Let’s face it, we don’t have to look very far to find things to complain about. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they had everything they needed to be happy. But what did they focus on? The one tree they couldn’t have! God miraculously divided the Red Sea, guided the Israelites through the wilderness and provided food from heaven each day so they’d never go hungry. And did they appreciate it? Yes, for a while. ‘They… sang His praise. But… soon forgot what He had done.’ (Psalm 106:12–13 NIV)
This is why Paul writes: ‘Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise… Then the God of peace will be with you.’ (Philippians 4:8–9 NLT)
General Robbie Risner described the seven years he spent as a prisoner-of-war in a Vietnamese camp as ‘the essence of despair’. But he survived. How? He pried the cover off a floor drain in his cell and saw a solitary blade of grass, the only smidgen of colour in his colourless world. Calling it ‘a blood transfusion for the soul’, Risner began each day in prayer, lying on the floor with his head down the vent focusing on that single blade of grass. When things aren’t going well in your life you have to choose what you’ll focus on: fear or faith, despair or hope, problems or solutions. Even when the problem isn’t solved to your liking, when you focus on God, He lifts you above your circumstances and gives you peace in the midst of them.