I have heard this term many times, and to be honest, I thought it was a typical Christian cliché. And it still is, but it is a good thing.
The term highlights the acknowledgment of having many blessings in life that there is no reason to worry or concern yourself about trivial things.
The past few weeks have been arduous and exhausting for me as I finish my final semester of my Master of Teaching at Uni and prepare for my final teaching placement.
I can honestly say I have spent my entire life in education up until now, and as I await my results, prepare for placement, and finalise my university journey, I do feel stressed, there is still so much to do.
The idea that next year, after years of study, I will be crossing over from studying to prepare and qualify me to pursue my dream, to officially working my dream job. That is an excitingly daunting thought.
Satan loves to defile and torment us to prevent us from stepping into what God has called us to. When I reflect on my years of study, there were many moments where the devil had his way with me, and I became riddled with stress, anxiety, and disbelief that I could eventually become a teacher. How wrong I was.
Stress is not a terrible, devil-driven thing, but like all things, if you dwell on it and allow it to corrupt your mind and spirit, it does give the devil power and opens an opportunity to take away your joy and hopefulness.
1 Peter chapter five verse eight says, ‘Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.’
God wants us to cast all our worries on Him so he can alleviate our burdens, so that we can focus on God-given, joy-filled things.
1 Peter chapter five verse seven says, ‘Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.’
From a young age, my dad would write notes of how blessed, how capable, how fearfully and wonderfully made I am, and he would put them all over my mirror to encourage me every time I looked at it. He taught me to resist the devil and take captive the negative thoughts that discouraged and disarmed me.
James chapter four verse seven says, ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’
Who am I?
To this day, my mirror has continually been covered with notes of what I am capable of and who God says I am. Some of those things are:
- Jeremiah 1:5 - “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
- Ephesians 2:10 - ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.’
- Psalm 139:13-15 – ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’
- Isaiah 43:4 – ‘Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.’
- Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’
- Luke 12:7 – ‘Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.’
We must be conscientious when it comes to who we listen to and what words we allow to be spoken over us. If it is not of God, I must disregard that thought, that word, those opinions, and turn my eyes to God.
I heard a pastor once say, “If God did not love you and have divine purpose for your life, you would not have been created.”
You are here for a purpose and a reason. You were placed at this exact point in history, surrounded by the people who have been placed in your life for a reason. It is all for a divine purpose, and one we may never know, but God certainly does.
Acknowledge the blessing
Let’s change our mindset from being anxious, stressed, or worried about the undetermined, unpredictable, and unforeseen future ahead of us, and let’s acknowledge the blessing and proclaim how great our God is for giving us this wonderful life in the first place.
Zephaniah 3:17 - ‘The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.’
God wants us to be joy-filled life-seekers. He wants us to think on good, wonderful, and beautiful things from Heaven!
Philippians chapter four verse eight says, ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.’
We have life in our lungs, we have a roof over our heads, we have food in our stomachs, we have wonderful people around us who love us, and a loving God who is with us always. Having God, alone, is blessing enough.
Take your thoughts captive, focus on God, and don’t ever be too stressed to notice how blessed you truly are. God never allows you to do something He thinks you are not already capable of.
John 15:1, 5 - ‘I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me--and I in him--bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.’
Focus on the blessing, and you will find that this God-given life is more miraculous than it seems. You are far too blessed to be stressed.
Cartia Moore is a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She has recently graduated from her Bachelor of Arts degree and has completed an Honours in Screen & Media Studies. She is now going on to do a Master of Teaching (Secondary), focusing in the teaching areas of English and Film studies. She is passionate and driven to inspire and encourage others to seek and find their worth and value in Him.
Cartia Moore’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html