How to Live Your Life to the Fullest
- Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2013 5 May
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Nancy Grisham's new book, Thriving: Trusting God to the Fullest (Baker Books, 2013).
Everyone dreams of thriving in life. Yet too often, we settle for simply surviving the challenges that come our way in this fallen world.
If you’re just trying to get by in life, remember that Jesus has promised everyone who follows Him the ability to live life to the fullest. You can experience that kind of life – regardless of your circumstances – when you trust God to help you develop it. Here’s how:
Receive God’s powerful love. God’s love is the essence of who God is, and His love is far more powerful than your circumstances or feelings. You can count on God loving you completely and unconditionally at all times and in all situations. God’s love is a free gift to you, so you don’t need to try to earn it. There is absolutely nothing that can separate you from God’s love, so you can’t ever lose it. Choose to base your hope on God’s love rather than on anything less than that. Open your soul to fully receive God’s love for you every day.
Trust God’s goodness during tough times. God’s goodness is part of His character, so you can rely on His goodness in any situation. Incorporate regular times of prayer and worship into your daily life, so you can stay closely connected to God and keep His goodness at the forefront of your mind. When you encounter challenges, bring your problems to God expecting that God will intervene to help you solve them, at the right times and in the right ways. Keep in mind that God is always at work in your life, so something good can be happening in you even when trouble is happening to you. Invite God to accomplish good purposes in your life; He will use even the worst circumstances in your life to bring about good when you trust Him to do so.
Tap into the Holy Spirit’s power. If you’re a Christian, God has given you the incredible gift of His Spirit within your soul. Turn your attention to the Holy Spirit’s presence within you by regularly clearing your mind of what distracts you from God and seeking to enjoy God’s presence with you in the routine rhythms of life. As you seek to walk in step with the Holy Spirit, you’ll learn to recognize His voice speaking to you. As you listen to the Spirit speak to you and yield your will to His, He will empower you to live a life that reflects what’s best for you.
Change your mind by changing your life. Renew your mind daily by spending time reading, studying, meditating on, and applying God’s Word, the Bible. The more you get to know the Bible, the more it will impact your attitudes, which will help you make wise decisions that will lead you to an abundant life. Before you read the Bible, start by praying that God will help you know and love Him more through what you read. Then ask God to help you be and do what He wants, as He calls you through His Word. Expect God to change you from the inside out as you interact with Him through the Bible.
Get to know who you are and what you have in Christ. Remember that, as a Christian, you’re righteous, a holy saint, and forgiven completely for your sin. You can enjoy benefits such as peace and joy that come from your connection to God. So fully open these wonderful gifts by making sure that your motives, actions, and words line up with God’s truth. Remember that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ; there are only blessings that you need to simply receive into your life with gratitude.
Overcome evil. Use the authority that God has given you to fight evil and be victorious over it whenever you sense evil trying to discourage you in any part of your life. Pray specifically about each challenge or temptation, declaring that Jesus is the source of your protection, power, and authority over all evil.
Expect God to answer your prayers. When you pray, do so with the faith that God will answer your prayers according to what’s best. Declare God’s greatness, recall God’s past faithfulness, confidently ask God to help you with what you need now, acknowledge that you’re powerless apart from God’s help, and then rest assured that God will answer your prayers at the right time and in the right ways as you continue to trust Him each day.
Choose faith instead of fear. It’s natural to feel fear, but whenever you’re afraid, you can choose to respond with faith rather than focusing on the fear you feel. Every time you catch yourself feeling afraid of something, you pray about it, asking God to intervene in the situation and to give you peace about it. Control your thoughts by shifting your focus away from what makes you feel afraid and toward the biblical truths that remind you of God’s promises.
Never give up on God. Keep renewing your faith in God as you move forward, especially when your faith is tested (such as during crises and periods of waiting). Refuse to quit trusting in God, no matter what circumstances may come into your life. Remind yourself of who God is and experience His love for you in fresh ways every day by spending time with Him in prayer. Pass God’s love along to other people by serving them as He leads you, expecting Him to bless both them and you in the process. Keep taking the risks that you sense God calling you to take, believing that they will lead you deeper into the abundant life that God has planned for you. The more you remain focused on God, the more you’ll thrive in life.
Adapted from Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest, copyright 2013 by Nancy Grisham. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bakerbooks.
Nancy Grisham (MA, Wheaton College; PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) launched the speaking ministry Livin' Ignited in 2004. She has been a frequent teacher at Willow Creek Community Church's midweek classes and is a former faculty member at Wheaton College. She lives in the Denver, Colorado, area. Find out more at www.livinignited.org.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.
Publication date: May 6, 2013