Choosing Life or
thinking causes emotional pain. Rather than doing
something about our thought life, we choose the
lazy way to deal with our pain, by medicating
it with drugs, including alcohol. In other words,
we choose death instead of LIFE.
But first, in order to CHOOSE LIFE, we must receive
God's love. As we do, we receive God's Spirit
and begin to see things from His point of view.
A new identity begins to take shape in us, and
our thoughts begin to line up with God's.
The Lord says, "I call heaven and earth
to witness against you today, that I have set
before you life and death, the blessing and the
curse. So choose life in order that you may live,
you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your
God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast
to Him; for this is your life and the length of
your days, that you may live in the land which
the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, to give them" (Deut. 30:19,20).
When we receive Jesus Christ into our lives as
our Savior, God gives us a new and victorious
life. He does not take away all our problems,
but rather gives us the power to overcome them.
Temptations, guilt, rejection, loss of loved
ones, disappointments, fiery trials of sickness,
financial hardship, and mistreatment by others
are common experiences to us all. Our adversary,
Satan, would try to use these difficulties to
beset us and make us miserable. Perhaps, you are
experiencing frustration and misery right now.
God has something better for you.
Eight Steps to a New You
STEP 1 Receive God's Love
No matter who you are or what you have done,
God loves you personally. You may feel your life
is hopeless, but His love is powerful enough to
overcome every trial and problem facing you.
You are so valuable to God that He sent His only
Son to die on Calvary's cross for you: "God
showed His great love for us by sending Christ
to die for us while we were still sinners. And
since by His blood he did all this for us, as
sinners, how much more will He do for us now that
He has declared us not guilty?" (Romans 5:8,9).
How will God help? First, He understands. There
is no trial, temptation, or suffering that Jesus
has not faced, experienced and overcome: "(Christ)
understands our weaknesses, since He had the same
temptation we do, though He never once gave way
to them and sinned. So let us come boldly to the
very throne of God and stay there to receive His
mercy and to find grace to help us in our times
of need" (Hebrews 4:15,16).
STEP 2 Surrender Self to God
How was Jesus able to overcome all temptation
and suffering without sin when we fail so often?
The Bible tells us that Jesus did nothing of Himself,
in selfishness (John 5:19), but rather lived by
the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. That
same power that strengthened Jesus is available
to you: "So now we can obey God's laws if
we follow after the Holy Spirit and no longer
obey the old evil nature within us. Those who
let themselves be controlled by their lower nature
live only to please themselves, but those who
follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing
those things that please God" (Romans 8:4,5).
To receive this godly power, you must surrender
the things of self. If you have been hurt or mistreated
by others, forgive them. Christ has freely forgiven
all your sins, so you can do the same. Holding
unforgivingness, bitterness, resentment, or jealousy
inside you blocks out Jesus' love and the Holy
Spirit from working in your life. Don't wallow
in discouragement and selfpity, which leave
you open to Satan's attack, spiritually and physically:
"The thief 's (Satan's) purpose is to steal,
kill, and destroy" (John 10:10). Someone
has appropriately said, "You aren't likely
to get your toes stepped on if you're kneeling
in prayer or walking forward."
STEP 3 Give God Your Hurts
You may be hurting and think that no one cares.
Jesus does: "We despised Him (Jesus) and
rejected Him, a man of sorrows, acquainted with
bitterest grief . . . He was despised and we didn't
care. Yet it was our grief He bore, our sorrows
that weighed Him down" (Isaiah 53:3,4).
When your heart is hurting and breaking, God
is right there to comfort and heal, "The
Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking"
(Psalms 34:18); "No, I will not abandon you
or leave you as orphans I will come to you"
Have you genuinely lifted your heartbreak and
burdens to Jesus for His comfort and strengthening
power? The Lord wants to heal that hurt and lift
that load that you might be free and whole to
experience the fullness of His life: "Come
unto me, all you who are weary and burdened and
I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28, NIV).
Right now you can step out of your suffering
and misery by lifting those hurts and things besetting
you to God in prayer:
"Dear Father, and my Lord Jesus, I give
You my burdens and sorrows (name them specifically),
my need for love, and my whole life, that You
will do a mighty miracle by your Holy Spirit to
meet my every need. Thank You Jesus for dying
on the cross for me, so I know You love me enough
to take care of all my problems, too. Amen."
