I read a great blog entry this week by my friend Natasha Grimes about putting things in perspective. Putting Things In Perspective Link
Thank you, Natasha, for sharing. I hope you don't mind my borrowing your idea!
I was so encouraged and I quickly thought of the verse Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, 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.
I have this verse posted on my wall by the kitchen door. We use that door to go in and out and I put it there to hopefully remind me every time I leave the house to think about the good stuff. As Natasha pointed out, we get so busy and caught in things happening. I heard from several people this week about how crazy of a week it was. I agree. It was a very busy week. We can get our focused on the busyness, on the things we didn't plan on, on the difficult things, or on all the tasks that life brings. It is so easy to get distracted by the things of life. We can feel bogged down, worn out and just plain tired.
But God reminds us several times to think on the things that are of good report. Think of the virtue, praise!
I realize it is easy to get caught up in complaints. It is easy to see what went wrong. We are always so eager to share what went wrong today. When someone asks, "How are you?" it is so easy to start with a complaint. "I'm tired." "Wish this day would be over." or something similar. I have caught myself so many times starting with a negative.
Yesterday as I was thinking about what Natasha had written, I remembered a dear sweet lady I grew up knowing. Edith Mayes was elderly and one of the most powerful praying women I have ever known. Everyone knew that if prayer was needed, call her. One of the things I will never forget about her is whenever anyone asked her how she was doing her immediate response was, "I am blessed!" Even when her son was shot and in surgery, she still responded,"I am blessed!" She had story after story of God's mighty blessings, how he raised her dead baby back to life, how he had groceries delivered when they had none, how God provided in the most dire of moments. Many would look at her life and not see blessings. She was a widow, did not have a lot of earthly goods, and had a small, old home. But, she had a relationship with her Savior that was amazing! She was indeed one of the most spiritual women I knew. She spoke of the good things of God no matter what happened. She praised him every day in any situation. She really knew how to Rejoice evermore! I Thessalonians 5:16.
I feel some conviction as I have not rejoiced in the hard times. I have not been thankful in difficult situations. I have not reported that I am blessed. Revelations 12:11 talks about becoming overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of testimony.
Testimony is what we say. It is our statement or declaration of witness. If my testimony every day is about the negative stuff going on, I am not overcoming anything.
I am feeling so challenged to change my words, change my thoughts and change my focus. If my testimony becomes one of blessing, one of victory, then my witness will be greater. Why would anyone be drawn to God, if they do not hear me speaking of His blessings and His power in my life?
I want my testimony to be one of joy, peace, faith, and blessing. I do not want anyone to think that God does not bless His people based on my testimony of how my life is going.
I want to think on the good things, the true things, the lovely things, the things of good report. I want to speak them and tell about them.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
What I say has power: Power to destroy and power to bring life.
I want to bring life. I want to bring peace. I want to encourage others. Ultimately, I want what I say and do, encourage others to turn to Christ.
I have so much room to grow here. In James chapter 3 it says:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Oh how dreadful to think I have brought forth bitter when I should bring forth sweet.
Knowing that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, Luke 6:45, I need to change what my heart is holding. My heart should also be rejoicing in the blessings of God and the good reports rather than being affected by the drudgeries of life.
I pray that my heart is taking on a new perspective so my mouth will speak a new perspective.
I pray that my words become blessing and not cursing.
I pray that my testimony is one that brings life.
Will you join me in speaking life to situations and lives that need hope? Will we see God's Hand moving in those moments that before we only saw struggle? Will we see opportunity in those situations that before felt overwhelming?
I pray for a new perspective to take over.