One Daily Habit That’s Changing My Perspective

I’ve started a daily habit that is totally changing my perspective.

It takes less than 5 minutes and I do it twice a day – as soon as I wake and before I fall asleep.

Wanna know what it is?

I thank God.

In the morning, I thank Him for the night – sometimes quite eventful with 4 small children. I thank Him for allowing me to sleep. For waking me up. For giving me a new day to serve Him.

And in the evening, I thank Him for everything that happened during the day – the good, bad, and ugly.

Sometimes these morning and evening thankfulness sessions look like me saying thank you without really feeling thankful. But I’ve learned those are some of the most important times to thank God – even when I don’t understand.

So here’s a challenge…

This week, try it with me. Start and end each day this week by thanking God for everything that happened in the preceding 12 hours.
You can’t do it without gaining a changed perspective. I promise.

When You Despise Your Season

SEASON:
a time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature

Our seasons of life are constantly changing based on the personal, relational, spiritual and work-related details of our lives. Some days, I absolutely love my current season of life. Other times, it can feel like the longest season ever. I’ll venture to say –

The longest season is always the one in which you don’t want to be.

It’s true, isn’t it? Whenever we love our current season, it never seems to last quite long enough. But when we despise it – well, it seems like it’s never going to come to an end.

DESPISE:
to look down on with contempt or aversion
to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful

So, what do you do when you realize you despise your season? Here’s what I’ve been doing lately:

Remember the Timing

You know why it’s called a season, right? Because it is limited by time. Seasons – no matter how long they are – don’t last forever. In fact, in view of eternity, our entire life is just a season. Whatever season of life you find yourself in, remember that it’s not forever. This season will end; a new one will begin. And chances are, you may even forget about some of the difficulty associated with your current season of life.

When I’m in a difficult season of life that seems larger than life, it’s helpful for me to think about eternity. The only things that are eternal are God, His Word, and the souls of people. Everything else pales in significance. Even the season of life we’re struggling through right now.

Remember the Blessings

Because God is love, remember that there is no season devoid of His loving care. There are always unique blessings associated with particular seasons of life. I admit, sometimes it takes a bit of eye rubbing and soul scrubbing to see those blessings. Personally, I’ve found that the times when it is hardest for me to see any blessings in my current situation are when my eyes are so gripped by this life and what I want instead of focusing on God and His glory. But when I can lift my eyes off my self and on to Christ, He kindly opens my eyes to see the blessings that have been there all along.

I love these truths from Psalm 84:

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!

 

Remember the Giver

God – the giver of those blessings we just talked about – is also the Giver of your current season. Oh friend, this is the most important part to grasp:

When I’m fighting against the limitations of my current season,
I’m actually fighting the One Who gave them to me.

God is the giver of everything I have, even the very events that took place this morning. Remember God is the Giver of your season and you will find the key to resting in His perfect sovereignty instead of fighting and hating every minute of it. When I remember God is the Giver – of every joy, blessing, and trial – it enables me to live gratefully through my seasons instead of despising them.

So today: if you find yourself despising your current season, give your cares to the One Who placed you in this season. Rest in His timing, love, and the very gifts He’s given you today.

 

Related:
The Most Generous Thing God Can Do for You

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My Biggest Problem & Greatest Hope

What is the biggest problem in your life?

Once you identify that problem, you will discover what you need to resolve in order to have hope.

If I view other people and their evil influence as the biggest problem,
then my only hope lies in them getting their act together and changing for the better.

If I view my government as the biggest problem,
then hope only comes with better candidates and a better election.

If I view my church as the biggest problem,
then hope will only come when this or that person leaves,
a program is added or deleted,
and the staff is exactly what I think they should be. (Lord, have mercy.)

If I view my husband as the biggest problem,
then hope only comes when he treats me the exact way I want to be treated,
loves me the way I want to be loved,
knows what I’m thinking before I say it,
and does everything I never want to do. (Impossible? Of course not. ahem.)

If I view my children as the biggest problem,
then hope will only come when they require no correction or instruction because they are practically perfect (from my diligent teaching, of course), and when they serve, love, and are grateful for all I have done as their mother.

 

Since we live in a fallen world, my issues with people and programs will never be resolved.

In short: if I continue to rest my ultimate hope in a future resolution of these problems, then the result? I’ll never have hope.

However. If I recognize that my biggest problem is sin – the evil desires and intentions that lie in my very own soul – well, that’s terrible news.
But there’s a resolution for that.

His name is Jesus. He is the Advocate and propitiation for my sin. Through His death, He has created a way of forgiveness and cleansing.

But true hope starts with this acknowledgment:

My sin is the biggest problem in my life.

My biggest problem doesn’t lie in the people or organizations that surround me, but in the depths of my very own soul.

Only when the true problem is recognized can the right solution be applied. When I view anything besides my sin as my biggest problem, then hope will only come when that issue becomes resolved according to my liking.

Only when I see my sin as my biggest problem can I have confidence in the hope that is in Christ. While focusing on my sin as the problem may initially seem discouraging, in reality it’s the only source of lasting hope. True, lasting hope can only be found by resting in Jesus Christ.

If you are feeling hopeless today, prayerfully consider these questions:

What do I believe to be the biggest problems in my life?
To what or whom am I looking to for hope?
Am I attempting to devise solutions in my own faulty wisdom?
Am I actively looking to Jesus for the resolution of problems?

true hope

Completely & Utterly Lost

Last week, I heard this song in church and was struck by these words:

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

The words are beautiful, aren’t they? And when you hear them in song format, it’s easy to let them go in one ear and out the other. But this phrase jumped out and hit me: “My will be lost in thine.”

My will lost in God’s will?
What does that mean?

You lost your keys. Are they in your overstuffed purse? Maybe your child hid them under the couch? Or perhaps you left them in the ignition? (Of course, I’m not speaking from personal experience in any of these stories. Maybe.)

To oversimplify the matter: if something is lost, you can’t find it.

So if my will is lost in God’s will, then it is indistinguishable from His. There’s no difference.
My desire is for God’s desire to be accomplished.
My joy is complete when His glory shines in and through me.

But what does that look like?

Do you know what it looks like when my will is lost in God’s will?
It looks like work.
It looks like sacrifice and pain.
Most of all, it looks like death. Death to what I want and what makes me most comfortable. Life to God’s plans and what brings Him the most glory.

And while the phrase “my will lost in Thine” sounds nice, sometimes it looks like fighting. An internal struggle (that often manifests itself outwardly) where I am forced to decide whose kingdom I am going to build – God’s or mine.

The Best Part

The best part of all this? Although “my will lost in Thine” looks like death, it results in life. Life that is fuller than you could ever plan. Joy that never comes to an end. Perfect peace with zero disturbance.

Sometimes the idea of serving God sounds more romantic when heard in song. I think it’s helpful to think through lyrics in this way because it brings the issue down to where I actually live. I can look back at the past week – okay, fine, the past hour – and see specific decisions in which my will was definitely not lost in God’s will. Where I chose to build my earthly kingdom of selfishness instead of God’s kingdom of perfection. And I can also look at the past week and see God’s evident grace as I fought hard for my own way, but finally surrendered to His. All glory to God for spiritual victories.

I trust this season of your life will be full of moments where your will is indistinguishable from God’s will.
Where your will is completely and utterly lost in His.

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