It’s easy to go along with emotions, letting them control our actions and attitude. Emotions are fickle and, on many occasions, I’ve lived in my good and not-so-good feelings.
I’m learning that I can feel a certain way but choose to change my attitude. It’s tough to remain joyful when you’re going through a difficult situation relating to friends, family, work, financial crisis, sickness and so on. You’re praying and nothing changes. On the other hand, it’s easy to feel like you’re living your best life when everything goes according to plan.
James 1:2-8: “Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (ESV)
Various situations have taught me that joy is not rooted in my current circumstance. I’m not thinking about momentary happiness. I’m thinking about deep joy. To me, this is a sense of stability and trust. My joy comes from the Lord and I am discovering that I can still be content even when things go unexpectedly wrong. Knowing and believing this is a source of strength and relief.
Shifting your mindset from thinking about what hasn’t been done to what God can and will do is not always easy. I can’t imagine some of the things you may be facing right now. But, it’s a powerful action. It’s a sign of trust and complete dependence on the Lord. It’s believing that you will come out like gold in the end.
Some of us might find ourselves in a career that we feel is not part of God’s calling for our life. I’m learning that obedience and maintaining a good mindset is so important. It helps me to see the bigger picture.
In the process of writing this post, I watched a Priscilla Shirer sermon about being willing to do the assignment that God has placed in front of us. Shirer’s sermon reminded me about an important truth: sometimes, you and I search for that calling or purpose which we define as “big” or “important”. What if the job that you dislike could be the stepping stone to the next stage of your life? What if that current situation that you hate so much is the purpose that God has for you right now? I know you’re thinking about those everyday tasks (cooking, cleaning, etc) that seem mundane. You’ve been praying but God’s seems distant. What if there’s something wonderful that God wants to teach us through that task?
I’ll leave you with this. In Philippians 4:11, Paul writes: “… have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (EVS).” He went through hard-core stuff. He must have realised that having the right attitude is not dependent on whether he was locked in a prison cell or preaching; the Holy Spirit gave him the strength to endure with God-given joy.