GOODNESS - TINY SHIFT No.5
Updated: Mar 1, 2022
This sounds too good to be true right? "Experience God's goodness every day." Experiencing any kind of goodness every day may seem like a stretch some days.
I was the same way. I've always left my expectations low to avoid being let down. There are times in my life where I was so depressed, goodness seemed impossible. Those days were heavy and hard.
A few years ago I had prayed and prayed for God to take away the circumstances that led me into depression with no apparent answer from him. It felt like God wasn't listening.
My knowledge of God included his promises of comfort and blessing. But when I reminded myself of those things it didn't translate into experiencing comfort or blessing. Everything seemed meaningless.
There was no experience of peace, and no place to rest my weary head.
Hindsight is always 50/50. If I had known then what I know now, I would have been rejoicing in the storm. The growth that happened through those hard times led me to experience God's goodness.
I would have never matured in my relationship with God without it.
At the time, I lacked the tools I needed to experience God's goodness.
Being reminded of my knowledge of God did not help me in those dark times. What led me to experiencing God's goodness was acting on that knowledge.
Tiny Shift #5
Before these hard times, my life would be considered extremely normal. On the surface I looked put together. But within, my thoughts have been plagued with worry and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I feared any part of the future that didn't seem certain, but that was my 'normal'. If anyone asked me how I was doing, the answer was always:"Everything is fine, I'm fine." Because of that mind set, I didn't know to seek a better way with God.
My tools for reaching out to God during this time were centering around my knowledge of him.
Knowledge: God is good, trustworthy, and works all things for your good. He asks you to give your entire life over to him, have no other God's before him. Jesus died for our sins, so the Holy Spirit may dwell within everyone who believes.
I saw post after post from christian influencers and churches offering a prayer for worry. The entire prayer was a reminder of who God is and who he made you to be, with the conclusion: 'no matter what is going on in your life, you can stand firm in knowing who your God is'.
I tried those prayers for years and came up empty. It added to my depression when hard times actually hit my life. The shift happened when I understood how to take action on that knowledge of God.
1. Give your life to him on a daily basis. This includes:
Past hurts, resentments, guilt and shame
Current worries, anxiety, fears, and stress
2. Make God your sole focus by constantly talking to him throughout your day:
Ask for his thoughts, words and actions.
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to:
Work within you
Change your heart
Give you all of his gifts (the fruits of the Spirit).
By giving over your entire life to God (see Tiny Shift #2 Daily Gift to God post) you are clearing out room in your heart for the Holy Spirit to work. By making him your sole focus you are acting out the first commandment: You shall have no other God's before me.
These simple actions lead to experiencing God's goodness:
Carrying his deep peace with you in all circumstances
Experiencing joy, whether your day is going good or not
Finding true comfort in reading his word
Resting in him because you have given him control of your life
Those are just a few of my experiences. God will bring you the exact right thing you need when you start acting on your knowledge of him.
Before I could not sit in silence without my mind turning on overdrive with worry or planning. Now I find myself sitting in a quiet room with zero thoughts running through my head. This shift has strengthened my relationship with God as I understand how to live through the Holy Spirit working within me. For that I am grateful for the dark times that brought me to fully experience God's goodness.
Stop expecting God to change your outer circumstances if you are not asking him to change your inner self. You will see faster results when you ask him to change you.
Take action on your knowledge of God. First, tell God he is your sole focus. Then, start with your current worries, fears, and stress - give these over to him in prayer.
Begin asking the Holy Spirit to work within you, ask for his peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faith and self control.
Take notice of how you feel the next couple of days. Continually pray throughout your day. If you start feeling peace over your current worries/fears/stress, then begin asking God to reveal your past hurts, resentments, guilt and shame. Give these past parts of your life over to God, making room for the Holy Spirit to work within you.
"God, let us experience your goodness, feel the fullness of life lived through you. Watch over us and protect our hearts as we start changing. The process is not easy, but so worth it. Amen"