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Which of these phrases do you utter to yourself most mornings? Do you greet each day with an expectant, positive attitude about what the day holds, or do you feel like pulling the blankets over your head, dreading what awaits you outside your front door?
We must combat the dread that tempts us to stay in bed by keeping a positive attitude and mindset. Our attitude is so important to how we feel each day. The kind of day we have is, to a great degree, determined by our thoughts and actions. If we dwell on negative thoughts, expecting the worst, our actions will reflect those thoughts.
It’s impossible to reach your God-given destiny if you allow negative thoughts to fill your mind. Dread is a close relative of fear, and allowing it to remain in your mind, sets you up for misery and robs you of joy.
Once, I experienced a feeling of dread as we were planning our trip to speak in India. I was excited about the wonderful opportunity there, but all I could focus on was the long flight and poor conditions that exist in that country. I’m grateful that I knew how to dispel those negative feelings with positive thoughts about what could be accomplished during our time there. If I had allowed myself to dwell on the negative aspects of the trip, it would’ve taken away the joy and excitement God wanted me to experience. Dread is a trap, and you must be determined not to fall into it. If not being sure of the future or facing new things causes you to feel dread or fear, remember Philippians 4:13 says, ...I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me....
There’ll always be roadblocks to keep us from enjoying the wonderful life God has provided for us. With all the stress and pressures of everyday life, we must make a decision that we’re going to enjoy life regardless of our circumstances.
Every single day is filled with all kinds of situations that could upset you—like losing your car keys or getting caught in a traffic jam. But when you know what's going on, you can choose to be in control.
You must take responsibility for your happiness. You’re the one person you're never going to get away from, so you’d better learn to like yourself. It’s impossible to enjoy life if you don't enjoy yourself. We have a well of wonderful things on the inside of us, and no matter what's going on around us, we can drink from that well within. We can find strength right there inside of us to do what we need to do.
I’ve learned that life is so much better when we don't have unrealistic expectations—for ourselves or other people. There was a time when I got upset and felt sorry for myself for days when my husband, Dave, wanted to play golf. But God helped me to see that each of us has different ways of relaxing and unwinding. For Dave, it's golf. For me, it's shopping or watching a good old classic movie. As long as we keep things in balance, we can enjoy the freedom of doing what we like best. Understanding this has brought about a wonderful freedom that allows both Dave and me to do the things we enjoy.
You can enjoy this same freedom in your own life. Living in freedom—and allowing others to do the same—is a healthy and positive approach to life that pleases God.
We must also learn that we can be extraordinarily happy while living an ordinary, everyday life. Expecting life to be one long series of exciting events is setting yourself up for disappointment—and that’ll steal your joy! So learn to be content with life as it is.
With God's help and your determination, you can learn to be happy and enjoy every single day of your God-given life. Start your days by saying, "This is the day the Lord has made. I willrejoice and be glad in it. Good morning, Lord!"