I read an excellent article recently from the pen of Neil Richey. I thought I'd share his good advice with you today.
BE UPBEAT AND POSITIVE ABOUT LIFE.
Paul said on one occasion, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4). If anyone can rise above the negativity that exists in the world today, it ought to be the Christian. Do you want to know what makes a Christian happy?
- Having children makes Christians happy. Psalm 127:5 declares - "Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them."
- The ability to work makes Christians happy. "When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you" (Psa. 128:2).
- Being obedient to God makes Christians happy. Proverbs 16:20 teaches - "He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he."
- Practicing compassion makes Christians happy. "He who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he" (Prov. 14:21).
- Learning to help others makes Christians happy. John 13:17 - "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."
BE FLEXIBLE WHEN FACING OBSTACLES.
Christians need to learn how to bounce back when difficulties and challenges arise. I really like how one person put it: "When you can't direct the winds, adjust the sails." In Donald McCullough's, "The Pitfalls of Positive Thinking," he said the following:
- Alexander the Great conquered Persia, but broke down and wept because his troops were too exhausted to push on to India.
- Hugo Grotius, the father of modern international law, said at the last, "I have accomplished nothing worthwhile in my life."
- John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States--not a Lincoln, perhaps, but a decent leader--wrote in his diary: "My life has been spent in vain and idle aspirations, and in ceaseless rejected prayers that something would be the result of my existence beneficial to my species."
- Robert Louis Stevenson wrote words that continue to delight and enrich our lives, and yet what did he write for his epitaph? "Here lies one who meant well, who tried a little, and failed much."
- Cecil Rhodes opened up Africa and established an empire, but what were his dying words? "So little done, so much to do."
While sometimes to our feeble minds it seems that life is not worth the living, remember that Jesus said He came to make it worthwhile (John 10:10).
BE UPRIGHT IN ALL THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE.
Whether it comes to business practices that are out in the open or decisions made in the privacy of your own home, practice purity. The Bible teaches us to hate evil and hold on to good; to avoid every form of evil and be holy as Jesus is holy (Rom. 12:9; I Pet. 1:16).
BE SURE TO PRAY EACH AND EVERY DAY.
The psalmist observes that truly happy people are those who frequently come into the presence of the Lord. "You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psa. 16:11). One of the ways we enter God's presence is when we approach Him in prayer.
In William Barclay's, Prodigals and Those Who Love , he said that when we pray remember:
- The love of God that wants the best for us.
- The wisdom of God that knows what is best for us.
- The power of God that can accomplish it.
Great things happen when we pray! Only prayerful people will be able to enjoy life. Paul explained it well when he said - "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing" (I Thess. 5:16,17). Today can be a great day--if we want it to be!