Are you looking “buff” yet from all that chiseling this week? 😉
As promised, today’s post is all about building a good blueprint for yourself that you can turn to during those times when struggles threaten to keep you in a groundhog day cycle of Saturdays (see my post from Tuesday or this week for more information on what I’m talking about…)! Using personal experience, coupled with great ideas from our author, Lysa TerKeurst, I think you’ll find this plan is not only DOABLE, it’s peace-inducing in the process!
I love interactive, step-by-step directions that give concrete examples of what the “creator” is talking about, don’t you? So grab a pen and some paper and get ready to construct a very individualized and workable plan for your times of trouble.
Here is, in brief, what we are going to work through together:
THE PLAN: CHISELING OUT WHAT GETS IN THE WAY!
Step 1: Remember who HE is and who you are IN Jesus!
Step 2: Turn focus to Jesus!
Step 3: Recall Truth and wise words…and use them!
Step 4: Give praise and thanks in the storm!
Step 5: Realize & evaluate the reach of your reaction before you act!
Before we begin, let’s write down whatever it is that is threatening our peace; the circumstance that is creating the pain of struggle:
WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?!
Write a brief paraphrase of the situation bothering you.
Who will be effected/affected by your reaction to this situation?
If you react right now out of emotion and feeling, how do you envision this situation playing out?
Okay. Moving right along to…
STEP ONE: REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE IN JESUS!
God is with me. God is in control. God is my strength!
Circle which “I AM” statement moves your heart the most:
• I am always with you. (Matt 28:20)
• I am the bread of life. (John 6:35)
• I am the light of the world. (John 8:12)
• I am the good shepherd. (John 10:14)
• I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
• I am the vine, you are the branches. (John 15:5)
• I am the Prince of Peace. (Is. 9:6)
So, with that in mind, what does that make you? (for example,” I am always with you” means YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! “I am the vine” means YOU ARE ALWAYS CONNECTED TO GOD!)
STEP TWO: TURN YOUR FOCUS TO THE NAME OF JESUS!
• The name of the LORD is like a strong tower. Godly people run to it and are safe. Prov. 18:10, NIRV
• So keep them safe by the power of the name that you have given me – Jesus. Then they will be one with each other, just as you and I are one. John 17:11, CEV
Pick one of your I AM statements from Step One and turn it into a one-sentence prayer using the name of Jesus (examples: “Jesus, remind me now of your constant presence.” Or, “Jesus, Prince of Peace, intercede to bring peace to this situation.”) and write it down.
STEP THREE: REMEMBER WISE WORDS AND USE THEM!
Choose one or two scriptures and write in your own words, rewrite it to create an action plan for yourself in times of struggle/crisis:
• A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up. Prov. 15:1, CEV.
• Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish. Prov. 18:13, NLT.
• I promise you that on the day of judgment, everyone will have to account for every careless word they have spoken. Matt. 12:36, CEV.
• Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Eph. 4:29, NLT.
Write an action statement for the scripture you chose from the previous page and write it down. An example of an action plan sentence for Proverbs 15:1 could sound something like: “I will mentally acknowledge at least one kind FACT about the person/situation before getting into a discussion.” An example for Matt. 12:36 would be something like: “Wendie, remember that these words you are about to speak will be accounted for by God. Are they worth it?”
STEP FOUR: GIVE THANKS & PRAISE, EVEN IN THE STORM!
List 2-3 attributes you know to be true and appreciate deeply about God and list them here (examples could be: forgiving, all-knowing, loving, ever-present, etc.)
List 2-3 things that give you the most gratitude that God/God’s love has done for you: (examples could be: turned my life around, has great plans for me, gives me hope in the darkness, makes me feel safe even in times of uncertainty, etc.)
Now take the things you wrote on the previous page and write a 1-2 sentence prayer of praise and thanks back to God. (Examples: Lord, thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for protecting me when I was scared and didn’t even know you were there. Thank you for wanting me and loving me even when I didn’t deserve it!)
STEP FIVE: REALIZE & EVALUATE THE REACH OF YOUR REACTION BEFORE YOU ACT!
Write a brief recap of your situation/circumstance.
Having gone through the last four steps of involving Jesus into this situation, how will you change your reaction to create a more Godly reach, and less negative emotion, for yourself and everyone else involved?
So there you have it. A little plan to tuck into your Bibles or journals for those times when you are tempted to lash out at God, yourself, or someone else and turn your reactions from Grizzly Bear to Godly.
I’m sure not saying it’s easy. But I AM saying it’s doable. And like anything else we do in life, if we want to get good at it, we’re going to have to practice. We all miss the mark and make mistakes. The key is getting back up, taking a step back, and trying again. I pray this plan we created together today will back something you can fall back on time and time again when things get rough.
If you are following along with our Good Bible Study Girl study with us (and I HOPE you are!), we are finishing up Session 4: Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl in my Struggles! This week’s give away is a SIGNED copy of an amazing new book called Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest. I am blessed beyond measure to know (and LOVE!!!!) the author, Dr. Nancy Grisham. This book is coming out on May 1st, but Nancy has graciously agreed to provide the lucky winner this week with an advanced (and did I mention SIGNED?!) copy of this amazing book! So leave a comment for your chance to win!
AND…here’s a little teaser of fun for you – Dr. Nancy Grisham will be doing a GUEST POST on this very blog in May! OOOOOOooooo, you are going to LOVE her and her book!
Up next week: Pruning: OUCH, that hurt! But boy, do I feel better…!