed comfort, and making your heart full. To be honest, sometimes it pays to remain quiet. Even if you are asked or consulted, take a moment to see it from the other person’s perspective before speaking–you’ll be glad you did!
Do nothing of selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus... (Philippians 2:3-5)
When you put other people’s needs, desires, and feelings ahead of your own, you are exhibiting the selflessness in your life that Christ lived daily. A humility that led Him to the cross for you–never forget to love as He loves you.
Trust the Omniscient God
Did you happen to notice the word before God? He is the only One that is omniscient, and that is what truly matters. God knows the sins of your past, what lies ahead in your future, and He is aware of what you are thinking right now as you read this article! How can you not put your trust in Him? A couple of my life verses jumped into my mind as I write this post. I want to take a deep dive into both and ask you to think about something. In Proverbs 3:5-6, it states, “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
Are you acknowledging God in everything? Take a moment and think about that for a bit. Do you include Him in EVERY decision? Do you seek divine wisdom in everything or do think you have it all figured out and you don’t need Him on this one?
The other verse I want you to reflect on is Romans 8:28 it reads, “For we know that God causes all things to work together for God, to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.”
What an incredible promise from God to his children who love Him! Here’s the question for you, whose “good” is the scripture referring to in this verse? What you or I think is good, or what God knows is good? We need to remember that what God sees as good and our ideas of “good” may not always be the same. We must trust the One who knows EVERYTHING.
Take Inventory of your Spiritual Well
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is easy for your mind to become distracted from the moment you get out of bed. There is nothing earth-shattering on social media or resting in my email box that cannot wait until I have immersed myself in God’s Word.
In the morning, Lord, you will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to you and eagerly watch. (Psalm 5:3)
I know many of you have responsibilities and children that require your attention at all times throughout the day but are you making it your priority to fill your spiritual well to overflowing? Have you drawn what is necessary from the oasis, that is the Bible, to fill your well with the truths and promises of God? Are you spending quality time communing with the Creator of the universe thanking Him for the opportunity to serve Him today? Ask for His strength and wisdom to empower you for whatever comes your way.
Before you answer yes too quickly, think about this, are you doing these things out of obligation? Making this a habit is fantastic, but It is necessary to take the time to meditate on what God is trying to say to you. Read over or replay what you have listened to or read. Write down verses that you can carry with you throughout the day. Persevering prayer and meditation of God’s Word is how you can begin to fill your spiritual well in preparation for the unexpected changes you will encounter.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:8-9)
Time with Others
I began sharing with you the importance of getting your mind off yourself. I close out my habits with the joy of spending time with others. As an author, blogger, and writer, I need to spend time alone. I admit that I have not been afraid of being by myself at times. However, too much isolation can make you vulnerable to the enemy, Satan! As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, selfishness has been a struggle even before I began writing. However, the joy of spending quality time with loved ones is invigorating! Whether it be family or close friends, spending time interacting with people is a fantastic way to thrive in spite of your circumstances. Don’t isolate yourself or convince yourself that everyone is too busy or has no time to hear what is going on with you. Make yourself available to spending time with other people outside the four walls that surround you.
For those of you that have read my award-winning book on the power of prayer, you know that I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke that paralyzed my left side in July of 2010. A blood vessel burst on the right side of my brain due to extremely high blood pressure. I still check my blood pressure two-three times a day to keep an eye on things and update my doctor when I visit. Do you know which day of the week my blood pressure is usually the lowest? It’s on Sunday morning after church! The joy I experience from the fellowship at my Sunday school class is soul renewing! Whatever I may be feeling, there is someone who needs prayer or has praise they want to share. I leave with a smile on my face and joy in my heart after spending time being trained in the Word and the companionship I experience with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:20)
I want to remind you of something as you gather with friends or reach out to a loved one. Be purposeful to keep God in the middle of everything so it does not turn into a moan and groan or a woe is me session! I love it when a brother or sister in Christ asks me to pray with them because of something they are facing. That is how God can work best in your life. If you are hurting, share your pain but focus on seeking God’s wisdom, direction, and intervention. Then you can have joy in the midst of your trials as you desire to live for Him! (James 1:2-4)
These are four things that I am working to develop habits in my life. Some days are better than others, but I am confident with the Lord’s help He will empower me to thrive in the midst of the unexpected circumstances I will encounter. What about you? Do you struggle with change or transitions in life? What are some of the things that you’ve done to help you thrive? Please share with me in the comments. I look forward to reading your thoughts and learning from your ideas.
Horace Williams Jr.
P.S. Speaking of transition, it became evident that I needed to develop a more author-centric, community friendly website. With the help of Kerrie Legend, there is now a Prayer Board under the Inspiration tab. You can now send your prayer requests or praise directly to me, and I will pray with you about anything. (Bookmark this page!) Another thing I’m excited about is my brand-new Resource Library under the Start Here tab. There are some inspirational freebies as well as some beautiful desktop organizers you can download. You can also contact me via my About Me tab for Interviews, guest posts, and speaking engagements. I hope you will take a moment to look around my new website. It is my hope for this to become an oasis of encouragement and inspiration based on the truths of God’s Word. Thank you again for visiting today. Be well friend, and God bless!