Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. – Philippians 4:8
“I“It’s the worst day of my life!” my daughter wailed. She had just engaged in a disagreement with her sister, and I had reprimanded her for her reaction.
In response to her despair, I reminded her that no, it was not the worst day, but rather a bad five minutes. Sometimes it takes some schooling
to learn to keep our troubles in perspective!
How would we feel if someone gave us advice on how to have a terrible day? They might begin by telling us to not have faith that God will help us during
difficult situations, to remember everything that has gone wrong today or in the past, and to especially brood over the things we have no power
to change. Perhaps they would suggest that we wish for what we may never obtain, to dwell on everyone else’s shortcomings, and to criticize the
various people we encounter. We should refuse to be cheered up, and of course, we would be told to complain about the weather, not forgetting to
throw in a few grumbles about potholes, the government, our fellow workers, and stray animals. If we heeded this advice, we would end up in a real
pity-party, and certainly would have a terrible day!
In contrast, what if we were given the opposite kind of advice? We would be reminded that God is first in every decision, and we should trust Him to
guide us in every circumstance. With regard to wrongs we have endured in the past, brooding over them only leads to multiplied problems. Further
guidance would tell us to be content with what we have, not continually yearning for more. As we interact with our fellowmen, instead of criticism,
we can ask the Lord to help us see them through His eyes.
Thank God for all of His good gifts—His forgiveness and communion with us, the treasures found in the Bible, the beauty of this world, the love
of family, the kindness and fellowship of other Christians, and material goods we are privileged to have. Then, when we encounter negative issues
in our lives, we can deal with the problems we are able to remedy with God’s help, and pray for God’s strength in the things we have no control
over. The end result is that we focus on good instead of bad, and positive rather than negative. The Lord gives us happiness. Try it!