We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Kelly Bryant.

 

Bible Reading:

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Word:

When was the last time you looked at your problems and saw them as “light and momentary”? When I face problems in life, my mind tends to automatically imagine them as huge and insurmountable. I’ll give you an example. The other day a friend called me to ask me how things were going with my job. I responded enthusiastically because I’ve just recently started a new job that I absolutely love. As we talked, I realized that the reason for his call was that he’d just come across a voice memo I’d sent about two weeks prior. In that moment, I was in crisis mode because my new supervisor and I had a miscommunication about a task when I was only 2 days into my new job. I sent a voice memo to my friend spewing out my feelings of confusion and frustration. However, now that I was having this conversation two weeks later, I felt silly for allowing myself to get so worked up. The thing that seemed so bad two days into my new role seemed small and trivial after two weeks.

 

Looking back on this situation, I can see that I had a choice. I could have chosen to be grateful for the opportunity to learn and have faith that God was leading me into a new season for my good, but instead I chose to fix my attention on a singular frustration in that moment. My human eye is drawn to the negative, but when I allow God to set my vision, I can find opportunities for gratitude in every circumstance.

 

Friends, I’m not trying to minimize your problems. I’m sure that many of you reading this have troubles that are WAY bigger than a conflict at work and so do I. However, I know from so many examples in scripture that even BIG problems are minor when compared to the enormity of God’s grace, his love for us, and his promise of eternal life with him. There are countless examples of this is scripture. When David was running for his life and hiding in a cave, he chose to praise (I Samuel 22 gives the context of what David writes in Psalm 57). When Paul and Silas were locked up in jail for sharing the Gospel, they chose to praise (Acts 16:16-34). When Mary, the mother of Jesus, found out that she would conceive a baby, she chose to trust God’s plan despite the damage that might come to her reputation for being pregnant without being married. She sang a song of praise in Luke 1:46-55.

 

It is possible to acknowledge your problems but still maintain a praise in our hearts. We don’t get to choose our problems, but we do get to choose our focus. Choose praise. Choose gratitude. And watch the size of your problems shift right before your eyes.

 

 

Prayer:

Father, my life may not be perfect, but your plan for me is perfect. Help me to see what you see. I don’t want to put my focus on my problems anymore. I want to lay my burdens at your feet and praise you for all that you are to me. Thank you for your grace that is more than I deserve. Thank you for new mercies each day. Thank you that your love for me will last forever, no matter where I am or what I go through. Help me to seize opportunities to be grateful today. In your name I pray, amen!

 

 

Skillwork:

Spend some time each day thinking about the things you are grateful for in your life. Write them down. Focusing on the ways God has been good to us, despite our problems or situations, shifts our perspective to one of praise and gratitude.

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