O Lighten Up!

BIBLE READING:  Philippians 3:1 - 4 Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. 3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!

BLOG: So I sat down with a pastor a while back, and he began to complain about how bad his church was.  The people were mean, the offerings were horrible, attendance was weak, and the church wouldn't grow.  After about 15 minutes of this, I stopped him and said. "O lighten up!  Things are not as bad as you make them out to be."  "What?" he said.  Then he proceeded to "prove" every point he had made.  Again I stopped him and said, "You don't need to prove anything.  I believe you.  You need to change your attitude because you are reaping what you sow."  That got a puzzled look.  

So I asked him if he knew which state was mentioned in the Bible?  Apprehensively he nodded no.  I said, "Noah got out of the Ark-an-saw."  He smirked.  

Then I asked him if he knew which car was first mentioned in the Bible? Again he said no, but with a smile.  I said, "God drove Adam and Eve out in His FURY."  He giggled.  

Then I asked him if he knew who the smallest man in the Bible was?  He guessed Zacchaeus.  "Nope," I said, "It was the Roman soldier who fell asleep on his watch."  He busted out laughing.  (Corny I know - but they work.) 

"Now, how do you feel?"  He thought about it for a moment and said, "Better!"  

Col. 3:1-2 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

In the book The Positive Dog, but Jon Gordon, I read this morning that fear and faith have something in common. They both look towards the future.  The difference is that faith looks forward and sees the positive.  Fear looks ahead and sees dread.  If you get up in the morning and dread the day that is before you, you will only see things that prove your point.  

Our brains are wired that way.  We look for what we are thinking about.  If you look to your day with faith and a positive heart, you will see things that encourage you.  If you see your day with fear, then you will look at it with dread.  

So what do you do?

Start your day off right, don't look at your phone or computer and start praising God!  It is as simple as sitting up on the side of your bed and saying to yourself.  "Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." 

Next, fill your heart and mind with faith.  Read your Bible.  Read this blog.  Pray.  Listen to good uplifting music.  

Then tell yourself that you're going to have a good day.  Train the brain to start looking for the good things.  This takes practice because inevitably, something happens that will challenge you.  Challenges are nothing more than opportunities for you to shine.  Feeling sad or even angry is an appropriate response to certain situations.  But overall, you don't want to give up your faith.  Paul told us to look up!  What up?  Because everything you are looking for is found with Christ.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I choose to live by faith and see the best You have to offer me today.  AMEN