The Focus|


Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." NIV

Things have not been going very well in my little town. There has been much dissension over the replacement of a necessary facility. Over the past two plus years a group of volunteers have put a tremendous amount of planning, fund raising and money thus far into the project, only to have it stopped, one week prior to the sod being turned and the construction beginning.

Tempers are running extremely high. Trust has been broken on a number of levels, and not for the first time. Lies are rampant as those involved seek to cover their tracks. All in all it is a very negative and nasty situation, a circumstance that is occupying first place in the majority of people's minds, including mine in a very cynical way.

Thus as I was doing my regular morning chores I was also praying and asking God to show me the best way to not only pray about the situation, but also how to think about it, as I was burdened by my own less than charitable and black thoughts about the whole issue. For the longest time I did not hear anything back from the Lord about the matter. But then when I least expected it, focused on the cleaning task at hand, today's Scripture verse quietly walked across my mind. And there it was. The answer I had been seeking.

* Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.*

As I contemplated this beloved verse, which has seen me through many a difficult situation, I felt such a sense of relief and peace. There really was not anything I could do about what was happening in our town, in regards to the actual project itself. But I could do something about my attitude, which in turn might have some small bearing upon the attitudes of others as well.

Focusing on the facts, which are negative, discouraging and downright unfair, would not change anything; it would simply continue to drag my spirit down. But if I chose to focus on what was going right in my life, in my town, what was pure and noble and lovely and admirable and excellent and praiseworthy, moving through the negative situation would become so much easier. It would also serve to remind me that nothing is impossible with God. After all, He holds the ultimate plan for our little town, and in His time, He will reveal it in all its' glory.

So in closing I ask this question, whether you are going through an encouraging or a discouraging time: What are your thoughts focused upon today?

Prayer: Father God, we live in a difficult world. Many people are treated unfairly and many people are hurting in ways we cannot even comprehend. We read the papers or listen to the news which can be very discouraging. In light of these facts, help us to remember and apply today's wonderful words of Scripture to our minds that we might maintain focus and attitudes of victory amidst the disappointments and inequality of situations which may come our way. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.


Lynne Phipps Atlin, B.C.


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