After watching the Presidential Debate Sunday night I decided my attitude about trouble just might need some adjusting. This is not a stick-your-head-in-the-sand approach, but it is one that I have some control over. It’s a method backed up by Someone more powerful than any of us. Who knows! If we all became a little more childlike rather than childish we might not feel so powerless. Let’s give it a try, and see what happens. What do we have to lose?
Maria in The Sound of Music taught us to simply remember our favorite things when trouble hits, and then we won’t feel so bad. (That song gets stuck in my head for days every time I hear it. Sorry, if I just hit the play button for you.)
Have you ever thought about sitting down for a pair of minutes, and making an actual pencil-and-paper list of favorite things you’ve seen God do in your life? I’m trying to keep up with those now in my prayer journal. It’s such a hoot to look back and remember the way God works everything out. It’s especially nice to read through those again on those days when I don’t see an immediate answer – like Sunday night. It helps me remember to trust Him with everything.
In Psalm 78, the psalmist tells the reason for the children of Israel’s aimless wandering in the wilderness, “Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. The did not remember his power – the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, the day he displayed his signs in Egypt.”
Because they did not remember all God had done for them they continued to spin in circles just like I have a tendency to do when I focus on trouble. Do you sometimes forget to remember how much God loves you, what Jesus did for you, and just how powerful the power of the Holy Spirit really is?
Maybe it’s time to make that list. If you’ve never done it before, start today by looking back at your life and jotting down the victories over your struggles, the physical healings that only He could do, jaw-dropping works only His power could accomplish, the diversity of people He’s brought into your life as sources of encouragement, and the overwhelming blessings He’s lavishly poured all over you – blessings you don’t deserve, but surely do enjoy.
When you’ve finished, leave that list in a place where you will see it every day – your Bible maybe? 🙂 Add to it every week. I promise this is one exercise that has the power to change your attitude and give you hope for the future. I am convinced that when all of the Jesus-loving children of God join hands, ordinary will quickly become extraordinary! Rather than seeing the world through cynical, woe-is-me eyes we’ll begin to actually believe we have the power to withstand anything the real and overrated troubler flings at us.
If you listen to the endless droning of the media you will feel hopelessly helpless, but if you remember, record, and review the power of God you will become empowered to respond!
“I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:3-12
Holy Spirit, remind us of all the victories we’ve experienced through your power. Forgive us for focusing on our troubles. Help us to fix our eyes on the love of God, the grace of Jesus, and the sweet fellowship we have with you. And all of God’s children said …