What To Do When Life Sucks
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him…”
My life used to really suck. It never failed, no matter what I did to try to make my life get better, it was still terrible. And it was terrible because I wouldn’t allow God to renew my mind. My life sucked because of my thinking. Here are some incorrect thoughts I used to have while searching desperately for the secret ingredient to making my life get better:
- If I could just get my company to grow, and make more money, then life would get better.
- If I could just build my own home, in a nice neighborhood, then life would be great!
- If I could just break this addiction, then I’d finally be happy.
- If I could just get in shape, then I’d find what I’m looking for.
- If I could just get “them” to start showing me some respect, then I’ll have peace.
- If I could just get Jennifer to do “this” or stop “that” then all would be well.
- If I could finally just stop sinning, start going to church, and be a “good Christian” so the church-people would like me and approve of me, then I’d be good enough for God, then life would be so much better!
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG…Wrong…aaaaaaaand wrong.
Friend, learn from my mistakes. Don’t be like me. Although the above list had good intentions to change Old Matt’s life for the better, there was still a God-shaped hole in his soul that had to be filled up first--that is, before anything else would click into place just right!
Once that relationship is established, then we should have a healthy list to gracefully strive for, in order for our lives to get better. And this happens as our minds are renewed by the Holy Spirit, little by little, day by day (see Romans 12:2, Philippians 1:6). As we allow our “do” to match up with the “Who” inside us, life gets good!
This is where life starts to not suck any longer.
You are probably thinking, “Okay, so what is it exactly? What do I need to do to make my life get better?” The answer is two-fold: 1. RENEW YOUR MIND WITH GOD’S WORD, which I talk about all the time because if you renew your mind with the truth of Jesus’ unconditional love for you and others, you will renew who you are, which is the customizable part of you—your soul. But let’s dive deeper into the second step. Number two lies within the opening verse of this devotional:
GLORIFY GOD! Bring attention to Jesus!
Boom! HOW SIMPLE HAS GOD MADE IT?! When the Holy Spirit revealed this to me, my entire life began to change for the better, quickly! I WAS CREATED TO BRING ATTENTION TO GOD! To the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! AND SO WERE YOU!
We were made, molded, and formed in God’s mind, to bring attention to something greater than ourselves, WHICH IS HIM! We are going to worship something or someone–and sometimes, that is even ourselves! This is built in to our human make-up as God’s created beings! WE WORSHIP! WE CHEER! WE SING! WE SHOUT! WE MAGNIFY AND MAKE GREATER! We can’t help it!
You were formed to point to and enjoy something or someone other than you. Like breathing, you can’t stop this from happening–it happens without you noticing, most of the time.
In order for your life to not suck any longer, you must begin to make God, through Jesus, your #1 cheered for Person.
Still don’t believe that we worship stuff without noticing? Just look at Sunday afternoons all throughout America during the NFL season. The absolute die-hard passion that these men, women, and children have for their favorite football team is mind-boggling! Some even get in fights over who they are cheering for!
THERE IT IS! WORSHIP! It’s in us!
Another example: You go to your favorite music artist’s concert, you’re all dressed up and excited, you stand in front of them and sing along! You scream and shout! You GLORIFY! And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with cheering for your team or going to a concert–enjoy that stuff. I’m saying keep everything in the proper perspective to the “rooting on” of the love of Christ, which should be much more than anything else in your life. This is very important.
For your life to get better, to begin to feel content in all circumstances, simply begin to understand that your true joy, happiness, and fulfillment will only be found in glorifying your Creator! And your Creator walked this planet in the flesh….it’s Jesus.
He must be the center! Not going to the gym, not politics, not video games, your phone, social media, not your kids, your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or mistress; not your job, not sex, food, drugs, alcohol, church work, your ministry, sports, or your motorcycle–but just JESUS!
Get Him centered in your soul, begin to worship Him in all things, and acknowledge Him at all times–then you got it! And I’m not saying become a religious fruit-loop, but simply think of Him moment by moment, respect Him, and show Him that you love Him through your words, thoughts, and actions. Let Him live through you…then He will help you fully enjoy everyone, and everything, else.
It’s like St. Augustine said, approximately 400 years after Jesus was born, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” This is where the non-sucking life begins, through glorifying God. I know that sounds like a Christianese word, but all glorify means is “lift up.” It means “bring attention to.” Once you begin to do this, then and only then, will He fill up your soul with a purpose and a peace unlike you’ve ever known before!
A prayer for you: Well good morning Heavenly Father! It’s a beautiful morning here in Missouri, crisp and cool. I thank you for that! I thank you for another day alive. You are good. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who are looking everywhere for joy and peace, and their lives are still extremely frustrating, please begin to reveal that a deep relationship with Jesus will give them all they need. After that, He is the one who gives them all they WANT! And in that order! I’m asking for a brand new resolve and desire for each and every person who wants to allow Him to live through them. Show them that in bringing attention to YOU, and in glorifying YOU in every aspect of their lives, that they will finally find meaningful, organic purpose. Strengthen and encourage them, today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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