A God of Opportunities: Turning the Negative into the Positive
Too many people paint God into a corner. God please answer my prayer this way… Yet God has other plans in mind. We serve a God who delivers mercy, grace, and unlimited opportunities. Yet so many of us succumb to doubt, worry, and fear.
You may think, I cannot succeed financially; there are too many obstacles. You may not be able to succeed on your own, but with God by your side, anything is possible. He can make things happen that seem impossible. He can open doors that you never thought could be opened. Do you have faith that the Creator of life can supernaturally turn your financial life around? He can make a way for you even when the odds are stacked against you and there appears to be no way. Don’t see God as a small-sized God but rather a God who can help you accomplish anything.
Do you know people who are always negative? Even if something good happens to them, they still find something to complain about. You know the type: poor me, nothing good ever happens to me, this is just my luck, etc. It is hard to be blessed when you cannot recognize a blessing when it comes. Turn your negative thoughts into positive responses. Things can always be worse. With God by your side, you can get through whatever you face.
Ron was at rock bottom, in his late forties and about to lose everything: his family, his business, and his millions. The 1980s real-estate market downturn left Ron with highly leveraged real estate and wiped out his net worth in an instant. A “paper millionaire” no longer, he now owed more than his properties were worth. To top it off, he was three months behind on his personal residence mortgage payments and about to lose that as well. Here Ron was, bankrupt, a failing marriage, and considering ending his life. It was painful for him to wake up each day. This went on for months, then years. He hung in there, and his family stuck around despite his behavior.
Finally, a friend leveled with Ron. “I know you have been down in the dumps and keep focusing on the life you lost, but think about the living you still have left to do. God loves you and can still use you for His good. Focus on the good in your life and forget the bad.” His friend then challenged him, “Ron, don’t you think God wants you to do more than you are doing? Don’t you think He has better things in store for you? You need to stop being so negative!”
Ron took the advice to heart and began waking each day with a new mind-set. He concentrated on the good things in his life and worked hard to turn things around. He leaned on God and fought his way out of depression into a life full of hope, promise, and a brighter future. He concentrated on restoring his broken relationships, building back his finances, and honoring God with his attitude.
When Ron turned to God, he found joy, a fresh vision, and a new sense of purpose. Life is a precious gift—every second, each breath, and the start of every new day. You may never get another opportunity to do the things that matter most. You may be so busy that life can pass you by. When you realize what’s important, and create a plan to make it happen, you will reap the greatest rewards. Having a plan is important, but you also need to have a personal connection—something that will keep you motivated. There needs to be fuel to light a fire under you.
Without Purpose, Goals Have Little Meaning
Without knowing what is truly important to you, goals have little meaning. Like the dieter who says, “Yeah, I’d like to lose the love handles,” as he eats two more doughnuts, chugs two beers, and watches another episode of Jerry Springer. His motivation is at zero. Now add some meaning to your goals and it’s a different ball game all together. Take, for example, a woman who has a burning desire to lose her post-pregnancy pounds and fit back into her pre-pregnancy wardrobe. She wakes at 6:00 a.m. every morning, does sixty minutes of cardio, and has been keeping track of her calories. Who do you think is more likely to stick with a diet: the Doughnut Dude or the Motivated Mama?
A lack of vision sometimes leads to mediocrity. If you don’t have a vision of where you are heading, how will you know when you get there? Do you remember the story of Alice in Wonderland? Here is an excerpt from the childhood classic, which highlights what I’m writing about:
“Cheshire Puss . . . would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—,” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“So long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat. “If you only walk long enough.”
Great Things Often Come to Those Who Plan
People who achieve great things often do so because they have a good idea of where they want to be. Think of some of the most successful people you know. Did they get where they are today because of luck? Or because of hard work and knowing what they wanted and where they wanted to go?
Many people have a dream life that they would love to see come to fruition, but often they sell themselves short. They have preconceived notions that to get what they want in life will be too hard and too much work. Have you ever looked at someone who emulated what you wanted for yourself and thought it could never happen to you? If there were no constraints and you could simply make it happen overnight, you would most likely do what it takes to make it happen.
Your goals must be compelling and motivating enough to get you excited about achieving them. They must be powerful enough that you think about them constantly. This includes trying to live your ideal life: where you work or volunteer, what activities you participate in, what charities you support, and any other personal goals. These goals should be specific and easily defined. They should be tangible so you can feel, touch, see, smell, and hear them. They should excite all of your senses and drive you toward success.
In order to create the vision, you will need to uncover exactly what excites you. This involves a self-assessment. By examining how God designed you, it is easier to look around at all the opportunities that are right in front of you.