STEP 4 You're Free To Fail
You have just obeyed God for He says, "Cast
all your anxieties (problems) upon Him because
He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7, RSV). God
accepts you in His love, all you are and all you're
not. It is Satan that suggests you hide your failures
and weaknesses from God and others. Concealing
them only leads to living in fear and being bound
and crippled by those sins and weaknesses.
All of us sin and fail. What makes a person successful
and whole is not that they don't fail but that
when they do fail, they get up again, confess
that failure to God and try again. God is always
faithful to forgive and help. "If we confess
our sins to Him (God), He can be depended on to
forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong"
(1 John 1:9).
This divine promise means you can have a new
beginning in your life today and everyday: "God's
compassion never ends. It is only the Lord's mercies
that have kept us from complete destruction...
His loving kindness begins afresh each day"
STEP 5 A New Heart and Mind
Your new beginning and success in life does not
depend on your own effort and determination. If
you just ask God, He will give you a new heart
and mind. "And I will give you a new heart
and right desires and put a new Spirit within
you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and
give you new hearts of love" (Ezekiel 36:26).
It may be months, even years, since you felt
your heart warmed by the presence of God. But
if you will only ask God in the Name of Jesus
Christ, He will remove the hardness from your
heart and give you a new heart of love.
Your mind is the channel by which God looses
these bonds and takes away the darkness and discouragement.
The Bible tells us that as a man thinketh in his
heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). So we are admonished
to "Fix your thoughts on what is true and
good and right. Think about things that are pure
and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things
in others. Think about all you can praise God
for and be glad about" (Philippians 4:8).
When we can do this by meditating on God's word,
the Lord promises to prosper all we do (Joshua
1:7, Psalms 1:2,3).
STEP 6 Be At Peace
Frequently, Jesus told His disciples, "Be
at peace." He speaks these same words of
assurance to you today. In spite of struggles,
greed, and confusion around you, God is in control
of this world and your life, too, to the extent
that you allow Him to reign in your life.
Discontentment is a sign of unbelief (Deut. 28:66,67),
showing that we really don't trust God to guide
us in the right way. Don't give in to worrisome
feelings and allow them to control you. Commit
your worries and fears to God. As you consider
each decision in your life, "Let the peace
of God rule (guide) your heart" (Colossians
3:15, KJV). If there is no peace, stop, wait,
and pray until you have sure and confident direction.
STEP 7 Give God Your Future
God looks at you in faith, seeing you through
Christ, completely forgiven and perfected in His
love. He wants that same mind in you. "...we
have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16). "It
is God himself who has made us what we are and
given us new lives from Christ Jesus and long
ago He planned that we should spend these lives
in helping others" (Ephesians 2:10).
Plan and expect to see changes in your life for
good: "We should make plans counting
on God to direct us" (Proverbs 16:9).
When trials and temptations come, realize God
is right there to help you obey Him. "Loving
God means doing what He tells us to do, and really,
that isn't hard at all; for every child of God
can obey Him, defeating sin and evil pleasure
by trusting Christ to help him" (1 John 5:3).
Prepare for trials and storms by building up
your relationship with God through prayer, reading
His Word, and learning from other Christians:
"All those who come and listen and obey Me
(Jesus) are like a man who builds a house on a
strong foundation . . . When the floodwaters rise
and break against the house, it stands firm"
(Luke 6:47,48). "Just as you trusted Christ
to save you, trust Him too, for each day's problems;
live in vital union with Him. Let your roots grow
down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him.
See that you go on growing in the Lord and become
strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.
Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving
for all He has done" (Colossians 2:6,7).
STEP 8 Live According to God's Word
Your life will abound with a new joy and confidence
as you realize "God works all things together
for good to them that love God, to them who are
called according to His purpose" (Romans
You are no longer your own and no longer alone.
So live confidently and do things wholeheartedly,
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your
heart, as working for the Lord" (Colossians
Every day, expect to grow as a Christian to know
His love more and then to share that love with
others. Pray with David, "Tell me where you
want me to go and I will go there. May every fiber
of my being unite in reverence to your Name. With
all my heart I will praise you...for you love
me so much! " (Psalm 86:1113).