“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”~ Jeremiah 29:11(NIV).
Posting scriptures and positive encouragement on social media is part of my ministry as a writer. Hearing and reading negative comments each day via the news media and through Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can leave us discouraged.
A recent response to one of my scripture posts reminded me to continue being an encourager in a sometimes discouraging world. My post was Psalm 138:8.
“The Lord will work out his plans for my life
—for your faithful love,
O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”
The response to that post follows: “I wish I lived closer to you; you’re such a wonderful example and if I could spend time around you I would have a much better outlook on life.”
A Better Outlook on Life
I responded in honesty to this person’s comment, saying, “I read and study the Bible each morning. It keeps me grounded.”
Do I still get discouraged sometimes? Yes. Do I struggle with negative thoughts? You bet. But, it’s remembering God’s promises in scripture, reminding me I’m not alone, that helps me overcome the negativity. I know I can turn to Him in prayer anytime, anywhere and He hears my pleas for help.
Cultivating a more positive outlook on life, no matter our circumstances, requires us to stay plugged into our source of positivity. We may be struggling with loss, financial difficulties or illnesses, but knowing our Creator will never leave us nor forsake us can bring a peace no man can replicate.
One of my favorite quotes, posted on my computer screensaver, is “When peace comes, keep following HIS lead.” It’s a reminder to me that peace comes from God. Without Him, it’s difficult to escape the negativity threatening our well-being.
Changing Our Perspective
The story of Joseph is a perfect example of a life-changing outlook. A favored son of Jacob, Joseph was sold out by his jealous brothers and ended up in slavery. God continually blessed him during the trials he faced and eventually made him the second-in-command over all of Egypt. Only God could accomplish that.
In Genesis 50:20, Joseph acknowledges what God has accomplished. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
As a result of Joseph’s leadership, God saved all of his family from a devastating famine. What his brothers did to him was used by God for good.
God can do that for us, too. We must keep in mind the purpose of our trials—to trust God with the outcome. Recalling His faithfulness in the past will change our perspective.
Trusting God with the Outcome
How do we let go of the need to be in control of our lives? For a former “poster child of control freaks,” it has been a journey of letting go gradually, trusting that my Heavenly Father loves me and wants what is best for me. I want that! I want His best.
Reading His promises in scripture reminds me how His best is greater than anything I could ever conceive. He loves His children so much He has promised to give us a future and a hope. How encouraging is that!
Another encouraging promise is found in Romans 8:28. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
When you discover your purpose in Christ, you’ll also understand God has a wonderful plan for your life—plans for good and not for evil.
I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or through my website. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Photo credit: http://www.kifellowship.org