It's easy to focus on what's wrong in your life. What you don't have, how far you have to go, and how big your obstacles are. If you are not careful, you will lose sight of all the good things God has done for you.
It's all about keeping things in perspective.
Business maybe slow, but it's the wrong perspective to think, "I'll never make it." The right perspective is to think, "God is supplying all of my needs."
If you're going through a disappointment, the wrong perspective is, "I should have known this would happen. I never get any good breaks." The right perspective is to believe that when one door closes, God will open a better one.
You can put two people in the exact same circumstances and the one will be complaining, negative, and just enduring life, or the other will be happy, grateful, and enjoying life.
What's the difference? Perspective. It's all about how one chooses to see the situation.
We all have challenges that can steal our joy and cause us to be sour. But if we are to live a fulfilled life, we need the foundation of a grateful spirit.
I've learned that seeds of discouragement cannot take root in a grateful heart. If you are unhappy today and you've lost your enthusiasm, the quickest way to turn that around is to be more grateful.
Instead of looking at what you don't have, thank God for what you do have. Instead of complaining about what's wrong, thank God for what's right.
I talked to many people who have gone through some major disappointments. They’ve lost their jobs, their marriages, or their health. It's difficult for them to see any reason to be grateful. But really, it's a matter of perspective.
You have probably heard the story of the man who complained he didn't have any good shoes until he met a man who had no feet. His perspective changed right then and there. He thought, “You know what? Maybe I don't have it so bad.”
The truth is, somebody in the world would gladly trade places with you. Someone would love to be able to breathe like you. Someone would love to be able to walk like you. Somebody would love to be living where you live. Have you thanked God lately for your family, your friends, your health, and the opportunities He's given you?
If you're complaining about where you are, you will never get to where you want to be. If you're complaining about what you have, you tie God’s hands from increasing you with more.
There is a story of a middle aged man named Nicholas. He was very down and discouraged so he went to his minister.
"Nothing in my life is going right,” he said. “I have no reason to be excited, no reason to be thankful."
"Alright, let's do a little exercise," the minister said. He took out a legal pad and drew a line right down the middle. "Let's list all your assets on this side, all the things that are right in your life," the minister said. "On the other side we’ll list all your challenges, all the things that are bothering you." Nicholas laughed. "I have nothing on my asset side," he said hanging his head. "That's fine, let's just go through the exercise,"
The minister, lowered his voice and said, "I'm sorry to hear that your wife has passed away." Nicholas look up abruptly. "What are you talking about? My wife didn't pass away, she's alive and healthy." The minister calmly said, "Oh," and then wrote down under assets “Healthy wife.”
Next the minister said, "Nicholas, I'm so sorry to hear your house burned down." "My house didn't burn down," said Nicholas.
Again the minister calmly said "Oh," and added place to live to the list of assets.
The minister was on a roll. “Nicholas, I'm so sorry to hear that you are laid off from work.” "Pastor, where are you getting all this nonsense?" he said, “I have a good job.” The minister wrote has a good job on the list of assets.
“Can I see that list? ” Nicholas asked, finally catching on. After looking it over, he added a dozen more assets that he'd been taking for granted instead of being grateful for them. Nicholas left the minister's office with a much different attitude.
What was Nicholas's problem? He just needed to change his perspective. When he began to focus on the good in his life, he got his peace and joy back.
WE NEED TO LEARN TO COUNT RIGHT!!!
Being grateful is a key to living a happy fulfilled life. That's why King David said, I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
Notice how often he would praise the Lord? Continually! David knew a secret.
You can't praise and complain at the same time.
If you're constantly thanking God for what He's done and praising Him for His blessings while meditating on His goodness, you won't have time to focus on what's wrong or complain about what you don't have.
We all are tested every day. In your difficult times, when somebody is rude to you, or you go through a disappointment, you get a negative report, or your child acts up, what will you say?
"Poor old me. I can't believe this is happening?"
No! Always say, "Father, I want to thank you that I'm more than a conqueror. No weapon formed against me will prosper. You always cause me to triumph. I want to thank you that I am not only making it through, but I'm making it through better off than I was before."
It doesn't say give thanks for everything. We don't thank God for our troubles, for sickness, or accidents. No! We thank Him in the difficulty because we know He's turning it around. We thank him for bringing us increase and promotion in a difficult economy.
Any time you have an opportunity to complain, let that be a reminder to give God praise.
Remember, complaining only delays better days. But when you praise, God steps in to fight your battles for you!
I read recently that more than 1 million people die every single week. Think about it. You made it another week! You're better off than 1 million people. You can thank God that you're alive.
The article also said that if you have a roof over your head, you are better off than 75% of the world’s population. And if you have $15 to your name, you are in the top 8% of the world's wealthiest people—just $15!
IT IS ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE!
Let me encourage you to enjoy the moment. Make memories with those you love. Take time for the people God has given you. Look around at all the incredible blessings He's placed in your life.
Moses prayed to God in Psalm 90:12, Teach us to number our days.
He was saying, “God, help us to realize that every day is a gift. Help us to deal with the stress of everyday challenges while still appreciating the gift of each and every day.”
Let me ask you: if you only had an hour to live, who would you call? Who would you forgive? What would you say? What are you waiting for?
Don't take for granted the people God has put in your life. They won't always be here. You and I will not always be here. Yet, sometimes we act and live as if we're invincible. Life is like a vapor. We're here one moment, gone the next.
I heard someone put it like this: We forget how fragile life really is. We wait for Thanksgiving to give thanks. We wait for Christmas to buy gifts. We wait for Valentine's Day to show love to those we hold dear. We say to ourselves today is just an ordinary day. So we wait and while we wait, the clock ticks. Precious moments pass by. But in reality there is no such thing as an ordinary day.
Every day is a gift, unique and irreplaceable. It's hours may be used or misused, invested or wasted. God, teach us to number our days.
My prayer is that you will keep the right perspective, focusing on the good, not taking things or people for granted. Recognize every day is unique and irreplaceable. Slow down and appreciate what God has given you. Be thankful for the simple things. Hug your children & grandchildren every day. Take time for the people you love. Find some reason to be grateful. Most important of all, forgive.
Why don't you take a few minutes and make that list of the blessings of God in your life. Meditate on them over and over again and realize everyday how grateful you are to be alive.
With the right perspective there is nothing that can stop you from living your life to the fullest.