A little boy was heard talking to himself as he strode through his back yard, baseball cap in place and carrying a ball and bat. "I’m the greatest baseball player in the world," he said proudly. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed. Undaunted, he picked up the ball threw it into the air and said to himself, "I’’m the greatest player ever!" He swung at the ball again, and again he missed. He paused a moment to examine the ball and bat carefully. Then once again he threw the ball into the air and said, "I’m the greatest baseball player who ever lived." He swung the bat hard, and again missed the ball. "Wow!" he exclaimed. "What a great pitcher!"
This little story is amusing but it teaches us something important about being a Christian. The boy instead of getting discouraged, emphasized on the positive. He refused to let his circumstances get him down.
Many of us go through dark times in our lives where God seems to be silent. We keep on praying but don’’t get an answer. We keep on knocking but doors don’’t open. Our circumstances don’’t change and so we get discouraged. We give up and declare, "What’s the use!"
If there was anyone who should have been discouraged over his circumstances it was the Apostle Paul. In bringing the gospel to people around the Mediterranean, he was beaten, stoned, whipped, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and sometimes he was left without shelter, clothing, or food. Finally he was put in chains in a prison in Rome. During that time he wrote the epistle of joy, Philippians. Listen to what he says in chapter 4:4-9
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Does that sound like a man who was discouraged by his circumstances? His eyes were fixed on Jesus. During this time in the Roman prison, Paul won many people to Christ, including his own guards. How you choose to react in your circumstances can also have that same result
Choose joy today!
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