The Power Of Positive Perception
There are times when life seems really good, am I right? Your finances are stable. You are thriving at your job. You are handling all of your responsibilities with ease. Your relationship with God is flourishing. You are eating well and exercising regularly. You’re drinking enough water and your skin is flawless. You simply feel amazing!
But then there are times when life seems to be really bad. You are struggling to pay bills. Your coworkers are driving you crazy. You’re overwhelmed by what seems like a never-ending list of things to do. You feel distant from God. Fast food has become your life and the gym is virtually nonexistent. You are probably dehydrated and your skin seems to reflect on the outside how drained and tired you feel on the inside. The struggle is real!
As I have matured I’ve learned that it is much less about what is actually happening and much more about how we choose to view what is happening. It’s not so much that life goes from good to bad and back to good again, though there certainly are seasons of life that are more trying than others. More often than not, it’s that the way we view what is happening in our lives has changed and caused us to perceive a situation or a season as particularly bad.
I’m here to tell you that the key to navigating tough times in your life is altering the lens through which you view those tough times. There are steps you can take to reshape your viewpoint so you have the upper hand on life and life doesn’t have the upper hand over you.
Think Good Thoughts
I know you’ve heard the phrase ‘you are what you eat,’ but even more so than that I believe you are what you think. In the same manner, life is what you think. You have to train yourself to combat negativity with positivity. When you are tempted to see a situation negatively, I challenge you to ask yourself the following questions:
– God, what are you trying to show me?
– God, how are you trying to grow me?
– God, where are you trying to go with me?
Looking at situations from this vantage point helps you to see tough times as stepping stones or building blocks rather than punishment. You can begin to imagine the clarity God wants to give you, the heights God wants to take you to, or the places God wants to go with you. Hardships then become a means to an end as opposed to the end all be all.
Refer To The Word
The Bible is packed with scriptures that remind us of the good on the other side of tough times and the purpose behind our seasons of suffering. Romans 8:18 tells us, “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.” Isaiah 66:9 tells us, “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” Psalms 30:5 reminds us, “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
I could go on and on listing scriptures for days, but the point is this- bad times are short lived. It’s hard to remember this when we spend all of our time hyper focusing on our negative situations. But, when we get into the Word and read what God promises us, it’s hard to forget.
Change Your Surroundings
If you take the time to analyze who and what is around you during the hard times in your life, more often than not you’ll find that your environment isn’t encouraging. We have a tendency to gravitate toward things that reinforce our negative circumstances, rather than those things that provide encouragement. Instead of surrounding ourselves with friends who remind us of the Word and keep us focused on the positives, we gossip with friends who reinforce how poorly we feel. Instead of listening to music that uplifts us, we pick songs that speak to our sorrow and anger. Rather than spending time at places that encourage us like our local church or bible study group, we find ourselves at locations that are less than inspiring.
Sometimes you have to uproot yourself and relocate. Get up and go for a walk. Turn on some worship music. Watch a YouTube video from one of your favorite spiritual leaders. Do whatever you need to in order to put yourself in a place where you can be surrounded with positive encouragement. It is amazing how much better things will appear when you’ve been in an environment where life has been spoken into you.
Changing how you think sets the foundation for you to see more clearly. When you align your thoughts with the Word of God, surround yourself with encouraging people, and place yourself in positive environments, your vision changes. You can begin to see God’s plan and His hand in everything. It doesn’t mean that tough times won’t exist, but it means you”ll be spiritually mature enough to understand why they exist and that they won’t exist for long.
Staff Writer at Christian En Vogue
Diamond Grant is passionate follower of Christ with a deep love for writing. After rededicating her life to Christ during her college years, Diamond became an advocate for women pursuing mental, emotional, and physical health/wellness. When she is not busy being a homeschooling mama to her son or mentoring women on the road to healing, you can find her with a stack of books and a journal nearby ready to take notes.