Life is a pretty crazy thing. It's overwhelming, challenging, stressful and at times, just plain tough. There are moments of pure bliss and there are moments of pure distress. Life throws us around in each and every direction, and it's sometimes hard to stay focused on the only thing that can (literally) settle the waters: our wonderful Lord.
So, here are a few scripture-based expressions for you to say to yourself throughout the day to keep yourself on God's track.
"Seek first His Kingdom."
"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Say this to yourself when you start to get stressed out about planning and decision-making. Telling yourself to "seek first His Kingdom" puts your priorities in check, stopping you from making decisions based on your own agenda and reminding you to make decisions based on God's agenda. Surrendering your plan to God is much easier said than done, but goodness gracious, it's so rewarding in the end.
"The Lord weighs the heart."
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!
As I mentioned earlier, your priorities need to be checked. God doesn't bother with the petty reasons behind the things you do; He looks straight into your heart. Remind yourself of this throughout the day when you do things for your own glory instead of for the glory of the Lord and the Kingdom (ie: stop going on mission trips to get more Instagram likes and start going on mission trips to spread his love and his word to the ends of the Earth).
"Later you will understand."
Jesus replied, You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
Times will get tough before they get better. Sometimes it may seem like your world is crumbling into pieces, but God wants to tell you that later, you will understand. Take some time to tell yourself that, in case it didn't quite sink in when Jesus said it. Things sometimes have to fall apart so that the Lord can put the pieces back together for you. And here's a thought: Don't you think the one who designed the landscapes of the Earth and knit you together in the womb could put those pieces back together in a far better way than you ever could?
"Do not be afraid."
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
In those tough times, remind yourself that fear is unnecessary. God wants us to go through the ups and downs of life holding onto his peace. He doesn't want to see our hearts troubled and our minds clouded with fear; He wants us to use his peace as a guide and a companion.
"You believe at last?" Jesus answered. "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Those ups and downs of life can be extreme, though, especially on the path that leads to eternal life in Christ our Lord. Jesus challenges us to "take heart" in times of trouble, so challenge yourselves in those times of trouble to do so. Every waking moment is a battle against Satan and his army of sins and temptations. Take heart and prepare to fight.
"No one will take away your joy."
"So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete.
Our lives as Christians may be a daily battle, but it is not meant to take away our joy. Remind yourself that no one can take away your joy because as God is the only true giver of joy, no one can take you away from Him. Realize these two things: Joy comes from the Lord and nothing can separate you from the Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.")
"Serve Him only."
Again, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "all this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
It seems way too easy at times to get caught up in the woes of everyday life, doesn't it? We lose touch with God because we're too busy worrying about our phones, our jobs, our education, our money, our relationships, our homes, our kids, our hobbies and our Earthly lives in general. Unfortunately, when we do exactly that, we put other things before God. The Lord didn't send his own son to die on the cross (for you and me, by the way, since we're clearly so deserving) for us to serve anything or anyone else. When you start to prioritize all the wrong things, remind yourself to serve God only.
"Let your light shine."
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven"
There's a light inside all of us, whether it shines brightly or not. The Christian walk is all about spreading the light of God's love across even the darkest parts of the world. Remind yourself that everything you do should make your light shine even brighter. I see it this way: If each individual's light shines brighter and brighter in God's name, the light of God's love would shine brighter and brighter to those who need it most.
This life is a crazy one. Trust me, I know. In the midst of all of the storms, take a moment to yourself to remind yourself of any of the things above (depending on the situation) and to give thanks to our Lord for making this crazy life such a great one.