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Paul and Joseph chose to put their hope in God. They could have easily stayed where they were at, in dismay over the troubles of their lives. But they did not do this. They lifted their eyes and put their hope in God.
Here is where we see how important our attitude is in every situation of life. Proverbs tells us that [as a man] thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). This is the reason why Scripture also tells us to watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23, NASB).
You see, our attitude is like a sail. Whichever direction we place our sail, those winds will take us to particular destina tions. If we put our sail up to catch only the winds of discouragement and doubt, it is certain that we will reach the destination we set for. But if we choose to place our sail in the confidence of Gods goodness, we are bound to be carried along by Him and see His faithfulness.
In his book The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart, Charles Swindoll writes about the impor tance of our attitude to all the situations of life.
Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.
I believe the single most significant decision that I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my success or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. . . . It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitude is right, theres no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.
Our perspective is so very important. We can choose either to see these difficulties and become discouraged or to turn to our good Father and believe that He has a way to turn even the most difficult circumstances into good. It is the mystery of His sovereignty.
Flip through the pages of the Bible, and you will see, in story after story, how each person we revere as a hero of the faith encountered discouragement. Not one was exempt. And even the more modern-day faith examples had hills to climb and obstacles to overcome. Let us then, by faith, fix our eyes on the good that He will produce in our lives out of the difficulties that are bound to come, and stay encouraged because of Him.
May I take your hand and encourage you not to give up? Be strong on the inside.