Thursday, July 7, 2011

Attitude in Adversity

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5, NIV)

When I read this scripture I was extremely challenged thinking how this is even possible. Jesus, a man of grace and mercy, understood His purpose and lived it with passion. The idea of giving grace and mercy when we don’t feel it is deserving and the idea of living with a clear purpose and passion have been replaced with a sense of survival seemingly extremely different from Christ.This is pretty straight forward; but it is reality! I believe that we have the capacity to practice this word but it will take a change of heart and mind within each of us. The reality is we are challenged and have had relationships that were apparently strong at one time and then they went south leaving us asking what happened. One of the most hurtful things is when those held near and dear to our heart turn away. You don't understand why, but they do. The harsh reality is that sometimes people are only around for the sunshine seasons in our life, but when the rains come, they depart. Don't hang your head, or even try to figure it out. Sometimes the Lord will allow those things to happen, so we'll draw closer to Him. When we don't see the big picture, the Lord see's what's best. "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."(Proverbs 18:24 NKJV) Those that don't mean us well, the Lord will weed out and those whom He assigned to our lives will remain. Those who He assigned and those we try to hang onto, may not be the same! We have to be careful, and use wisdom. We can't force relationships. Our friend that sticks closer than a brother will help us heal from the wounds of friends past and help us treasure those that have our best interest at heart. Real friends will tell us when were wrong, and love us through our mistakes. If we fall, they help us up, we'll cry together laugh together, and grow together. "A friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17a)

"When I looked around in the midst of the storm, that felt like it would never end,
Weakened from waves that rocked my life, I saw the hand of my friend
Without a word they pulled me up and helped me to higher ground
For a friend like that, is heaven sent, and in their hearts real love abounds!"

I think it is time to take a look at life from a different perspective. The next step is realizing our life will cross paths with many people. Some will stay only for a short season; but God has the long-term plan in place. There’s an old saying “attitude determines altitude.” In other words, a positive, faith-filled attitude will cause you to rise higher in life, but a negative, self-critical attitude will only drag you down.
When we face adversity, our attitude affects the outcome. Are we going to treat people right even when we are being mistreated? Are we going to stay full of joy even when the bottom falls out? So many people get all bent out of shape and start complaining when things don’t go their way, but that kind of attitude only closes the door to God’s miracle-working power. The Bible says that faith is what pleases God. Understand that He is trying to work in your life. He is trying to get you prepared for promotion, but you have got to stay on His side. You have got to stand strong and fight that good fight of faith!

If you are going through a difficult time today, I encourage you to keep an attitude of faith and expectancy. Start thanking God for bringing you through to the other side and for the relationships He has provided. As you stand strong, I believe you’ll rise higher. I believe you’ll come out stronger and wiser, and you will continue moving forward in the abundant life God has for you!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV

Pastor Joel and Terri

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