God wants us to continually make good choices for our lives. So, He's given us the Bible—His Word—as an instruction book to live by.
The thing is, once we know what it says, we're responsible to do what it says. Because there's never a time when it's all right to do the wrong thing.
As we study God's Word, we discover wisdom that applies to every area of our lives. And the best thing we can do is promptly obey God when He brings correction or direction to us. But there are times when we make bad choices anyway, and we experience the pain of our mistakes.
God is our Father, and just as earthly parents discipline their children to keep them from harm and help them see what is in their best interest, God sometimes requires us to face the consequences of our disobedience.
It's important to understand that when God corrects us, it's not because He's mad at us but because He loves us. And if we follow His instructions, then we're going to have a life that's full of peace, joy and emotional stability.
God cares about every area of our lives, and He wants to be involved in everything we do. He wants to help us make good choices in how we dress, what we eat, who we hang out with, how we spend our money ... about everything in our lives.
Even if you have a lot of areas where you need to change and grow, you don't have to feel discouraged. As you become more deeply rooted in God's love, it gets easier to do what He asks because you know He has your best interests at heart.
The question is: Do you value His opinion? Will you allow Him to continually work in your life?
When you really love Jesus, you're committed to righteousness. You want to do the right thing because it's right ... because you love Him, not just to try to earn God's love or a reward from Him.
The good news is we never have to worry about earning God's love. Romans 5:8 says, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God loved us before we were born again and made the righteousness of God in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:17, 21). He'll always love us, and we don't have to wonder, Am I doing enough?
The truth is you are not responsible for the results. God is responsible for that. Your responsibility is to keep doing the right thing all the time, no matter what.
It isn't always easy, but it's always worth it. There are going to be times when we'd rather do the wrong thing. But we'll just regret it later. We need to decide that no matter what our circumstances look like or how hard doing the right thing might be, we're going to hold on to our joy because our joy is in Jesus.
Here's a practical example of what I'm saying: Even if I lose my job and the car breaks down and my child comes home with a bad report from school and I've gained five pounds and nothing seems to be working out in my life ... even then, I will "rejoice in the Lord always" (Phil. 4:4). Even then, I will do what is right before the Lord.
We don't have to settle for letting our circumstances determine the level of our joy and peace. We can decide today: I'm going to continue doing right whether it's easy or not, and I'm going to trust God to give me the grace to do it.
When you're in the middle of hard times and you really don't like your circumstances, the first place to run is God's Word because it has the power to calm you down. Find scriptures about the strength we have in Christ, and then just rest in God's presence and receive His strength. Whatever you need, just go to God's Word.
I've seen God do amazing things in me and through me because I've let Him continually work in my life—and you can have that kind of relationship, too.
I encourage you to pray like this: "God, today I'm giving You permission to keep working in my life until You are finished doing all that You need to do. So when I start begging You to back off, please don't. The truth is, I want to do whatever You are calling me to do."
Your relationship with God can be an amazing journey that brings you peace, joy and contentment in every area of life, if you will simply choose to follow Him.
Please note: The views and opinions expressed throughout this publication and/or website are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
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Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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