Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Awful Circumstances

by Donna L. Watkins

"A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts." -- James Allen, Author of As A Man Thinketh. Is that a sobering statement?

Is that a sobering statement? The rest of the story is that you are where you are today because of the thoughts you've maintained up to this time in your life.

© 2006 Donna L. Watkins - White-throated Sparrow

Proverbs 23 talks of what we think in our heart being who we are. Jesus continually talked about believing, telling us that we could have anything if we only believed. He also said, "your faith has made you whole." We were made in the image of God and when Christ lives within us we have access to an incredible amount of power and strength that can overcome all circumstances of life. We are told we can be victorious in all things.

1 John 5:4 tells us how this works: "For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." Our faith, our belief is what overcomes. What do we believe? Your thoughts determine and portray what you believe.

Every day we are given choices to be an optimist or a pessimist (or as some pessimists would call themselves, realists). Would you rather be a pessimistic realist or an optimistic dreamer with rose-tinted glasses? Research shows healthy thinkers distort reality in a positive direction and most times their rosy dreams benefit them and others. It's a different way of seeing things and it opens up a whole new world of opportunities to change circumstances.

You cannot change your thoughts without changing your life. The Law of Sowing and Reaping is evident in what we produce with the thoughts we sow. We often believe that events and circumstances cause our moods and health symptoms.

How you feel about the bad events in your life is determined by what you think of them and what you tell yourself and others about them. We all know people who wake up every day with a story to tell about what's awfulin their world. From weather to health to the neighbors and the government, they've got a long list of gripes. Have you noticed those people have no joy in their lives? Certainly no peace or purpose.

What type of people and circumstances do you think those people attract? Do they have a long list of friends and people who want to spend time with them? Do they seem to be "the ones" who have everything go wrong in life? Could it be they are a magnet for bad circumstances? What we think in our heart we become? If we see the world as evil and ugly it is that way for us.

There were many laws in the Old Testament and it was very complex and difficult to be holy. When Jesus came He simplified it greatly. Have you noticed how simple Jesus made life? How He saw the good in everything? Did He wear rose-colored glasses? He brought the whole law into two commandments in Matthew 22:36:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

Keep it simple. If you focus on love in all circumstances, awful or great, you'll be seeing victory through the eyes of Him who gave His life so that we might be victorious.

What seeds are you sowing into your life and the lives of those around you? Roses are like life. This flower has an aroma that is treasured throughout the world. It makes people smile and feel loved and it reflects the love of our Father who is its Creator. These roses are attached to a thorny stem and are surrounded by a bush of thorns.

Life holds plenty of thorns and sometimes we are surrounded by them in awful circumstances, but we can choose to be a rose that blooms above the thorny circumstances and spreads the aroma of God to those around us.

Which will you be? A rose or a thorn?

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