5 Easy Changes You Can Make Today for a Better Tomorrow

Whitney Hopler

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Published Aug 15, 2023
5 Easy Changes You Can Make Today for a Better Tomorrow

Are you burdened with too much stress in your life? Jesus will help you make changes today to experience a better tomorrow. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus promises to give you rest when you come to him, and assures you that life in a relationship with him can actually be easy despite the challenges you face. That’s because Jesus will carry your burdens, empower you, and give you the peace you need as you trust him day by day. Here are five easy changes you can make right now to move into a better future: 

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asian businessman hands folded in prayer looking up for hope

1. Turn your worries into prayers.

You can’t stop worries from entering your mind – but when they do, you can choose to release them into God’s care by praying about them. Don’t let your concerns grow into anxiety that makes your life difficult. Instead of dwelling on what worries you, ask God to help you with each specific situation as soon as you notice you’re starting to worry. Make a habit of quickly turning your worries into prayers throughout each day. Clear worries out of your mind as often as you can by simply asking God to help. Philippians 4:6-7 reveals that when you pray, God will give you powerful peace: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Through prayer, you invite God to work in every situation that concerns you. God can do much more than you can do in all circumstances. So, why waste time and energy worrying when you can welcome God’s unlimited power into worrisome situations? Psalm 34:17 points out: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” Consistently turning worries into prayers will build your faith in God and foster a stronger relationship with him as your loving heavenly Father.

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2. Let go of the negative and focus on the positive.

Life is hard when you hold onto negativity, but it’s much easier when you pay attention to what’s positive. Ephesians 4:31 advises letting go of negativity: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Releasing the negative messages you encounter in our fallen world frees you up to experience the well-being God intends for you. Jesus reveals in John 10:10 that “… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” A full life is one that is free of the burdens of negativity and full of the positive blessings God wants to give you. By letting go of negativity and anchoring your thoughts in the positivity of God’s truth, you can experience the peace that comes from trusting God. Isaiah 26:3 points out: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Philippians 4:8 explains what to focus your thoughts on: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Focusing on positive thoughts renews your perspective, so you can see life’s challenges and opportunities in light of God’s love. Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind, deliver you from evil, and help you heal from pain that has caused negativity in your life. Moving forward, focus on God’s good purposes for you, and expect the best to happen as you follow where God leads you. You will still encounter challenges, but you’ll be able to notice God with you in difficult circumstances, so you can find joy no matter what. Aim to pursue joy rather than just happiness so you can experience authentic positivity.

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3. Embrace forgiveness.

Don’t let yourself be weighed down by shame or bitterness. By accepting God’s forgiveness and forgiving others as God forgives you, you can enjoy the freedom of living in God’s grace. Confess your sins regularly to God, repent of them by turning away from them, and accept the forgiveness God gives you. Move forward with confidence, trusting that God does not condemn you. Romans 8:1 reveals that, “… there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” while God tells you in Isaiah 43:25: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Get rid of any grudges you may be holding against other people who have hurt you. Colossians 3:13 exhorts: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” You can trust that God will bring justice to any unjust situation, so you don’t need to carry the burden of trying to do so yourself. Romans 12:19 urges: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Break free from the poison of bitterness and let God handle other people’s sins. Seeking forgiveness and forgiving others brings profound healing from pain and enables you to experience the peace and wholeness that comes from being reconciled with God.

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silhouette of woman looking up in gratitude toward sky, how to give thanks in all things

4. Be free when communicating with God.

Communicating with God should be a source of joy, not stress. Allow yourself the freedom of communicating with God however you like. God is always available to you, no matter how you communicate with him. You don’t need to worry about following any particular rules or guidelines for prayer and meditation. The Bible reveals in 2 Corinthians 3:17 that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. This means that you can approach God freely, without any limitations. Hebrews 4:16 tells you that you can “approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” You can come to God confidently with your requests knowing that he is merciful and gracious, so he will help you. Feel free to check in with God for a few moments, even if you don't have a lot of time. You can connect with God anywhere, even in a noisy or busy place. Use any prayer or meditation methods that help you connect with God, but don't feel obligated to use any particular method. There’s no need to use formal language when you pray, or to close your eyes, or sit still while you meditate. If a method feels like a chore, let it go. Communicating with God can happen in unlimited ways. You can quietly chat with God in your mind, shout out your prayers, or get creative and express yourself through writing, drawing, singing, or dancing. You can listen to the Holy Spirit in meditation no matter what you're doing – sitting, driving, cooking, walking, or just doing chores at home. There is no right or wrong way to communicate with God. What’s most important is to be open and honest with God, and to listen for his voice. When you communicate with God in a way that feels natural and authentic to you, you can experience the wonder of his presence and the joy of his love.

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5. Enjoy wonder breaks in nature.

Stepping outside into the natural world can easily help you relieve stress by connecting with God in his creation. Romans 1:20 points out that nature reveals God’s qualities: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Enjoying nature in any type of environment can strengthen your awareness of the wonder of God’s presence with you. So, make time in your schedule every day to take wonder breaks, which my book Wake Up to Wonder explains are simply periods of time set aside for seeking wonder. You can take wonder breaks anywhere, but taking them in nature is especially powerful. In nature, you can see evidence of God’s work all around you. Psalm 65:8-9 proclaims: “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” Sometimes you can plan longer wonder breaks for activities such as hiking in a forest, swimming in a lake, or stargazing in a desert. But even brief wonder breaks in nature – like a quick walk around your neighborhood or a short visit to a local park – can help you connect with God and experience peace and inspiration. 

Life is stressful, but if you make key lifestyle changes in a relationship with Jesus, you can find the strength to experience a better tomorrow that is easier to manage. Let go of your worries and pray about what concerns you. Get rid of negativity that weighs you down and focus on what’s positive in your life, such as the joy of God’s constant presence with you. Break free of shame and bitterness by accepting God’s forgiveness for your mistakes and forgiving people who have hurt you. Communicate with God in the ways that work best for you, without getting stuck in unnecessary limitations. Get outside in nature and look for signs of God’s work around you there. By making these easy changes in your life, you can discover fresh strength for each new day!

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headshot of author Whitney HoplerWhitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.

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Originally published Thursday, 17 August 2023.