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Handling the Ups and Downs of Life

How do you handle the ups and downs of life? They’re going to come. And when they come, how do you expect to handle them?

In life, two people can experience the same circumstance yet have two completely different responses. One person finds joy while the other person becomes depressed. One person expresses gratitude toward God while the other person curses God. Friend, it’s not the circumstances that make the difference. Most of us have very little control over the circumstances. It’s how we respond to those circumstances that makes the difference. You have the ability to view the glass of milk either half full or half empty…the outcome of that is based upon whether you hold to an optimistic or pessimistic mindset.

Job was a man who often found positivity in the pessimism of life. In Job 2:9, his own wife was of no support when she stated: “His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.”

But I love the reply of Job to his wife in the next verse: “He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

The question for us today is: should we accept only good things from almighty God and omit all difficulties? Are all things bad not from God? Biblically, this practice proves to be detrimental. All individuals mentioned in God’s Word encountered difficulties. Their responses to them made the difference. Often, God speaks to us most in the difficulties, captivates our attention, and teaches us many timeless truths while retaining our attention. Never dismiss difficulties as solely detrimental, but consider them instrumental in developing your faith. Job did just that.

If you know me well, you know that I’m quite the horrendous pianist…so horrendous I cannot play but a few brief chords and some occasional notes amid the melodic sounds of squawking birds. But, if we take that piano which I have beaten to death with my non-melodic harmonies, and we allow a master concert pianist to tickle the keys, I am positive that the sound resonating from the strings of that same piano will be much more melodic than my pitiful playing. Now, is the problem with the piano or the player? I hope that you have realized the problem is solely with the player.

Regardless of the circumstances, your attitude toward the circumstances makes the difference. Today, I encourage you to dissect the circumstances and discover the positive aspects of them. Each time you encounter difficulties, remember two words: dissect and discover. Behind every negative circumstance is always a positive lesson. It’s your responsibility to find it.

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