Life is not always a positive experience. People offend you, circumstances change, we don’t always win and things don’t always go our way. Your attitude in many ways determines how you will respond. In life, we all have set backs, but some people quickly rise above them while others seem to constantly complain about what could have been.
If I hadn’t lost money on that decision, I would have kept going.
If that person hadn’t offended me, I’d still be in church.
If things had only gone different, I’d have been a huge success.
Negative changes in circumstance simply mean we get to increase our reliance on God. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can absolutely control what happens in us and how we respond to those around us. When hard times come do we roll over and give up, or do we turn to the Lord for guidance?
I guess we have to ask ourselves, “What is the end goal?” As we grow in physical maturity we see increased independence. We set out on our own to make our own way in life. However, with spiritual maturity, as with many spiritual matters, it works differently. As we mature we don’t grow more spiritually independent. Instead what we should see is an increased reliance on God.
I have this one certainty. No matter what happens to me in life if I can be in the presence of God then everything is fine. If I find success, but don’t acknowledge God then it is all for nothing. I read this scripture this morning in my morning Bible reading.
Psalm 27:4 (NLT) The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.
No matter what life may throw our way, fair or unfair, we can rely on the presence of Jesus to see us through. Often that means we have to move past our anger, frustration, and negativity to see Him.
The verse of the day in YouVersion Bible App (I just love that app) said this:
Psalm 84:10 (NLT) A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
My life goal is to please God, not to obtain by the world’s measure success. I would rather be small in His presence than great and never know Him. A lowly career that pleases the Lord is better than a lofty career that pursued only to please myself.
Not too long ago I had one of the worst youth services I’ve ever had. Everyone seemed extra distractable, there were interruptions right as I was trying to make my big point. In the aftermath, my mind was jetting about in many different directions. Was my sermon just not good? Should I have done something different? Where did it derail? In the end, those questions could drive me crazy!
It was a bad week and it would be so easy to be down about it. However, next week is coming. Instead of being devastated over what could have been, I choose to focus on what will be. I study, I pray and I seek the Lord’s direction, and creativity for that service.
My challenge for you today is simple. Don’t let the negative moments in life, no matter how big or small, keep you from remembering the Lord. Instead of focusing on the giant problems, focus on a much greater God. Rely fully on Him. Even if you are in a season where you are struggling to see hope, remember God will not let you down and He is never far away.