Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's your attitude?




Scripture

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
(2 Thessalonians 1:3 NASB)
therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
(2 Thessalonians 1:4 NASB)

 

Observation


This letter is written to a new, small church that is struggling to be faithful in the midst of a hostile environment. While they are being persecuted, they continue to have a good attitude. They are having tough days and yet they are allowing God to work in them and their faith grows, and the love they have for one another is visible to those around them. Therefore, it's easy to brag on these folks, who are allowing God to give them a good attitude, despite their circumstances.

 

Application


There are times when we feel absolutely slammed by life. We literally feel like the circumstances around us are unfair and they can feel crushing. It becomes easy for our circumstances to dictate our reaction. The folks in Thessalonica were being persecuted because of their faith. While that scenario may be increasing these days, I'm not sure that's what most of us are having to deal with in our Christian walk -- out and out blatant persecution. However, we may be facing what feels like persecution on a different level. It's when outside forces begin to crush in on us that our attitude can become a reflection of our reaction. Life doesn't always play out the way we would like, but we can choose how we will react. What kind of attitude will we have toward life? How will we respond to those who may be persecuting us?

The Thessalonians chose to allow God to work in their negative circumstances. I believe that is truly an option. We may choose to nurse our hurts, or we may choose to allow God to minister to our woundedness. The result is that either our faith will grow, like that of the Thessalonians, or we will become stagnant with the result of hardness and bitterness. Either our love for one another will grow cold as a result of the difficulties, or our love for one another will flourish. No one ever said that allowing God to minister to us in tough times was easy, but it is possible.

What's your attitude? Will we allow God to so fill us that we can we respond to difficult situations with a heart of love and grace and God's image may continue to grow and develop in us? Your attitude -- your response -- it's your choice!

 

Prayer


Lord, please help me in the difficult days of life to keep my eyes on you and may those becomes moments of growth in my life. Amen.

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