Today I’m welcoming my friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries’ author, Tracie Miles, to share with you from her new book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live.
Tracie is an amazing woman of God who has faced really hard things in life. I’ve watched her be shaken to the core, and yet because of her strong foundation in Christ, she has not given in to despair. This book wasn’t written by someone on easy street. It was written in the grit, dirt and mess of life.
Faith is easy when life is easy. God seems so good when your marriage is great, when your kids are honor roll students and money is in the bank.
But what happens when your faith is tested? When the worst happens? Will it sink or will it stay afloat?
Friend, Tracie has been there. And she will share what she has learned in those darkest times.
Today, Tracie is giving away a copy of her book Unsinkable Faith, along with her companion study guide and journal, to one of my readers! Keep reading to find out how to enter.
Now here’s Tracie:
Sometimes the term “optimist” gets a bad rap.
Consider what thoughts come to mind when you think of someone who might be called an optimist. Someone who puts on a fake smile or a happy mask even when you know they aren’t happy? Someone who lives in denial of actual problems in life? Someone who can somehow find the silver lining in everything? Someone who is always so happy that they actually get on your nerves? Or maybe someone who just refuses to face reality?
Let’s try to dispel those assumptions by looking at the actual definition of the word “optimism.”
- a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
- the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
- the belief that goodness pervades reality.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually make optimism a part of our everyday lives? I bet we probably all would like to learn to see the “glass half full” instead of the “glass half empty,” and we all want to try to look for the silver linings in our hardships – but honestly, that’s not ever easy, even when we have faith. But let’s face it, when life is hard, faith is not always easy either.
Let’s quickly look at the definition of faith.
- confidence or trust in a person or thing
- belief that is not based on proof
- belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion
The truth is, optimism – the ability to see things in a favorable light and expect the best – and faith – the ability to trust that God is in control and always had good plans for us – go hand in hand. On our own accord, we cannot look at a terribly stressful circumstance and automatically see it as good or positive. We can’t be facing a painful or difficult situation, and muster up a huge feeling of joy and peace. We can’t persevere day after day through difficulties and storms of life, and find the strength to keep going.
Without faith, we not only eventually begin to sink under the weight of our problems and negative thoughts and emotions, but we will also find it impossible to be an optimist. Negative thoughts are heavy, and when we tie our minds to them, we will always sink – mentally, physically and maybe even spiritually.
Faith is the foundation for true optimism. As we grow in our faith, allowing God to fuel us every day with peace and reassurance of His Presence, we can all not only learn to be optimists, but discover that our problems and adversities don’t have to sink us. We can have unsinkable faith, which leads to unsinkable optimism, if we choose to take control of our own minds.
Life just happens, but positive attitudes don’t. They take work, intentionality and commitment. True unsinkable faith and unwavering optimism take commitment. Commitment that comes from believing that a life of peace and joy is possible in Christ – not because life is going to be positive, but because God always is.
Problems and stress are temporary, yet they can cause permanent damage to our attitudes if we’re not careful. When we intentionally choose to try to transform our thoughts through the power of Jesus, and learn to rely on Him for peace and joy, even when circumstances dictate otherwise, we become spiritually equipped to be the kind of optimist we have deep down always wanted to be. Attitude transformations don’t happen overnight, but they do happen, and it can happen for you too.
Being an optimist doesn’t mean wearing rose colored glasses and ignoring the problems of life. It simply means learning to look at life through the lens of a holy God. It means choosing to control your thoughts, so your thoughts don’t control your happiness. It means asking God to help you transform your attitude, one thought and outlook at a time.
How might your life change today if you chose to look at your circumstances differently, even if they remain the same? How might your attitude change if you stopped worrying and fretting and letting negative thoughts consume your mind, and turned those worries over to God while asking Him to replace worry with peace and optimism based on knowing that He is in control?
Sometimes a more positive life is simply one positive thought away, even if our circumstances remain the same. Being an optimist is not just a state of mind, but a state of heart – a heart that is filled with unsinkable faith which lays the foundation for positive thoughts to flourish.
GIVEAWAY CLOSED: Congrats Jeanette Wilson you won Tracie’s Unsinkable Faith book plus a downloadable companion study guide and journal. Please see your email for more information.
Tracie also has gifts for all of you! Visit Tracie’s blog to download a sample chapter of Unsinkable Faith, sign up for her 5-Day Optimist Email Challenge and 4-day Bible Reading Plan.
Tracie Miles is a national Speaker and Author with Proverbs 31 Ministries and has spent the last 11 years inspiring women to live intentionally for Christ. To make positive living a reality in your life, consider purchasing Tracie’s newest book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live. Tracie is also the author of two bestselling books, Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past To Create A Beautiful Future (2014) and Stressed Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World (2012). She is also a contributing author to the popular Zondervan NIV Women’s Devotional Bible, and Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today Daily Devotional Book. Tracie is a monthly contributing writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today daily devotions, which reach nearly one million people per day around the world with encouragement from God’s Word. Tracie has 3 children and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.