Life is full of ups and downs. If we made a list of all of the positive things in our life, all of the blessings, that list would almost certainly far exceed a similar list of all of the negative things in our life. Despite that fact, we tend to focus more on the downs than on the ups, more on the negatives than on the positives. It would be a good exercise in self examination to try to figure out why this is the case.
One fundamental reason for being so consumed with the difficulties, challenges and troubles of life is the mindset that we carry into life on a daily basis. Our mindset can be understood as the lenses through which we look at life. It is the general framework of how we view life, of what happens to us and around us. If our mindset tends toward the negative, then we will naturally see life from a more negative perspective.
Our mindset is of our own making. It is the result of how we set our mind. We make the choice as to how we will take on the day. The most productive mindset is one that is guided by godliness. The apostle Paul advised: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). A faithful Christian knows who he is, what he is and where he is going. As a result, he sees life from a different perspective than most people. He recognizes that this world, and all that goes on herein, is temporary. The faithful Christian is looking, ultimately, to eternity. He can stay basically positive even in the face of seemingly negative circumstances.
An instructive, and comforting, passage of scripture along this line reads as follows: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). This verse does not say that all things that happen are necessarily good. It says that the faithful Christian, “those who love God…who are the called according to His purpose,” can face each day with the expectation that God can cause good to come from even the bad things that happen to them in life.
Such a mindset enables a faithful Christian to see life, even with its difficulties, challenges and troubles, through lenses of hope, expectation and assurance rather than of hopelessness, despair and depression. The faithful Christian’s mindset enables him to enjoy life more abundantly (John 10:10) and far less superficially than a person who can’t see past the matters of this world.
What is your mindset? What do you do when things go bad? Trust God to watch over and care for you, whatever may come (Matt. 6:33-34). Your Heavenly Father sent His Son to be your savior. Through Him you can find abiding peace to see you through the trials and troubles of this life (Phil. 4:4-7). Through Him you will be able to do all things that truly need to be done (Phil. 4:11-13).
Gary L. Hutches
via Chapman church of Christ