February’s “Encouraging Word”
by Tony Cooper, Executive Director (for Birmingham Christian Family magazine)
Navigating Life’s Issues
The longer we experience life, the more aware we become that we control very little of life’s happenings. Situations occur, circumstances vary, events come and go, and issues develop all without our permission. Our primary goal is to manage as best we can what has crossed our path and to get through it successfully.
When you get right down to it, what we do have control of is our attitude; our emotional response and choices we make. Attitude is the key to a life of contentment and purpose. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?
Our attitude has an influence on our emotional response. Response is different from reaction. Reaction (and often overreaction) is usually immediate and does not include much thought. Response requires careful evaluation before there is follow through. You need to process the situation before determining a plan of action.
We are to be responsible and accountable for our choices. Decisions we make have consequences that help us determine the quality of choices made. There are three choices we can make that can lead to a fulfilled life. These are to trust God, work hard, and to be thankful.
Whatever happens – trust God! He has proven Himself to be faithful and reliable. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. . . .” God is sovereign, eternal, infinite, and all-powerful. He is trustworthy and able to handle anything that comes our way.
As we trust God we are also to work hard. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. . . .” We should attempt to do the best we can, today, with what we have for Jesus.
The third choice is be thankful. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Choose to be thankful in spite of challenges or obstacles faced.