"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
This life God blessed us is amazing, but it is definitely not without its ups and downs. I believe even with the unpredictability of your day to day life experience, you can live not only joyfully, but exceedingly abundantly more than all you could ask or imagine. How? Let me share a part of my story by unpacking Romans 12...
1. Live surrendered to God
Even though I gave my life to Jesus at age 12, I didn't fully surrender ALL to Him until age 26. On a mission trip to Nicaragua, the Lord showed me an area of deep hurt and unforgiveness that needed to be surrendered to him. As hard as it was, I courageously gave it to him, and he immediately blessed me with the gift of JOY!
2. Transform your thinking by seeking God's perspective
Every day, my emotions want to get the best of me. Before I start my day, I have a cup of coffee with Jesus, worshipping him, reading the Word, and seeking his thoughts for my day. It's easy for me to get out of "alignment" spiritually because of those crazy emotions, so when I seek Him first, he transforms my thoughts that would have had the potential to ruin my day!
3. Follow where God leads
Not only is it important to be a student of God's Word, but to actually have the boldness and courage to follow it! Put your money where your mouth is! I have seen the greatest "return on my faith" by following Jesus as he always gives me hope, patience, joy, love, forgivenesss and whatever else is needed!
4. Serve God by using what He blessed you with to serve others
We have all been given gifts to bless others! In my experience, when I am operating in the giftings God has given me (encouragement, prayer, teaching...) I not only feel most alive, but others are blessed and I am in turn blessed! Get with God and see how He created you to shine!!
5. Overcome evil with good
It's quite opposite in the Kingdom of God on how to win the battle....it's no wonder why fighting evil with evil never works out in the end....hatred with more hatred never solves problems. No forgiveness and love does. You offer up to God your sacrifice of good and He will use it to overcome evil every time! I have seen it over and over again in my life!
God is good, and His Word is freedom! I pray we can all follow it and see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven!!