As we are growing up, each of us begins to envision how we’d like our life to be in the future. We may ponder what type of job we want to have. We may ponder whether we want to get married, or not; and if so, what qualities we are looking for in a spouse. We may consider whether we want kids or not. We may even consider what types of material things we would like to possess, such as; our house, type of vehicle, and places we’d like to visit in the future.
We then begin to put together a plan to get us to our life goals. This may include; deciding whether/where we’d like to attend college, possibly pursuing specific certifications, and choosing the type of people we would like to associate with.
The thing is, in spite of our education, charm, personal/professional connections, and best laid plans; life will always present us with the unexpected. It is how we choose to respond to the challenges of life that will determine our ultimate future.
Perhaps you are a person who paints yourself as the picture of success in public. You may have obtained a Masters or Doctorate in your field of study. Now, you hold a high paying leadership position, which enables you to purchase all of the material things you desire. The issue is: Are you facing any health issues, as a result of the stress of your job? Are you spending quality time with your spouse? Are you spending quality time with your kids? If you are single, in spite of your public success, are you privately dealing with feelings of loneliness?
Maybe you are a person who has always had big dreams, but has just had a tough life. You feel that the opportunities just haven’t been there for you like they’ve been there for others. You’ve had so many disappointments that your self-esteem is nearly gone. Perhaps you’re feeling some bitterness about life in general, as a result of past mistakes you’ve committed or wrongs that were committed against you by others. You just want someone to come along, who truly cares; and can help you get some meaning out of your life.
Maybe you are a church going person, who prays every day and reads the Word of God. You trust Jesus for your salvation, but you find yourself wanting to take matters into your own hands when persecuted by others. You may even find yourself becoming envious when you see other believers reaping blessings ahead of you. Perhaps you hold a position within your church, and maybe just maybe a little bit of pride/arrogance has crept into your heart, because of your position.
So many people either try to escape their woes of life via: alcoholism, drug abuse, various sexual encounters, and sadly even contemplation of suicide. The influence of the world will promote the ideal that in order to be happy you have to be a certain weight, stay up to date with the latest fashion, drive the finest cars, etc… None of these things will make a person truly happy. They will instead lead to broken homes, prison time, restlessness, and health issues.
The wisest decision each of us can ever make is to take some time to examine our life, and realize that we were placed on this earth by our Creator for a reason…and that reason is not to wallow in discouragement, nor is it to become drunken with pride. With this realization we can then decide that we are ready to commit to making some positive life changes.
The first step is to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. Jesus is the only person who can give us the strength to pursue, obtain, and maintain lasting happiness and purpose.
Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, a good next step is to do like David:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Please don’t be afraid to admit that you have sin in your life that needs to be dealt with. As it is often said, “Before a problem can be dealt with, we have to identify that we first have one.” Please let me also say that the issue may be that we may have to forgive someone who has wronged us. Forgiving the person does not let them off the hook for wronging us, but it does allow us to let go of any hatred that poses a stumbling block to our being able to move forward. No matter who we are, or where we may find ourselves in life, presently; the Bible states that ”For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”(Romans 3:23)
I am reminded of the parable of the prodigal son.(Luke 15:11-32) After squandering all of his inheritance, this once wealthy, young man finds himself eating with the pigs. It is at this time that he begins to consider his predicament. It is at this point that the young man has a few options. 1). He can wallow in self-pity; choosing to remain in this predicament 2). Allow sinful pride to led him to choose to remain in this predicament, as a result of not wanting to have to admit that he’s made some bad decisions.
The lesson here is that he chooses a third option. This man humbles himself, and decides to return to his father with a repentant heart.
Like the Prodigal Son’s father, God is always watching and waiting for us to come to Him with a sincere and repentant heart, and welcomes us home with open arms.
It is only when we reach out to God, and trust in Him to give us the strength and guidance to make the necessary changes, that we are able to start down the road to overcoming our internal and external battles.
The devil will speak to your mind or use other people to tell you that you don’t need Godin order to change your situation, or even that you’ve made too many mistakes for God to forgive you, but this is a lie. As long as there is breath in your body you have an opportunity to cry out to God for forgiveness.
Luke 15:7, 10
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
II Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Read also, Romans 5 and Colossians (1:19-23
Whether you are a person who is ready to accept salvation, or a believer who realizes that you need to let go of some lingering issues, in order to grow in Christ; if you are ready to make a fresh start with Jesus, I encourage you to pray this prayer:
Lord, I acknowledge that there are areas in my life that I can’t fix myself. Lord, I ask that you come into my life, and forgive me of my past transgressions. Please, help me to forgive myself, and help me to forgive those who have done me wrong. Search me, Lord, and remove anything that is not pleasing in your sight. Fill me with Your love, wisdom, and give me peace in my heart. I pray this, and Thank You in the name of Jesus. Amen
When we accept salvation, God saves us immediately, and makes us fit for entrance into Heaven, however some changes God will empower you to make easily, while making other changes will be a process that may take months or even years to make. Regardless of your situation, I assure you that the Lord loves you more than you could ever comprehend, and He will be with you every step of the way. Pray, study God’s Word and ask Him to give you revelation of what you are reading. I also pray that the Lord will direct you to a true Bible teaching, Jesus loving church, where you can have the support of other believers.
OTHER HELPFUL POSTS:
You Matter To God
Can God Really Use My Life?
Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up
Finding Peace In Your Storm
God Allows U-Turns
Body, Soul, And Spirit
Looking Up When People Let You Down
Setbacks Have An Upside
Overcoming The Giants Within Us