Focusing on More Than the Bright Side

           Is there anything positive and peaceful about getting diagnosed with cancer or being abused? Definitely not and anyone who says otherwise is probably trying to sell you something. Personally, I don’t always enjoy being in a wheelchair and having other major medical issues, but I indelibly appreciate how I am closer with my wife because of the extra care she lovingly provides. Negative circumstances will attempt to crush our souls, but they can also lead to acts of overwhelming love, kindness, and hope.

            Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Meditation requires dwelling on a thought with a consistent and concentrated effort. The act of meditation takes constant practice because a person does not become patient and disciplined overnight. For a child of God, simply wearing a brown robe and repeating scripture is not the biblical way to achieve a mind that dwells on righteousness. Philippians 4:9 (NIV) reads, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

            In order to have a mind focused on God, a child of His must act like His son—Jesus Christ. In both word and deed, Jesus always made God His priority. As a boy, Jesus could be found in a synagogue learning and teaching about God. (Luke 2) When He was being tempted in the desert for 40 days and nights by the devil, He battled using God’s words instead of His own. Whether His heart was peaceful,  or in turmoil, Jesus would also pray to God. (Luke 6:12, Mark 16:32-42) Even through His actions, Jesus obeyed God’s commands.

            Amongst other acts of compassion, Jesus taught criminals and healed the leprous. His act of greatest compassion was shedding His blood to save everyone’s soul, even those of His torturers. Jesus turned negative moments in His life and others into beautiful moments of teaching and shining God’s love. By turning to God and keeping His focus on Him, Jesus has even overcome death. If you choose to get baptized and live like Jesus, you too can overcome all through Him. Jesus tells us in John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” Will you choose belief over fear?