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Enjoy Your Life!

Enjoy Your Life!

When your alarm clock goes off in the morning, do you wish you could just stay in bed? Do your struggles and responsibilities weigh you down with frustration, boredom, or hopelessness? If so, rest assured that God wants you to have a much better life – one that you enjoy! God will give you the ability to enjoy life, no matter what your circumstances.

Here’s how you can enjoy your life:

* Look for fulfillment in the right place. Stop looking for true and lasting satisfaction in the wrong places, such as through your work, personal pleasure, or accumulation of knowledge or material possessions. Realize that only God can provide the fulfillment you seek. Make a strong relationship with Him your top priority.

* Give yourself permission. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying the blessings God gives you. Understand that denying yourself enjoyment doesn’t somehow make you a more seriously spiritual person. Remember that God Himself is joyful and intends you to fully enjoy the gifts He gives you. Go ahead and have fun pursuing your interests, knowing that as long as you don’t engage in anything harmful, you can enjoy your pursuits.

* Notice God’s gifts, and thank Him for them. Make it a daily practice to thank God for each new day after you awaken. Throughout the day, keep a running list of specific things for which you’re grateful. Then, before going to bed, pray over your list, thanking God for each one. Don’t forget to acknowledge basic blessings, such as your freedom or ability to buy healthy food.

* Place the seasons of your life in God’s hands. Ask God to transform your attitudes and bring positive results out of negative situations as you travel through life’s seasons. Rely on God’s unchanging power in the midst of changes you experience in all aspects of your life. Rather than battling the season you currently find yourself in, ask God what He wants to you to learn from it, and trust Him to give you the encouragement and strength you need. Whenever you’re going through a tough time, serve other people to take your focus off yourself and find genuine enjoyment as God broadens your perspective. Know that, while life is unpredictable, your faith in God will always stand.

* Don’t isolate yourself. Understand that God has created all human beings to engage in relationships – with Him and each other. Make sure you’re investing plenty of time and energy in relationships, which will give you lots to enjoy. Pray about specific challenges in your relationships, trusting God to give you the solutions you need.

* Use your time wisely. Regularly remind yourself of how fragile and fleeting life on earth can be, and that every day is a gift from God. Don’t fall into the traps of being either lazy or too driven, missing out on God’s best for you. Ask God to give you the wisdom to use your time each day as He would like you to use it, according to His purposes for your life. 

* Place God at the center of your marriage. If you’re married, realize that your marriage isn’t about just you and your spouse. Ultimately, it’s about God, the source of your love. Invite God to guide your marriage and use it to transform you and your spouse into the people He wants you to become. Trust that when you do so, you’ll open the door to a much more enjoyable marriage than you could have otherwise.

* Turn your worries into prayers. Whenever a worry enters your mind, pray about it. Know that worry can’t accomplish anything good, but prayer has great power since nothing is impossible with God. Be specific as you share your concerns with God, and trust Him to answer your prayers in the right way at the right time. 

* Pursue contentment. Ask God to help you be content with your money, your health, and other situations in your life. Realize that true contentment doesn’t depend on external circumstances, but on internal peace that only God can give. Trust God to do what’s absolutely best for you at all times and in all situations.

* Find friends with crazy faith. Don’t confront sorrow or pressure alone. Ask God to provide friends who have so much faith that it sometimes seems crazy – friends who will boldly proclaim that God can perform miracles in your life. Surround yourself with these friends, ask them to pray for you, and thank God for them.

* Regularly clean sin out of your life. Ask God to constantly search your heart and show you areas of sin that you need to deal with in order to truly enjoy life. Confess your sins honestly and frequently, repent of them, and embrace God’s forgiveness and grace to keep growing. Expect that the more you submit every part of your life to God, the more of His wisdom He will reveal to you.

* Forgive others and yourself. Don’t allow bitterness to poison your heart and keep you stuck in unhealthy patterns; instead, pray for the ability to forgive, and ask God to help you move beyond challenges with confidence.

* Be patient. Remember that there is an end to every trial. Instead of giving in to temptation, press closer to God and ask Him to renew your strength during a hard time. If you don’t see immediate answers to your prayers, keep praying, and expect God to answer them at exactly the right time.

* Personalize Scripture verses. Every day, read the Bible and invite God to lead you to Scripture passages that relate to your current experiences. Then paraphrase them in a personal way, either aloud or by writing down God’s fresh messages for you.

* Don’t let your emotions lead you. Decide to trust in God’s reliable leading rather than your own unreliable and constantly shifting feelings. If you sense God leading you clearly to act, go ahead and do so, even when it doesn’t make sense to you.

* Trust that God will redeem your mistakes. Expect that, just like all imperfect people living in our fallen world, you will make mistakes. But also expect that God will right what you’ve wronged if you invite Him to do so.

* Give generously. Don’t wait until it’s convenient for you to help others. Decide to give whenever God leads you to, trusting that God will give you joy in return.

* Take care of your body, mind, and spirit. Recognize that you’ll enjoy life much more if you’re in your best possible physical, mental, and spiritual health than if you neglect one or more of these areas. Eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep and exercise, constantly seek to learn something new, and stay close to God through Christ.

Adapted from Enjoy Life: Moving Past Everyday Struggles, copyright 2006 by Marilyn Hickey.  Published by Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.  

Marilyn Hickey is the founder and president of Marilyn Hickey Ministries. She has been actively covering the earth with God’s Word as a respected Bible teacher to people in many nations for more than 30 years.