Life at its best: Choices in crisis determine victory

May 13, 2011 at 12:13 a.m.

By Jim Graff

Have you ever had a bad day? I'm sure we all have. In fact, I can distinctly remember a time in my life when I experienced a bad year. First, just after my 25th birthday, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and was given only six months to live. Only four months into her treatment, my dad had a heart attack and died suddenly. Then, the day I was helping my mother to plan my dad's funeral, I received a call that the engine in my eight-month-old van had blown up, and it was gone. Pretty unfortunate set of circumstances, wouldn't you say?

After this time, I remember looking up at God and thinking, "You know God, if You want to do something to bless my life, now would be a really good time." But the truth is that blessings often don't just fall out of the sky. In order to change our circumstances, we must invest in what God says will change our problems. The Bible teaches us over and over again that it's good choices that will cause us to triumph through crisis.

What are some of these choices? First of all, we need to ignore distractions. Whether that distraction is a negative person or bad circumstance, we must keep our focus off it and on making decisions that'll successfully bring us out on the other side. We also need to manage difficulties. Like we established before, bad days are inevitable. But the good news is that we can determine how they end. Then, we must determine to choose God's destiny through prayer. We can only do so much to change our circumstances. So why not tap into the endless possibilities God can create? Choose to praise Him through your situations, and you'll see amazing things happen in your life.

How do I know that? Because God promises it in Isaiah 60:18. He says, "No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise." God is instructing us to praise Him through everything because if we do, it'll become a gate leading us to a whole new life. It'll lead us into God's presence, people's favor and prayer's power. That's why, every day, we should resolve to dwell not on life's challenges but on what God's going to do through them because of our obedience to Him.

So instead of calling our circumstances hopeless, let's start talking about the walls of salvation God brings to our homes. Instead of submitting to difficulties and distractions, let's start seeing our praise as a gate leading to a better, more fulfilling life. What happened yesterday is done. Today, let's do what's right in the sight of God. A lot may have happened to you, but God's ready to make things happen for you. You're on the road to somewhere great.

Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.



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