We live in a society of anxiety, depression, stress and sometimes threatened security.  All of these things tend to dampen our joy in living and growing in all that God has defined for our lives.  Because of our hurts and life challenges, we often times feel overwhelmed at facing a new day.  How, when so much seems to be getting in the way, can we begin to enjoy and live a happy life?

With our world weighing down on us, it is important that we learn to deliberately make decisions and adopt behaviors and thoughts that are healthy for us.  This doesn’t mean that we ignore those things that bring distress to our day.  Instead, we are to challenge ourselves to think about them in a more clear and honest way – “In the overall scheme of things – how big is this problem?”  Or…”How big is our God!?”

Often times our feelings of depression, anxiety and despair result from you trying to take control over things which you have no control.  This is a battle of anguish that you cannot win, nor that you can possibly overcome.  It is impossible to control so many things in this world – and I am compelled to ask, “Is it even your job to control these things?”

Look over the suggestions offered below that challenge your habitual ways of looking at life’s challenges.  What would your life look like if you could make these your new rules for living?  How would your life be different?  What about these things could leave you enjoying a blessed peace of mind and embracing all that God has gifted you to be and to start seeing yourself through His eyes of love?

1.  Choose to trust God and His word

When you embrace the truth that there are many things about life over which you have no control; you can do one of two things.  You can either take on a “victim” approach to thinking which reinforces the rule of living that things happen to “poor you” no matter what you do or how you do it.  

Or, you can take the position that you trust God, no matter what happens.  You trust that He will always provide for you – sometimes in ways that seem beyond your understanding – but you know He is always there.  You know that if this door closes, there will be another that will open.  Although you may not feel you have the inner strength needed to make it through the day on your own, you know that God is there with you – no matter what – and his presence in your life will get you through your current struggle(s).

 2.  Let go and let God

To really let go and let God, you must embrace the first point mentioned above.  It means letting go of the need to control your life and life’s circumstances over which you have no control.  One of the behaviors that always leads to anxiety and depression is when you try to control those things that aren’t yours to control.  You want a world of no war.  You want loving and lovely children.  You want relationships that lift you up instead of tearing you down.  You want health instead of illness.  You want security instead of questions.  You want your life to be filled with the realization of all your hopes and dreams.

But, sometimes life doesn’t work that way.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  Sometimes there is evil in the world.  Sometimes you get sick.  Sometimes your relationships are abusive.  Sometimes you lose your job.  Sometimes life hands you the opposite of what you want.  You need to let go of what you define as important – the way you want your life to be and instead start looking for all of the blessing God has filled your life with.  They are there.  Let go of YOUR definition of what “should” be and embrace God’s definition of what is.  Always set a focus on God – He is bigger than all of our trials – He is always there.

3.  Embrace the power that God has gifted to you

God has given each person power in their lives.  You have a personal power in the form of self-control and adaptation.  You can choose to search for the next door that may present itself, or you can quit and get stuck at the closed door.  You get to choose.

One of the greatest tools to use in exercising this self-power is your mind.  Your mind is one of your strongest allies, if you know how to use it.  You have the power to choose to focus on the good surrounding you in the world or you have the power of focusing on the negative things that are there.  (I promise you that there are both!)  We start seeing and experiencing those things that we want to see and experience.  What we look for and observe become almost habit.  Where do you focus your attention?

To really experience personal growth you need to be able to exercise your power by saying over and over (no matter what happens), “God is with me and whatever happens, I will handle it with His help.”  When fear, hurt or pain starts entering your day, remind yourself that God is bigger and that all and the power he has given you is bigger than any fear or pain you may be feeling.  So when the “what-ifs” in life start driving you crazy, simply cut them off – exercise your personal power and know that no matter what happens God is with you and you can handle it!

 4.  Embrace the lessons life has to offer

Many of life’s challenges are just busting with potential lessons.  One of the easiest ways of removing your focus from a “victim” way of thinking to an “embracing life” way of living is by looking for the lesson that is there – for there is always a lesson…always.  If you view all of life’s experiences as opportunities for personal growth, it will help you let go of your need to have things go a certain way – your way.  You will become more comfortable and confident facing challenges and growing in your faith of God.  You will be fully able to let go and let God.  For your confidence in His presence and belief in His love for you will help you focus on learning all of life’s lessons instead of ridding your life of the struggles you have faced.

 5.  Collect and embrace the “heroes” in your life

Look around you.  There are people you know and people you have heard of that are living heroes.  People who – no matter what their life circumstances – are living and growing in life.  To collect these heroes, you need to deliberately look for them and then to them for inspiration in learning.  Who do you know (even if you don’t know him/her personally) that inspires you?  Who seems to have been able to embrace all the life-lessons presented no matter what life sends their way?  Who do you know that is living a full life as a “lover of life” rather than a victim?  Who are your heroes?

 6.  Look for your Blessings –

Life is full of gifts and blessings.  Are you seeing them?  Do you recognize when they are there or do you focus so much on those things that bring you challenges that you forget to take a moment to bask in the glory of all the beauty and love that God provides you each and every day?  As you go through your day, take inventory of the beauty God has sent your way.  Begin noticing all, even the little things that are given to you each moment.  The sunrise, a delicious piece of chocolate, a baby’s smile, a stranger’s kindness, a beautiful piece of music, a perfect rose, the company of a new friend…do you see them?  Are you unwrapping the beauty of this gift?  Are you taking inventory of all the glorious gifts that are here for you?

 7.   Live a life of meaning

There is an incredible sense of accomplishment when you decide to make a difference in your little corner of the world.  Living a life of meaning is making the conscious decision to think and behave in such a way that your presence serves as a gift to others.  This is a way you can pass on the beauty to all of those we encounter.  Do you share grace so that people experience the love of Christ in your actions and words?  Or do you make the decision to get agitated when someone cuts you off on the freeway?  Do you get angry at the person with 12 items in the 10 items or less isle at the grocery store?  Do you become furious when you partner or friend is 30 minutes late because she stopped to carry in the elderly neighbor’s groceries?

As you go through your days are you – the person cutting others off – in the express line with an extra 1 or 3 items – are you chronically late – are you throwing your garbage out your car window – do you give a dirty look to the waitress that just spilled your water?  Make a difference in the world, even if it is just a small difference.  Leave today better than where you found it.  Pass a little love and grace forward.


As you live each and every day choosing to adopt these changes in your life, you will find a whole new sense of peace – a peace that is coming from within you – within your heart.  As you let go of the worries, concerns, hurts, pains, disappointments…of each day, you will have more room to experience and embrace the love God wants to share with you.  To live your life with an attitude of generosity, grace and love – toward yourself and toward your world!  God will use the vessel of you in loving and wonderful ways and you will begin to understand the peace that passes all understanding as those people you encounter will see the love of Christ in your eyes.