This wonderful season of spring is also a season of yard cleanup! Garden planting often causes our faces to move from grey grimaces to sunny smiles. So often it is our environment and circumstances that can determine our emotional health and quality of life. Many of us live life striving for a sense of satisfaction in our day to day lives. This is a worthy pursuit, yet when the season changes from white-washed winter to a brown dirty mud season, we can have the same perspective of spring as we had in winter. The season changed but our heart stayed the same. If we live a life focused on what is missing and on the trials we face, we will learn to fix our eyes to only see those things.
Don’t Let the Season Rule You
Circumstances and trials will come to all of us, and the first Apostles stated that they could carry joy in trials and tribulations. This concept we dismiss for ourselves often because they were special, they were “The Apostles!”, and therefore joy in trials is just slightly out of reach for us. James and Paul both touch on this, but not in separating out themselves as having some special ability. In fact, they suggest that this ability to find joy in the season (to see the good coming out of the struggle) was for all of those who believed in Christ. This ability comes from more than a positive outlook on life. It emanates from faith in Christ and the empowerment of the Spirit of God in our lives.
Philippians 4:6-9 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 and sisters, 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.”
We see that Paul is encouraging the Church at Philippi to start with being thankful to God and to bring our requests. This posture of thanksgiving opens the door to living in a peace that makes no sense. He also directs us to put our focus on the right things; the true things, the noble things, the pure things, the admirable things and the lovely things. When we put our eyes on what is worthy of praise, we maintain the peace that doesn’t make any sense.
No Matter the Season, Trust God
As the season’s change and situations challenge us, we can be thankful and trust God in all situations. We must keep our eyes on the manifested goodness of God. If we struggle seeing it now, we give thanks for what we’ve seen and take time to meditate on them. Peace then becomes a resting place in the storm and our hearts can be filled as we trust in God. Our emotional health and quality of life will be a living testimony of the good news of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Chris Bassett is the Senior Leader of Harvest Valley Worship Center.