February 11, 2008

 

What Has God Done For Me Lately?

Tracie Miles

 

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

Is the glass half full or half empty? Is it partly sunny or partly cloudy? Perspective makes all the difference.

 

Even for strong Christians who are grounded in their faith, discouragement can easily sneak its way into hearts and minds as life deals us chaos. As we struggle with the challenges and difficulties of everyday life, or things that happened to us that were unfair or unwarranted, it is easy to get pulled into a habitual mindset of negativity. Just like that old song from the ‘80s says, we may find ourselves asking God, “What have you done for me lately?”

 

Our answer to that question will depend entirely upon our perspective. God does more for us each and every day than we deserve, but it’s so easy to lose sight of the good, because we are caught up in the reality of the bad. How do we combat this perfectly human attitude?

 

Prayer.

 

Resolve to have an attitude like Christ.

 

Take inventory of our every blessing.

 

Life. Your every breath. Your every heart beat. A spouse or loved one. Children. Clothes that need to be washed because God gave you clothes to wear, and a way to wash those clothes. Good health to help those whose health is failing. Trusted and educated doctors to treat you when you are facing health challenges. A house that needs cleaning. A car to drive. The ability to purchase gas for the car. A job to go to. The ability to be a stay at home mom or wife. Healthy kids who can play music or sports. Friends. Family. Freedom. Jesus. Eternal life.

 

What is on your inventory list today? If you were honest with yourself, would you say you have been looking for the positive aspects of the situations in your life? Are you considering how God could be using those things to draw you closer to Him? Or have you been primarily focused on the negative?

 

During times of negativity, we actually become our own enemy. We wage a battle in our mind because we look at our situation from our own perspective, instead of what God may be doing through our situation. So in order to change our minds, we have to choose to change the way we think – our perspective. Attitude is a choice.

 

Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” What do you usually see?

 

To quote an old cliché, today is the first day of the rest of your life, and it is never too late to become an optimist! I have heard it takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a new habit. The more you practice challenging your thought patterns, the more automatic it will become. Changes may not take place immediately, but over time, the challenge gets easier, and optimism becomes the norm instead of the exception.

 

Are you willing to take the challenge to become an optimist today? The rewards of looking for God’s goodness in every situation will be a healthier and happier heart.

 

Dear Lord, help me with my human tendency to be critical or look for the negative in situations. Forgive me for a lack of gratitude for all You have given me. Thank You for Your patience with me as I strive to be a Godly example. Guide my heart to recognize You at work, instead of seeing things from an earthly perspective. Lead me into a closer relationship with You by helping me remember to count my blessings every day. I n Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

 

Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles

 

A Thankful Heart: How Gratitude Brings Hope and Healing to our Lives by Carole Lewis

 

Visit Tracie’s Blog

 

Application Steps: 

Draw two columns on a piece of paper. On the left side, make a list of the difficult situations or daily frustrations in your life. On the right side, write down something positive about that situation or frustration, and how God can grow your faith by depending on Him about that situation. If you have a hard time finding something positive, pray and ask God to show you.

 

Reflections: 

Is my attitude typically one of negativity or optimism?

 

If a close friend were asked to describe me as a pessimist or an optimist, which one would they choose?

 

Power Verses:

1 Peter 1:1-3, “Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.” (The Message)

 

 

© 2009 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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Matthews, NC 28105

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