God gave me a word a few weeks ago, it's been on my heart a lot here recently and it came back up just again today. It finally made sense and came together. I had been praying and telling God all the circumstances that I was worrying about, everything I was letting take away my joy. As I was going through them, He stopped me and said, "Stop focusing on what you know and start praising for what I do." I heard this not really knowing what I just fully heard and started to finish what I was saying. Immediately and as loud and clear as it could possibly be I heard again, "Stop focusing on what you know and start praising for what I do." I sat there for a few seconds to let what I just heard (twice) sink in. I had been so focused on the situations around me, focused on trying to fix them myself, that I was missing out on the joy and peace God has for me always. I wasn't focusing on all the blessings God already has planned for me. All the blessings He's promised. He already knows the end to my story. He knew from the beginning, so why focus on the things I know?
Psalm 55:22 says "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." If we give our cares, worries and battles to God it opens us up to receive the gift of peace. There will always be worldly situations that come along in our lives. There will always be trials whether small or big. There will always be people to come along who hurt you, to try and steal your joy even when you try everything to make them like you and think they'll never leave. There will always be temptations throughout our days to try to get us to fall back into our old ways. The enemy will always try to use our weaknesses against us, to make us turn away. From thoughts of not being good enough, not being worthy to be happy or have people to care for you and trust, to thoughts of anger and hatred when someone says or does something you disagree with. To thinking you can never possibly be the person God has set out for you to be. But I have a God who is bigger than all I just named. These negative thoughts are what we need to give to Him. The moment they pop in our heads we need to immediately follow them with, "Thank you, Jesus, for loving me. Thank you, Jesus, for fighting my battles. Thank you, Jesus, for taking these thoughts away. Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross to take ALL my sins away."
I am not alone. I always have a best friend right by my side, listening to every thought I have. He will never leave, nor forsake me. When we praise Him continually, even through difficult times...the times you can't see past the hurts or past the waiting...those are the times where we should be praising Him the most because that's when you know God is doing something awesome and if we just hold on to the promise, we will see the victories!