Everday is an opportunity to shine: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good... Galations 6:

What are you? A Pessimist or an Optimist?

Why is it that we so often have "a state of mind which negatively colours our perception of life"? as one dictionary describes pessimism. Or, why are we so bent on seeing the dark or negative slant on things?

Every day, if your life is anything like mine (!), hassles, inconveniences and irritations come our way. Matthew 6:34 even tells us that each day brings enough trouble of its own! (Let's not amen too loudly!) But as these irksome situations arise during my day, why is it I can become so easily frustrated? Why do such aggravations annoy me and at times cause me to lose my patience?

I can come up with a number of "reasons" to explain my reactions but James 4:1-2 strips away any excuses I make to justify my behaviour during these difficulties.

"From whence come wars and fightings among you?

come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:

ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not."

Why do these hassles irritate me? Because I desire and have not.

I want quietness and peace in my home ... but I have children arguing.

I want to get home ... but the cashier is operating in slow motion.

I want to finish the laundry ... but my machine is broken.

I want time to rest ... but I have responsibilities demanding my attention.

The list goes on...

I want. I want. I desire and have not.

Is there anything wrong with wanting peace and quietness? Is there anything wrong with wanting to get home or desiring some rest? Of course not. But although we quote Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose", do we really believe it? Do I honestly accept that He allows everything in my life to happen for a purpose - to work together for good? Do I trust in the fact that He orchestrates my day? If so, then shouldn't it be what He wants not what I want?

Could it be that these interruptions and hassles are instead opportunities?

Opportunities? Opportunities for what?

Opportunities for growth in my character.

Opportunities to trust in my God.

Opportunities to teach my children.

Opportunities to let my light shine before others.

Opportunities to show love to others.

Opportunities to do good for others.

Opportunities to be like Christ.

In fact, the opportunities may be endless...

What do I desire...but have not? Whose will am I desiring - mine, or the Lord's? Has He allowed these situations to come into my life? If so, then it's His will. It's what He wants not necessarily what I want.

Last week my daughter and I took a rare shopping trip together. We drove an hour to the city and had a great time. However, after arriving home late that night, we discovered we were missing one of our purchases! In fact, the missing item represented the whole reason for our shopping trip in the first place! The enjoyment of our day dwindled quickly. The bag and its $60 contents were gone and since the misplaced item was a necessity it would mean a return trip to find a replacement. Our desire was to have our bag... but we had not! We faced an inconvenience ... or was it an opportunity? There was nothing I could do but wait until the morning to call the mall and, believe it or not, the bag had been turned in! Thank-you Lord! But why did He allow this experience to happen? I mean, what was the purpose in having to waste gas the next day in order to retrieve the bag? How could this be an opportunity? Well, in many ways it was, not the least of which that I was right in the middle of composing this email!

Each day brings different troubles and inconveniences but, as hard as it may be, let's try to view such hassles as opportunities. (And some days we may get lots of practice!!) Be an optimist. Believe that the Lord is working all these things together for our good. And, as Galatians 6:10 says, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good..."

Written by Zonya Bergsma

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Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
Psalm 86:11

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