"You must, when facing difficulties and hostilities, look to the unseen hoping in what God has promised in the life to come, rather that "this slight momentary affliction" facing you. God promises that such afflictions prepare you for "an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." But you cannot have it both ways. Inner renewal is the product of an eternal gaze." (Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man)
I often get caught up in the "momentary affliction"- the worry of day to day things and the struggles that I face. Much of it is valid, but much of my struggle with affliction and momentary circumstances create this world of uncertainty, a world of anxiety, fear, and anger. Living in this place for too long can bring ones mindset further and further from the truth that God offers. I have been reading many different books at the moment (one is the devotional mentioned above) A common theme I have seen when discussing anxiety, fear, and anger or thoughts on affliction- is this- GRATITUDE is the antidote that will save one from darkness.
"Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (Phillipians 4:6)
What a wake up call! Have no anxiety about anything- do not worry about anything! Gods truth instructs us not to worry, but in everything go to Him in prayer with GRATITUDE. I can only imagine how different my attitude, and how different the outcome of my days would be if I had a mindset of gratitude- a mindset of prayer and supplication- a mindset of things eternal, and not momentary. Every conversation, every encounter, every circumstance and every thought would have purpose- everyday would be His kingdom come, His will be done.
I have heard this truth many times before- but the struggle to live it has become more and more difficult. I have been overwhelmed with an attitude far less than that of gratitude. I see Gods blessings for sure- I know He is ever present- I believe His love for me is true and enough- but my actions filled with anxiety, fear and anger show that I have forgotten these very truths. I could list the many things that constantly cause me to worry, or most of all to be angry and frustrated- but that might prove useless. What is important though, is to understand that when I am clinging to the momentary affliction- when I cling to the things that worry me- when I refuse to go to God with gratitude, when I refuse to let go- I am hardly able to be a blessing to others. I believe that with whatever I do, God longs for me to bless those around me- unbelievers and believers alike. If I am consumed with only temporal things, I am consumed less with Christ and more of myself.
Let this be my prayer:
God may I decrease, and you increase- may there be more of you in me. Grant me the desire to follow you and to think of things eternal and not fall into the pit of momentary affliction, but may I come to you in gratitude so that these afflictions may prepare me for eternal glory- my I embrace the things that are seen with your wisdom and grace and trust in the things unseen. Let you be the center of my joy, peace, and understanding. May I find strength to let you work though my anxiety, my fear and my anger so that I may cling to your promise and live a life that blesses others.