I am a firm believer in always looking on the bright side. Anyone who knows me knows that I only focus on the positives that are in my life. I don’t spend time thinking about the trials, the challenges, the setbacks or the discouragements because that will do nothing to elevate my spirit or encourage my heart. I choose to focus on the good and see the blessings that I have been bestowed with because those are the things that will make me see how fortunate I really am. It is easy for anyone to become discouraged and depressed when they only focus on the bad that is before them, but if they changed their perspective and chose to focus on their blessings, I believe no person would be depressed or discouraged in their life. In order for there to be a change in our life we have to think about what we’re thinking about. Are we focusing on the positives or on the negatives? Are we elevating our life with our thoughts, words and actions or are we hindering it by feeling down and defeated? We should always see ourselves as victors and not victims and lead our life confidently knowing that God will always use the trials and challenges to make us better, wiser and stronger than we were before them. (Proverbs 15:13) (Proverbs 17:22)
When we have an attitude of unmoved confidence in the Lord I believe we will go through life much more easily because we will know that the end result of the path that we are still traveling on will be one that will be good for us. We will arrive at the destination that God had intended for us. We will learn, grow, and walk through life by faith and not by sight knowing the end result will always be to our good because we love God and we are called according to His purposes. Be encouraged to always have a lighthearted attitude towards your life. See the good, enjoy your days, laugh at every opportunity and with your life’s example let your light shine so brightly that all who look at your life may more importantly see the Lord living through you. That is a testimony that we can all be proud to call our own because to represent Christ rightly where others are drawn to Him will always be a life well lived. (2 Corinthians 5:7) (Romans 8:28)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to have a joyous outlook on life at all times.
AN IRISH MEMORY
I was 17 years old when I met him and I only knew him for two days. Yet, the memory of him warms my heart even now. He was a middle-aged priest from Ireland visiting the same Chicago seminary that I was. He had a stock of thick, red hair and a thousand freckles. His cheerfulness, laughter, and smile were contagious to everyone around him. His deep, Irish accent seemed to sing when he spoke and every room he entered seemed a little brighter.
Over the years I have forgotten the jokes he told and the stories he shared, but one thing he said still lives on in my mind. One evening one of the other teenagers visiting the seminary joked that our smiling "Saint Patrick" certainly didn’t fit the mold of the solemn and serious priest. To this our new friend just laughed harder and said, "Well my boy if God didn’t want us to be happy then why does smiling feel so darned good and frowning feel so darned bad?"
I took that moment with me and stored it in a special place in my soul. Even though I took a different path and didn’t become a priest myself, the lesson I learned from that merry Irishman has stayed with me. I knew from that time on that God not only loves us, but also wants us to be happy in our lives here. We may face challenges, tragedies, suffering, loss, and eventually our own deaths. But with God’s love within us we can still choose joy, give joy, live in joy, and make this world a more loving and joyous place for everyone.
I never saw that angel from Ireland again. I am sure, though, that wherever he is right now, he is spreading joy and he is sharing love. That red-headed Child of God gave me a glorious example of how to live in the Kingdom of Heaven even while we are still here on Earth. Because of him I laugh more. Because of him I love more. Because of him I smile more. He was right too. Smiling does feel so darned good. May all of your days then be full of smiles.
By Joseph J. Mazzella
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Psalm 37:16-19 “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”
Psalm 34:1-4 “I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Isaiah 40:28-29 “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.”
Psalm 34:17-19 “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: WISDOM OF THE SOUL
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem182.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: THE DAY THE ANGELS REJOICED
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony133.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry