My Grace-Full Life

12.13.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Attitudes and Circumstances

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Last night, I planned to make snicker salad when I got home. But I tripped on some asphalt and hurt my foot. Then I tripped over my dog, because yes—I am a klutz. Since standing up didn’t seem to be working super well for me, I gave up and went to bed; I can make snicker salad this morning. 

But after a couple of hours, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. My feet were hurting, I was hot, I couldn’t get comfortable, and I started sneezing (I’m slightly allergic to my dog and she sleeps on the floor by my side of the bed). 

I finally went back to sleep. By the time the alarms started this morning, my bed was the most comfortable sanctuary of pillowy goodness. I wasn’t cold, I wasn’t hot—I was in that perfect zone of drowsy warmth, and my feet weren’t hurting anymore. The only thing that was the same was the sneezing that started when I finally tore myself out of bed.

The same bed that felt like a burning volcano of rocks last night was an oasis of tranquil comfort this morning. The bed didn’t change; my perspective did. I went to sleep playing a mental to-do list in my head. While the list needs to be done, it’ll get done. I slept well (once I got to sleep) and I have plenty of coffee and worship music to energize me!

I tell you all this to say—sometimes, our circumstances don’t change, but that doesn’t mean our attitudes can’t.

When I think of this, my mind immediately goes to King David. As a prolific Psalm writer, his Psalms often bemoan his circumstances, but then, he turns them around. Where he may cry out to God about his enemies, he always turns it into praise. 

Let’s consider the first four verses of Psalm 56. They say, “Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (ESV). 

David had his fair share of enemies. Goliath, King Saul, and later—even his own son. There were no shortages of “life and death” experiences for David. He even fought lions and bears in his youth (Oh My!) when he was tending sheep! While David couldn’t always control his circumstances, he could (and did) change his attitude.

Let’s also look at one of the many miracles of Jesus. In Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus walked on water and invited Peter to join Him. At first, Peter was fine! Don’t you wonder if he was laughing in wonder at the amazingness of walking on waves? Maybe he even had a, “Hey guys, look at me!” moment. But then, the wind kicked up. Peter, in a moment of distraction, began to sink—and panic. When Peter was focused on Jesus, he could walk on water too. He only began sinking when he allowed the circumstances of the wind to distract him from Jesus.

We tend to think our circumstances affect our attitudes but that’s not true. It’s our attitudes that affect our circumstances.

Whatever your circumstance—praise God! He may not change your situation but He can work a miracle in your heart and attitude if you let Him.

Today, as you pray, thank God that He is always sovereign, no matter what circumstances He allows in our lives. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you put on the right attitude that focuses on and praises Jesus… ask Him to equip you so that your attitude controls your circumstances and not the other way around.

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