So, you want something different in your life. What do you do? Do you tell your BFF or your mom/sister/co-worker/neighbor? Or, do you take it to God in prayer? Do you keep doing all the same things that you were doing before you wanted this new thing? Or, do you let go of something good to make room for something better in your life?
For example, if you want to lose weight, you need to modify your diet and exercise. This means letting go of some of your favorite foods and possibly a hobby you enjoyed so that you have time to workout. If you want to be happy, you actually need to stop complaining about everything and start being thankful. Start by listing 5 things you are thankful for. Go ahead, give it a whirl! Write down, or speak out loud, 5 things for which you give thanks. You have to be willing to change your routine to make room for the new thing that God is doing in your life.
Praise is a natural progression of thanksgiving. It is an admiration of and a recognition of the characteristics or abilities of another. Tonight, we spend time praising God by praying a Psalm. I encourage you to speak this Psalm (below) out loud after you speak out loud the 5 things you are grateful for. See how God changes your heart as you do this! Thinking and speaking thoughts of thanksgiving and praise create new neuropathways in your brain. Pathways that lead to happiness and greater fulfillment in your everyday life. Spend your efforts making these pathways of joy rather than the destructive pathways of negativity and watch how God changes your perspective on your life.
Psalm 100 (NIV)
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.