So, summer just started and we have already caught a glimpse of the torturous heat it is bringing! I thought we could all use some words of encouragement. I wrote this as a response to an email from a friend a while back. (For those of you involved, don't worry, I edited out certain details and names)
Question( reworded): Do you ever feel like life is passing you by? Like everyone else is living while you are at a standstill?
It was funny that she would ask a question like that, because I was struggling with that very thing and I shared what God was trying to teach me at the time. Here was my response:
In times like this it's very hard to press on, I'm still working on it myself. My pastor has preached on Philippians 4, in verses 11-13 it says: "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." In the KJV, verse 11 says: "in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." I think that our problem is that we're always comparing ourselves with others. We look with longing at what we want and wonder how others can have it when we don't. But even the people who seem to have perfect lives have their own struggles, some are just less visible than others. Everyone has moments when they desire a better life, but the difference is that those who are most fulfilled in life are the ones who take everything to God. Romans 12:12 says: "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." This may not be the case for you, but I know that my problem is a problem with joy. I allow depression and negative thoughts to take me down. It gives me this self-pitying, sour attitude and people notice. I have been told multiple times to "smile, life's not that bad." I may not be able to control my circumstances, but I can control my attitude. It's much better to remember that God is always in control, in the good times and the bad, and He knows what you're going through. He uses the tough times to bring you closer to Him. So look at the positive things even if they seem few and far between.
I've noticed that the subject of encouragement and positive thinking seems to keep coming back to me. I guess I still have a lot to learn and I'm glad to be able to share these things that God is working on in my life. I hope it's not too repetitive :) If you would like more on this subject, look back at these posts: