When you wake up, what is the first thing you think about? It is probably something related to what is going on in your day ahead or your personal life right now. Although some days may come with excitement for the day’s events, there is probably also some worry or anxiety about if you will get everything done you need to do and also about what is going, or could go, wrong. It is natural and normal that nearly all our thoughts are focused on ourselves, or as we have children, our family. It is also human nature for us all to have Problem Centric Thinking (PCT). We most commonly focus on the negative or what’s going, or could go, wrong. This is very similar to when you are driving down the road and a bug hits your windshield. Ninety-nine percent of the windshield is clear, but you keep focusing on the one bug…and it can drive you nuts.
Our thoughts tell us that most of us believe we are the main character in our life’s story. However, in his October 25th sermon at Eastview Christian Church, Ben Miller reminded us that we are not the main character in our life’s story…God is. As much as we think it is, our life is not about us. Our life is about how we can live for God’s glory and make an impact for Him while we are here on this Earth. If we take the focus off ourselves and realize God is the main character in our story, then we are better positioned to face whatever curve balls life throws us.
A mentor and friend of mine has a great quote he always says, “Nothing happens to us, only for us.” After hearing Ben’s sermon though, I would make a slight adjustment and say, “Nothing happens to us, only for Him.” We won’t ever like and want bad, or even challenging, things to happen to us and in our lives in the same way we don’t want harm to our own physical body. However, when we take the focus off ourselves and know God is in control and He’s the main character in our story, we can better deal with and handle the challenges life brings us. Our life is not really our story, it’s His story. How awesome is it that He has made us a part of it?!
Here are a few questions we might ask ourselves when facing challenging times…
- What might God be doing through the challenges in my life right now that can be used for Him and His glory now or in the future?
- How can God take my past mistakes and/or current mess and turn it into something not only good, but something great, much like He did for some of the most influential people in the Bible?
- What God really wants is more of our heart, how might He be using these challenges to bring me or others around me closer to Him?
The amount of joy we will have in our life is in direct proportion to the amount of trust we have in God’s love, will, and perfect plan for us and our life.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mine is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21