(ANON QUESTION RECEIVED FROM GodfirstGodalways)
How can I be passionate about life again? It’s been really hard these last few years and it seems to be worse since I’m a junior in college and I just feel like I’m going through the motions and I’m not really living life.
I could say read your Bible more often, pray more often, count your blessings more often, eat healthier, exercise more, do more of the things you love….but I’ll tell you something different, something you can do now that will ultimately lead to being more passionate about that list I just made. Here’s a quick story about me first. I had a lot of struggles growing up since I can remember back when, especially throughout my teen years. This is actually my testimony you’re going to read if you don’t know about my past yet. I am a victim of abuse (physical, emotional, psychological, and verbal abuse). My own father was my abuser. I look back in life and I could say I didn’t deserve all the pain and hurt, but because I’ve come out of it a more confident, stronger, wiser, resilient, patient, and faithful Christian, I don’t regret or am ashamed all that I had to go through. It was for my own good that I’ve come to accept. It takes a lot for me to get sad over a matter or get sensitive over something that someone else might otherwise have thought was a mean or rude thing to tell me. Maybe because I’ve grown to tolerate a lot….I hope I don’t come across as someone who has just become so emotionally cold and because of it, prideful. I sincerely have changed my outlook on emotions and it’s not in any way negative, and it’s because God has transformed my mind. I am however more sensitive to the hurts and pains of others, not in an empathetic “poor you” way, but in a manner that strives to help you “understand more about yourself” way. My dad’s love was very tough and because of this ugly character he used to have, I drew myself closer and closer to God, our Heavenly Father. No matter how much pain I’ve endured, Jesus endured so much more. It’s oftentimes the poorest in spirit that find the most comfort in God because out of desperation He is their last and only hope. That’s why 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 is such good scripture to meditate on…
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
There are testimonies of people in all walks of life who have made drastic turnarounds by professing Christ as their Savior. They are ex-prisoners, ex-gangsters, ex-drug users, celebrities that used to work for the entertainment business, even ex-porn stars, cancer survivors, former atheists….before they gave their lives to Christ, the one thing they all had in common was that they were poor in spirit. They did not at first recognize or acknowledge how badly in shape their spirits were in, but once they did and did something about it by turning to God in desperation, He gave them a kind of strength that could only be found in Him.
In Matthew 5:3-12 it says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I gave my life to Christ and heard of this scripture even before the abuse got worse, but it did not stick with me until years later after I had run away. I rededicated my life to Christ and years after the abuse stopped I had gotten comfortable with my old habits and it wasn’t until then when I realized I didn’t have to experience bad things happening to me to get back on track. Oftentimes it takes extremely difficult experiences for people to change their ways. They need a wake-up call. It takes fear for them to finally get motivated. It could be a breakup, a divorce, losing a job, getting thrown out of the house, a terrible car accident, losing someone they love to illness….those who are the most desperate for change are the ones that actually do something positive with the whatever situation they’re in, and those who easily lose hope and give up go into a deep depression. I’ve learned not to wait for those very difficult times and this is how I do it….I simply practice HUMILITY. I can’t emphasize this enough. SURRENDER AS OFTEN AS YOU REMEMBER IN A DAY. BEGIN WITH GOD EARLY IN THE MORNING. END WITH GOD AT NIGHT. LEARN BY RECOGNIZING WHAT AREAS IN LIFE YOUR PRIDE SHOWS UP IN. AS YOU’RE YIELDING TO CHRIST, REMEMBER WHAT HE DID FOR YOU. YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN, YOU WERE BOUGHT AT A PRICE, YOU HAVE NOTHING AND ARE NOTHING WITHOUT GOD, CONFESS YOUR PRIDE AND OTHER SINS AND GENUINELY REPENT. PRACTICE THIS AS MANY TIMES AS YOU HAVE TO EVERYDAY AND YOUR HUMBLENESS WILL BE AS NATURAL AS BREATHING. YOU’LL EXPERIENCE MORE PEACE AND JOY BECAUSE YOU’LL ALSO BE MORE AWARE OF ALL THE GOODNESS AND BLESSINGS GOD PUTS INTO YOUR LIFE.
When I ran away from home and didn’t see my parents for a year, I could remember 6 of those months were the happiest months of my life. It wasn’t because I was away from my dad, well maybe partly…but it was mainly because I had a lot of alone time with God and that’s when I truly began to love myself by getting to know Him more. It was a streak on the mountaintop because I tried the best I could to acknowledge God everywhere I went. I didn’t know at the time that what I was actually doing was surrendering everyday. When you acknowledge God and I mean not just remember He’s present, but simply remembering He sent His Son to die for you, and accepting Jesus as that grace you don’t deserve, knowing how much He actually did for you to have your life where you get to have God as your guide should make you fall to your knees and grieve for how selfish you have been for making life about yourself. Humbling myself made me fall in love with Him more and more, which in turn made me love myself more, which made me more passionate about sharing His love simply by spreading my joy. I am not 24/7 nearly gung-ho and as excited about life as I was then, but overall I definitely appreciate life more now whether I’m in the valley or up on the mountaintop, I have joy because I still take Jesus with me everywhere I go. Some people are fine acknowledging God only once or twice a day, some need to acknowledge Him 20 times a day. Whatever it takes…know that God will be pleased with you for your efforts.
There’s a similar issue I was presented with I think a year ago. Anon asked how they could be more passionate about reading the Bible because they felt they were just reading it without really getting into it…they needed motivation basically. I can’t remember all that I said, except the part where in order for anyone to get the most out of Bible reading, you have to approach it as if you were a pauper. I believe Bible reading gets boring because we subconsciously think either we won’t get anything much from it or understand anything, or we think we already know a lot when it comes to wisdom. What that is is actually pride but we are not aware of it. There is a fundamental order to prayer and it starts with adoration/praise, then confession, thanksgiving, supplication/prayer requests – ACTS. The first 2, adoration and confession go first because if done sincerely, it should put the one praying in a state of humility. You must be humble when approaching God before realizing He has actually given you a lot (thanks) and before asking him anything your heart desires (supplication). And as Christians we’re suppose to pray a lot throughout the day, enough that it becomes second nature, because really all it is is practicing His presence by talking to God (verbally or mindfully) as if He’s there living and breathing like a real person who’s your really good friend. So approach God with humility by surrendering and praising Him before asking Him that you want to have more passion for life or anything you desire out of life. Acknowledge that you are poor in spirit…I know you probably already know that you are in that state right now, but you should mention it to God too every time you approach Him. Expound on it, be honest with your feelings. “When I am weak, then I am strong. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. God is my guide. He will only give me what I can handle. With Him all things are possible.” Those are God’s promises I put on repeat in my head anytime I can tell my world is about to be shaken. So basically, HUMBLE YOURSELF BY ACKNOWLEDGING YOU ARE WEAK AND YOU NEED GOD’S STRENGTH. BE HONEST WITH YOUR WEAKNESS BUT ALSO DO THE BEST YOU CAN TO FOCUS ON GOD’S POWER OVER YOU THROUGH PRAISE. PRAISE HIM BY MAGNIFYING HIS GREATNESS INSTEAD OF YOUR WEAKNESS. REMEMBER TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY TO PRAY THROUGHOUT THE DAY, AND HE WILL BLESS YOU WITH PASSION FOR LIFE, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, PASSION FOR GOD. That’s my whole but simple secret for true joy. Thank you for this. I will be praying for you! 🙂
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Luke 14:11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Psalm 149:4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; He crowns the humble with victory.
Philippians Chapter 2 – Imitating Christ’s Humility
By His Grace, Sheela (Via godfirstgodalways)