Daily Devotional: Psalms 73:21-28
21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
1 Thess 5:16-24
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit's fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
One of the keys to a joyful life and to being positive is knowing that life is not just about this world and our time here. When it is viewed from this vantage point, it is futile and like chasing the wind. Even our greatest accomplishment or our most joyful moments are soon gone or we die and leave it all behind. If life is just about what we see now, we are no better off than the animals, we die and rot.
When we focus on others, what they have and what they have accomplished, it leads us to become envious and then filled with bitterness because we do not have the same things. When we let our minds be filled with all the troubles in this world and all the evil, it leads us to despair. Natural – maybe, destructive – yes!
But our lives are to be about God and about Jesus Christ. The more we submit to his will and the more we seek to be like Jesus, the greater our peace. As we focus on Jesus and forget the things around us, the less we worry and complain. We give thanks for all things and in so doing many of our problems soon disappear.
O Lord my God, I stand in awe at your great power and the beauty of nature all around me. I also understand that what we know as “nature” is your creation and just seems natural to us because it is so wonderful and so dependable. Thank you for many good people you have put into my life. Thank you for this nation and the many freedoms we enjoy. I pray that these liberties will continue for many years to come. Be with the leaders of all the nations of the earth that those who follow you can live a quiet and peaceful life. I humbly pray in the name of Jesus.