May God himself, the heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
release grace over you and impart total well-being into your lives. Ephesians 1:2b TPT
What does it take to enjoy well-being – to feel serene and content in less-than-ideal circumstances? To love your life even when it’s not perfect? I believe total well-being as used in the above verse means enjoying vibrancy or wellness in five different areas of life: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, and relational.
If we live by God’s Word, total well-being can be a personal choice, and only the bible contains the instructions we need to make that choice! What are some of the most important biblical keys to a full, rich and satisfying life (John 10:10 NLT), the experience of total well-being?
Key #1: Faith results in greater happiness and more optimistic thinking – therefore, choose to believe in God, his goodness, love, and desire to bless you! The best life comes from deciding to wholeheartedly seek to know and follow God. In fact, unshakable faith can lead us to pray big, audacious prayers, which prompt God to move. Regardless of our doubts, we must live as if we believe!
Key #2: Jesus’ power came from relying on God, and the more we imitate Jesus, the more we can experience this power. Life can be a great adventure when we live beyond our own abilities and comfort zone. Difficult challenges are meant to teach us to rely on and trust God, and as we learn to do this, we’ll enjoy greater contentment and confidence! The best way to slay our “character giants” such as pride, insecurity, cowardice, and idolatry, is to yield to God and let him take the reins. Then, when we’re radically committed to let God change our hearts and control our lives, he’ll give us that full life Jesus promised.
Key #3: Focus on the good and believe God can teach you something worthwhile from every situation. A positive attitude is the evidence that we trust in God’s goodness, and the truth is that changing how we feel is often as easy as changing the things we tell ourselves! Our goal is to replace negative thoughts (often lies we tell ourselves) with life-affirming biblically-accurate thoughts. The next time you realize you’re feeling sad or anxious, ask yourself, “What was I just saying to myself?” and “What does the bible say about that?” Then choose a more constructive thought.
Key #4: To be motivated, follow Jesus’ example (Hebrews 12:2) and envision yourself feeling incredible after achieving your goal. Simply wanting to feel better by escaping an unpleasant situation won’t keep you moving forward when the going gets tough. Instead, feeling the excitement, satisfaction, and gratitude of having achieved a meaningful goal helps motivate us to keep going. And, since the Apostle Paul was a master at setting and achieving goals, imitating him can help us stay motivated.
Key #5: Tell yourself, “I am unique and special, I have a necessary and vital purpose, and God made me exactly the way he wants me to be to fulfill his destiny for my life!” As his children, we must agree with God and see ourselves as he does – flawless! Many of us devalue ourselves, but that makes it difficult to please God since we tend to act in ways consistent with our self-image! Believing that you’ve been uniquely created to fulfill God’s special plan means you won’t be satisfied with mediocrity.
Key #6: God knew in advance what he wanted you to do, and he designed you to fulfill that specific purpose. Are you able to understand and describe your God-given mission and purpose? If not, you may become easily discouraged in following Jesus, and it can be especially difficult to make sense of suffering. Believe that you were born by God’s purpose, for God’s purpose, and ask him to reveal your unique purpose and path. Figure out how your past experiences have prepared you to serve God and others – to do something only you can do!
Key #7: God’s constant care and protection mean we have absolutely no reason to be fearful or insecure. God commands that, instead, we be grateful people, which then enables us to have the best possible life. In fact, not only does he command gratitude, he provides us with tons of inspiration! Being able to have an intimate relationship with the awesome Creator, Father, Lord, and Savior is certainly the number one thing that inspires our gratitude to a God who even uses painful times to forge the faith and strength we need to persevere!
Key #8: As we trust God and follow his Word, he gradually makes us more like Jesus – more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Unfortunately, anxiety can rob us of our joy, so we need the bible’s wisdom for lives that are fulfilling, meaningful, and inspirational. Changing our focus – from our worries to the Word – helps prevent crippling anxiety.
Key #9: As a book describing God’s transformative relationship with his people, nothing surpasses the bible as a reliable guide for developing healthy, gratifying relationships. Jesus loved in words and action, so we can imitate his compassionate care wherever we go, which will only happen when we love God wholeheartedly and are fully committed in our walk with him. Since kindness is a fruit of God’s Spirit, the more we grow to be more Christ-like, the more kindness will bloom in our hearts and lives.
Key #10: Because Jesus taught us to be meek and surrender to each other, we can influence and be influenced by other people. Make it your goal to be genuinely interested in other people and able to remain calm without being easily offended. Sometimes we confuse boldness with harshness, but there is greater power in gentleness. In fact, when we experience Christ’s peace in our hearts, we can more easily experience peace in our relationships! Finally, let’s use “the love chapter” (1 Corinthians 13) as a barometer to monitor how loving we are with each other!
My new book, Ten Keys to a Rich & Satisfying Life: Timeless Wisdom for Total Well-being contains more information and details about putting these ideas into practice.