In one’s journey through life, the road will not always be smooth. The seas will not always be calm, and occasionally one has to contend with raging storms that send monstrous waves crashing against one’s frail craft.

No one is exempt from going through turbulent times. Times when you feel you are at the end of your rope, unable to rely on your own strength, ingenuity and resources. Psychologists talk about coping mechanisms for managing stress, which may fall under the general headings of positive (adaptive or constructive) or negative. But, psychology aside, you need only one strategy to cope with whatever life throws at you; in fact, it’s the best strategy for living: Make GOD the center of your life.

“Putting GOD first” is one of those phrases you often hear bandied about by unbelievers. At any given award ceremony, one can expect an awardee to claim that “putting God first” in his life has led to this culminating point. Sales and marketing executives prod their subordinates to “put God first” in order to attain ever greater productivity. But what or who comes first in one’s life may not be God but the false gods that one really worships: money, fame, public adulation. “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8)

You will need to examine your priorities and be honest with yourself. What position does God occupy in your life? Do your hobbies and watching TV occupy most of your free time? GOD is a jealous God and has commanded, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). You may not be actually bowing down to a graven image or a wooden statue, but anything that takes your focus away from Him is an idol. Resolve to spend more time in prayer and in reading and meditating on His Word.

Be imbued with the realization, and in all humility acknowledge, that without God, you are nothing and He is everything. Than Him, there is nothing in creation that is more exalted, more powerful, more sublime. And yet, as David asked in wonder and amazement, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

Nevertheless, in spite of our being so undeserving, God says in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you…. so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” He first loved us, and for all His attributes, God deserves our highest praise and our deepest devotion.

Indeed, what a loving and generous God we have! And like the Father that He is, God always watches over us. Knowing you are loved and cherished will give you the confidence that you can overcome any challenges that come your way.

Making GOD the center of your life will give you a fresh new outlook. And whatever troubles may lurk in the horizon, your faith will help you surmount them with equanimity and grace.

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