If I asked you, What is your biggest struggle or problem today? What would it be? Finances? Marriage? Family? Job? School? Kids? Weight? Sickness/Disease? Any of these sound familiar? Problems are a part of life, but how we choose to react in the circumstance has everything to do with how we live and the outcome. Happiness is a choice.
This is true for me too. I struggle sometimes with my weight, finances, marriage, family, kids, our homeschool and more. No one is perfect, even if you think someone has it all together, really, they don’t, they have problems too. We all hurt, we all struggle, we fail, we fall, we all bleed from time to time, it’s just the human condition. Behind every smile there is some sort of hidden pain or struggle that person is going through behind the scenes. In everyone’s life there is someone hurting them or judging them or taunting them. We all have an enemy, who works strategically through those around us.
Actually, none of these, not one of these is our REAL problem? I believe our main problem is our thoughts. Yes, what we think on everyday is what our real problem is.
Happiness is a Choice
I tell my girls all the time to choose happy. Happiness is a choice. When we allow our thoughts to become negative, our problem becomes gigantic and all the good things are minimal. For instance, in my marriage I used to focus only on the problems, what my husband wasn’t doing or saying, how he seemed to have zero compassion for the things that bothered me or MY needs.
I was too focused on the problem, so I chose to live in constant suffering. I chose unhappy. But all I really needed was a mind renewal, I needed to take my focus off of what he wasn’t doing and focus on what I needed to do. I needed to not look to him for my happiness, but to God and God alone. I was caught up in the huge trap that most married couples fall into, which is expecting our spouse to make us happy. This is an impossible expectation and unfair to say the least. If you are too focused on the things that are wrong with your spouse or your marriage and thinking/saying — this will never get better…it won’t. Trust me, I know this from experience.
Change Begins in our Thoughts
As soon as I started to focus on God and started to look within me to see what was the REAL problem (my thoughts) I started to come out of this. Real change begins in our thoughts. I started to enjoy my life again. I began to love my husband even when he wasn’t my night and shining armor…lol. And you know what happened, he started to change, he started to help more, he started to do the things I’d always wanted him to do. I’m not saying my marriage is perfect now, it’s not and it never will be, but that’s Ok.
Too many people get married (and I was one) thinking that it is going to be all rainbows and butterflies, but it just isn’t. This is just not true. Marriage is hard. It is work. It is constant change and constant re-connection. If we aren’t continually working on our marriage, one day we may wake up and realize, we have grown apart and we are no longer even on the same path.
It’s not about you
This may come as a shock, but selfishness is the main cause for divorce. It starts small like “He never does anything, but sit on the couch when he gets home from work” Or “Well she just isn’t making me happy anymore.” When we choose to focus on the bad and our bar of expectation is WAAAAAAAY ridiculous and unreachable no one could ever make us happy…sorry but it’s true. Marriage isn’t about you it’s about your spouse and vise versa. Once we begin to put God first and look to Him for our happiness and then our spouse next and truly pour our love into them, we will reap the benefits that we desire.
Well I kinda just went off on a marriage tangent there…lol. But truly this works with every single struggle you may be having. Just take a step back and really dig deep into what you have been thinking on lately and you will reveal the true problem from within 99.9% of the time.
Cast Your Cares
Give your problems to God. He wants you to. Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). It’s not as hard as you may think. Sometimes we may feel like we are drowning in struggle after struggle, but all we really have to do is choose to cast our cares and let it go, no longer think on it. Let it go. In Psalms 30:11 it says “Then he turned my sorrow into joy! He took away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy!”
Replace those negative thoughts with good ones. Here are a few thoughts of God on His plans for you, in Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Were you aware that you are always on God’s mind. He is always thinking of you and planning good things for your future. All you have to do is get a hold of His thoughts, His plans for your future, remember He said, they are plans for good not evil!
If any area of your life isn’t producing the fruit of God, you are not checking your thoughts. You are listening to the enemies thoughts, thus producing the enemies fruit in your life. Which by the way is much easier to do. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2) If you were in Heaven right now, there would be no lack, no doubt, no sorrow, no pain, no anger, no sickness, no disease. So set your mind on the things above like love, joy, peace, health, wealth, and prosperity to name a few.
The Truth will Set You Free
And you will know the truth and the truth will set your free. (John 8:32) Do you want to be set free? Renew your mind with the word of God until you BELIEVE it over anything else! Sanctify them in truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17) If you are always looking for your happiness from others you will never find it. You need to sanctify and renew your mind in the truth, not just once, but daily to see the things of Heaven produced in your life! It is work, hard work to change your thoughts, but if you consistently do it, it will get easier and eventually become natural!
Ok it’s your turn, what are your struggles? Can I pray for you?
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Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Mama to 3 girls. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed, or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a newfound hope and joy within, that He alone can provide. Besides blogging, she also loves to create printables!
Karen Del Tatto says
Forest, This was such a well-written, edifying post! I was hanging on every word!
I tend to set too high expectations and too often look to others for my own happiness. I loved when you said that “change happens in our thoughts”.
I found your statement, “We all have an enemy, who works strategically through those around us.” quite profound, and the more I thought about it, I realize this is indeed true.
The enemy may be working strategically in those around us, but God is working for good through those very same people to give us opportunities to choose happiness in Him alone, to build our faith AND to strengthen our grace muscles to choose to show Christ to those people, choosing selflessness, despite others actions.
I was blessed by my visit here today. 🙂
Lisa Morris says
Yes, change begins in our thoughts and going to the word of God to have our thoughts renewed! Enjoyed your post today! Your neighbor from Soul Survivor:)