“He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.” (Lamentations 3:4-6)
It is not easy to live with hardship, and to suffer enduring pain. We can lose ourselves in the hardships that come into our lives. Not long ago I was talking to someone who told me about a member of his family that was so caught up in a disappointing event that the person had a mental breakdown over it.
We can let our hardships become so all-encompassing that it is difficult to see beyond them, even single events in our lives can swallow up the good things, the many wonderful events, that God would have us focus upon instead.
I think that for those of us who suffer, and have suffered much difficulty in life, if we were to balance everything out on a scale, the good things, the undeserved blessings, the wonderful events in our lives, they would far outweigh the bad things that have come our way. I do not make light of hardship, but wrong thinking, and obsessive thinking about only the bad things in life can swallow up so many good things around us. That wrong thinking must be avoided.
Reading God’s word can help us to keep perspective, gain wisdom and insight, and stay away from wrong choices. Humorous television programs, uplifting music, good literature, and breaking bad mental habits, as well as monitoring our own attitudes for growing pessimism and negativity–these things can be beneficial.
We need the Lord to keep us off of the dark paths of pessimism. We may not always be cheerful and feel uplifted, we may even struggle continually with depression, but we know we have reason for hope as Christians, the pathway may be dark on occasion, but the end result is glory and paradise with our Lord, and on earth fellowship with our Savior and those who are His children.
Don’t let pessimistic thinking, and focusing upon one, or a few bad events, rob you of the many wonderful blessings God has brought into your life. We can let disappointing experiences steal away so many wonderful events, we can be blinded to a long list of undeserved blessings, or we can focus instead upon those blessings, and place our disappointments in their proper context. Both hardship and blessings are what life is all about, we can grow from our disappointments, relish our blessings, or choose to be a complainer who cannot see the forest of blessings because of the thorn bush in our path.
You may feel weighed down by disappointments, but when you are feeling low, if you will start adding up the blessings God has given you throughout your life, it will help you gain perspective.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to see the entire picture of our lives, and to place hardship and disappointment within a context that also includes the many blessings You have given us.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He sometimes finds it easier to count his disappointments than blessings, but God’s blessings always outweigh the hardships in his life.
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Do you find it easier to focus on disappointments than blessings? Have you tried to add up your blessings?