I once heard someone say, “God cannot become your life if God’s Word is not in your life.”

Recently, I was reminded of this truth when I was speaking with an older gentleman who was recovering from a terrible warehouse accident.

“My father always told me, ‘Complaining doesn’t solve anything.’ He was right. I am in a lot of pain, but complaining about it won’t get me stronger. Healthy thoughts make healthy actions.”

This man listened and believed the words of his father. Then, he chose to live out the truths his father spoke to him. If he had chosen to avoid the truths his father had shared, no telling how this man would be responding to his current circumstance… to his very real and present pain.

Thankfully, the advice of our Heavenly Father is recorded for us in the Bible. His words are eternal, unchanging, and for our benefit. His words counteract the forces of doubt and distraction brought on by a fallen world and our overactive imaginations.

We remain spiritually healthy when we remain connected to the Living Word, and we grow spiritually unhealthy when we step away from what is alive and attempt to live in what is dying.

How many times have we put our attention on a particular circumstance rather than put our attention on God who is going to bring us through our circumstance? I know I am guilty. We live often afraid and in doubt rather than in courage and being encouraged by the powerful Word of our Father.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” Mark 5:36

“Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.’” Revelation 1:17

Do we listen to God through his Word? Do we believe God through his Word? Do we live out his truths?

If we are not regularly in the Word, then we cannot expect to hear all that God desires to tell us. We are listening each day, but to whom are we listening?

If we regularly listen to anyone other than God, then we are probably complaining. Listen to your words this week. Really pay attention. Where in your life are you looking more at the problem than the Provider?

If we are complaining, then we are usually at the center of our focus. When God is at the center of our focus, we allow his plan to be at the center of our lives. We allow God to be in charge. And when God is in charge, there is little no room for complaining, even in the midst of very real and present pain. Why? Because God provides, just as he did when he gifted us eternity through the sacrifice of his son, Christ Jesus.

God is still providing in big and small ways: through giving us comfort and discernment through the Holy Spirit, opportunities to begin again, moments to share Christ’s message of hope and eternity with others, being around uplifting brothers and sisters in Christ, witnessing miracles, receiving rest for our weary souls, soaking in the beauty of nature, and receiving unexpected blessings (just to name a few).

May we move out of the center of our lives and put God back in his rightful place. In doing so, gratitude and peace will increase, and fear and doubt will decrease. God can heal us of the disease of selfishness, but we have to know where to go for the healing. Scripture speaks to this truth and much more. It is our job to listen, believe, and live out these truths. All of life’s circumstances are opportunities to live out these truths, but it is up to us to either abandon scripture or lean into scripture. Do we react foremost to life by leaning into the Word or by listening to our own words and the words of others?

I once heard someone say, “God cannot become your life if God’s Word is not in your life.”

SGLY, dear readers.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. You can find her newly released books, “H.E.R.O. Faith” and “Bad Disciples” on Amazon. To submit feedback on SGLY, please contact news@ amtrib. com. Follow Chartier on Facebook: facebook. com/ tiffanychartier and Twitter : @tiffanychartier