There is both an old woman and young women in the picture above, it just depends on what you focus on.
God is our perspective changer. There have been many times I have been discouraged to the point I didn't even want to talk about it. I remember one day in particular, a girl I discipled had said some pretty awful things to me. All I could roll over in my head was, "After all the sacrifices I've made to pour into her and this is how she repays me!" Austin tried to encourage me but I didn't even want to talk about.
I read recently, "Transformation is the fruit of a changed outlook...God is more interested in changing your thinking than in changin your circumstances. He wants you to have the same attitude as and the very mind of Jesus Christ (see Phil 2:5-8). To pull that off is a ciracle larger than splitting oceans or tossing mountains into them...It is aking to raising the dead. Yet this is the daily occumpation of the Spirit-leading us into all truth, remiding us of the things Christ taught, taking the things of Christ and making them known to us again." (The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan)
I often cling to 2 Cor. 10:4-6,
"for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete"
Buchanan puts it this way,"Remebering God's Sovereignty and goodness takes practice and doesnt naturally fall out of us. But fostering an attitude of thankfulness paves the way. Because you can't be truly thankful without altering the way you see."
We need to take every thought captive, but how will we know what thoughts are lies and need to be taken captive if we are not in God's Word, letting Him show us what is true? We need quality time with the Lord in His Word and the battle is on to keep us from it. For me, what keeps me from that quality time is going to bed too late because I am doing some little thing that really can wait till the next day. What is it for you? What keeps you from having extended period of quality time with the Lord?
Did you know, "The Chinese join two characters to form a single pictograph for busyness: heart and killing. Busyness
also robs us of knowing God the way we might." I will not bow to the idol of busyness today by the power of the Holy Spirt!
So back to Austin trying to encourage me, well, he said, "Lets play the whats true game." He started saying a bunch of verses that were true and none of them seemed to really fit my situation with this girl until he came to "Consider it
pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (Jam. 1:2-4) YES! It gave me a whole new perspective and moved my heart from being discouraged to being thankful.
Thank God for:
#5 His Word that shows us whats true in the midst of our discouragement
#6 His Spirit that enlightens our mind to understand and see what's true
#7 and that is able to change our perspective
#8 and give us thankful hearts
#9 finding the blog Pursuing Hearts
#10 summer! and the boys being able to play outside
#11 accountability groups like Inspired to Action
#11 our great interns Rob and Angi
#12 our boys' birthmom. She is such an example of someone who does hard things for the benefit of others
to the glory of God.
#13 our end of the school year BBQ and reflecting on how God brought students into a relationship
with Himself and then used them to build His kingdom
Oh Lord, I am fully yours and would really like more time to connect with You today in Your Word than I made time
for this morning. Please provide time and help me cease it. And help me see Your sovereignty and goodness which will lead me to an attitude of thankfulness.
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