Monday, August 18, 2014


Everyone faces paramount difficulties.  Everyone.  None live above the fallen pace of mankind.  All fall short of the glory of God.  Included, therefore, is a life loaded for bear.  Rugged, challenging, insulting, harsh matters parade by our addresses; at least by our minds, and they wear us very thin.

Yet, there is a godly way of escape.  Think upon everything going right.  This is the message I continue to pound out in so much of my writing.  Philippians 4:4-9 will not let up.  We are to think, with thanksgiving I might add, about the numerous things going right in our world.  The text assures each of us a peace that surpasses our grasp of how such interruption could possibly be peaceful.

In every situation, we can choose to think higher.  We are not to live in denial of the rugged nor insulting terrain.  Rather, we are to set our minds upon the many more elements that are going right.  In every case (note: every), conditions could be much worse; but they are not.

I've encountered brutal take your breath away kinds of days.  By His clear call, I have understood that even these could be worse.  Leading my mind to think upon the many issues going well has allowed God the room to prove His above point.  Peace that cannot be explained....arrives.

Consider hurts we encounter:

  1. Someone hurts our feelings.  Did the other 199 hurt your feelings or just the one...or the two?  Then give your attention to what you like about the 199.  Dwell on them.  Count the ways.
  2. Someone offends your doctrine.  This is ample opportunity to practice your doctrine of overriding grace, surpassing mercy, and conquering love.
  3. Someone sins against you.  Go to that person with clear understanding before your approach that your personal sins are equally hideous to the extent the pure and sinless Son of God was tortured for your sins.  At this point, speak frankly to your offender.
  4. Someone dismisses both your efforts and your ideas.  Contemplate where your efforts and ideas have flourished.  Do not give think-time to those whom you feel have shut you down.  Rather, repeatedly ponder the many who gave you the go-ahead regarding matters that proved successful.
Factually, we live in a spiritual walk of blatant grandeur.  It diminishes His glory when we live in hand-wringing, eye-rolling un-joy.  The reverse delights as we focus upon blessing after blessing that streams from above.  God is God!  That is wow enough!

I once sat at a murder scene.  I clearly understand anger, confusion, fear, and exorbitant pain.  I clearly get it.  
I studied the room of stunned relatives and friends as police officers and investigators moved in and out of the house while the dad sat stunned with his own son's blood smeared across his shirt and jacket.  The murders were fresh.  The bodies still in the house.  It was so stunning that even the silence seemed noisy.

So what is one to do with this?  Thank God.  Really?  Absolutely.  

Early the next morning I thanked God that both who were murdered were not in a hospital for the next 90 days only to die slowly.  I thanked God that the couple that lost their two sons in the devastating crime did not lose their daughter as well...or their own lives.  Two in the family had died; but three remained alive.

That's the most I could do; focus upon everything I could think of that had gone right.  While I obviously wasn't jumping with great enthusiasm for the moment was painfully dark, I did experience what God had promised.  He gave me a peace that could not be cataloged nor explained. 

He really does provide a peace that is beyond understanding.  We are to do more than think positive during negative days.  We are to think thanksgiving right in the center of forceful negativity.  God's grace will supply in ways comprehension cannot do anything but accept as a merciful gesture from above.

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