I was challenged this past week to post on social media three positive things about each day and I must admit that even though I am usually a positive, encouraging person to those around me, I still tend toward negativity when it comes to me. I confess that it wasn’t as easy as it should have been. After all, I am incredibly blessed – I live in a country where I can worship God as I please, I have all the necessities of life and a few extras and friends and family to share my life with. But I have a habit of forgetting just how blessed I am in unhappy moments. It’s easy for us as humans to get caught up in a “woe is me” kind of attitude. Before we know it, we’re overlooking the many blessings in our day because we’re fixing our eyes what’s wrong instead of what’s right.
God knows this about us and provided a reminder in Paul’s letter to the Philippians: 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9, NIV) This is more than just positive thinking. It’s living life actively searching with a grateful heart for the many blessings that God has given. It’s leaning into and resting in God’s embrace to withstand the harshness of this life. It’s knowing that good and bad co-exist in this fallen world and dedicating your energy to seeing the light in the darkness and reflecting that light for others.
That may seem like an impossible task. If it were left up to me and my abilities alone, I would agree. But it’s not my burden alone. When times of sin, sadness, or anxiety overcome me with negativity and worry, I haven’t failed God. Bad times don’t signify a lack of gratitude or positive attitude. Bad times just give me a chance to let God show me his strength, his love, his grace, and his peace. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7, The Message)
Three positive things about my day today (and every day):
- God created me, loves me, and calls me his own
- Jesus lived, died, and rose again so that I could be in relationship with him forever
- His Spirit is with me and for me always