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~By: Arlene Alicea~

This morning during my time of prayer and meditation, I received a text from someone I admire and consider a mentor. It started with, “Whether you realize it or not, all through the day the power of ‘I AM’ is at work in your life.” Those are powerful words.

What if we start speaking good into our lives saying, I am strong, I am blessed, I am victorious, I am a child of God? We need to choose these words instead of what the enemy wants us to say, I am tired, I am miserable, I am so unlucky, I am depressed, I am sick.

There is power in our words, and we need to realize God does not want us to continuously dwell in sadness or anger. He chose for us a life of peace, joy, hope, and, most importantly, love.

I confess that I struggle everyday with this. It’s hard to discern sometimes when my thoughts are from God or when they are from Satan. What has greatly helped me is knowing God’s Word and believing He is my savior. I can defend myself from the enemy with God’s Word, because the only thing the enemy can use against me is ignorance; not knowing what God says in His Word. God’s Word has power, and the enemy knows that. So when things get tough, the faithful get tougher.

Joyce Meyer states, “Positive minds produce positive lives. Negative minds produce negative lives.” She also goes on to say, “Positive thoughts are always full of faith and hope. Negative thoughts are always full of fear and doubt.”

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV

We essentially choose how we want to live. I know it is hard to stay positive all the time. Our lives dictate how we go through our day, but our minds dictate how we go through life. Things will go wrong, and we will deal with negative emotions, but if we focus on God, we will see Him at work through it all.

The mind is a powerful thing, and letting negativity permeate only allows for Satan to have a stronghold on you. He is the one waiting for you to fall. He wants you to be a failure, depressed, angry, and negative towards yourself and the world.

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10 AMP

I used to live in that negative state of mind. I woke up in a bad mood, traffic upset me as I drove to work, employees’ excuses made me angry, and so on. But what good was that doing me? Then cancer appeared and gave me distress. When my relationship with my spouse didn’t work out, I was sad, depressed, and angry. Not to mention, I was stressing out about my finances.

When I surrendered myself to the Lord, I started to realize that my thoughts and emotions were only hurting others and myself. When positive thoughts started living in my mind and my words were words of affirmation, I started living my true life. I started giving it all up to Christ and resting in His Word. Today, when affliction hits and problems attack from all sides, I thank God for waking me up and blessing all that is good around me. I don’t concentrate on the bad; I can’t change what I can’t control. But I know God moves mountains, and my faith will too.

Our past does not define us, and we can’t experience transformation by staying in bondage to former mistakes, choices, or ways of thinking. We will all be tested. So we have a choice: give it to God and keep peace in our hearts, or let Satan win.

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. James 1:2 AMP

I chose the word ‘joy’ as my word for 2020. The Tony Evans Bible Commentary states, “Joy: The feeling and expression of the inner celebration and satisfaction of the soul that transcends circumstances. Joy is the overflow of life, the stability inside despite chaos on the outside.”

Through God’s Word, I have learned to put peace and joy in my thoughts and in my heart so that it may overflow into my daily life. 2019 ended with many trials for me, and they have continued into 2020. But, I choose to perceive 2020 in a positive light. When God gives challenges and trials, I know there is a blessing on its way. And for that, I am always grateful.

We will always have chaos on the outside. But it is up to us to know and stand on God’s Word. And, always remember you are not alone in your journey.

Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1 Peter 5:9 NLT

The most important things to help us stay focused and close to God are praise, prayer, and staying in His Word. His Word gives us affirmation about all of His promises and plans for us - plans for a good, peaceful life in Him.

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 NLT

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