I am often approached by Christians who have been dealt a severe blow by life. They tell me about the many difficulties and struggles of life. Some of them become depressed and despondent to the possibility of a new future. They in effect become separated from God and His guidance.
The formula I discovered that works miracles in a person's attitude is described in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
When I recommend giving thanks during a time of distress I generally get stares of surprise. One particular story I want to share with you is about a middle-aged woman who had lost everything. She had little saved, and her small business closed. She felt as though there was no hope, none.
It was evident that she was afflicted with a severe case of despair. The images of despair had entered her mind and distorted her outlook. The powers of God that aided her to achieve many things had retreated by the adoption of a nullifying power leaving her lifeless and dark minded.
Immediately I remembered 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and asked her to help me write out a list of assets she might still have left. She protested and argued that it was of no use because she had nothing left.
Ignoring her argument, I pulled a notebook and a pencil from my backpack and began asking questions. "Are you married?" "Yes." she replied. "Is your husband still with you? The answer was "Yes." "Is he mad at you? No. He's very sweet and thinks I can start over." Ok, I said and wrote her answer.
"Did your husband support you in your previous venture?" I asked. "Yes he did. All the way to the end." I wrote husband is supportive.
"Do you have family in the area?" I asked. "Yes I have lots of family in the area." "What do they think about your recent loss?" I asked. "Oh they were all very sorry to hear about the news. Most of them offered to help." I wrote supportive family members.
"Did they say how they might help you?" "Yes, some offered to help us financially, but I can't take the money. My uncle owns a furniture transport company who just signed a contract with a large chain of stores. He needs a manager to help with the expansion and offered me the job." "Ah!" I said. "You have an opportunity in an expanding business." I wrote that down.
"Do you like your uncle?" "Oh yes, I've known since I was little." "Ok," I said and wrote, likes uncle. How about education. Do you have any education? "Yes, I had four years of college and majored in logistics. I've always liked business." I wrote, "has business education."
How about a home? Do own real estate? "Yes" she replied and said, "I had two rental properties but recently sold them and put the profits went to paying off vendors and the rest is in bank to pay the bills." "I also own my home." "How many years have you been paying the mortgage?" I inquired. "About twenty-two years." I continued, "Do know if you have any equity?" "Yes, about $98,000." Shed said. I wrote, financial equity.
She proceeded, "I also have excellent credit. I know the bank manager who told me I can get a loan anytime." I wrote has excellent credit.
"How about your health?" I asked. "I'm great shape. I've always believed in maintaining good health. I workout and eat right." I wrote, healthy.
"How about your faith?" "Do you believe in God?" She replied, "Definitely!" I kept the momentum and asked, "Do you believe God can inspire you?" She replied almost indignantly, "Absolutely!" I stopped writing and smiled.
"You have everything you need." "All you need is to see yourself moving in a specific direction then take action with determination," I said.
She answered. "I never looked at it that way. I guess I was focusing on the failure." "But I feel so down right now. What do I do about that?" I responded, "Did you feel more positive when you were thinking of the good things in your life?" "Yes, I did." "I felt as though I could start over." She said.
This was my instruction to her. Every morning when you wake up, go through your list and start giving thanks for everything you have and include all future possibilities. In time, the heavy feeling will go away and you should feel energized.
We stayed in touch and I'm happy to report that she got all her energy back, and more. After analyzing her uncle's proposal, she realized that the opportunity was much bigger than anyone thought.
She purchased forty percent of the business and became a a valuable partner as she expanded it beyond her uncle's expectations.
This woman's life changed only because she followed God's word. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states that it is God's will for us to give thanks in any situation, and if we perform God's will we please God, and when we please God, God blesses us. That's when we become energized with enough power, vision, creativity, and determination to overcome.
Anything we face is not as important as how we deal with it. The secret to overcoming difficulty is to change our perspective and gratitude is a potent stimulator.
If you ever feel weighed down by the cares of life, take out a sheet of paper and list all your assets. Then give thanks to God, repeat the process until God's positive energy builds up inside. Once you feel energized look into your dreams and opportunities, you'll be amazed at how much clearer your mind will be.
Here's the lesson. Any thought you give attention to will grow in strength. Whether positive or negative a thought can dominate our mind, our health, and ultimately our future.
Control your mind by affirming your gratitude for the assets in your possession, and you can overcome the most formidable difficulty while discovering endless opportunities.