Category Archives: Optimism

The Door To Your New Life

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Open Door to Your New Life

“Look! I’m making everything new.

Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”

Revelation 21:5(MSG)

On the first day of a brand New Year, are you looking forward to closing the door on your past and opening the door to your future? Perhaps you are glad for the chance to breathe in the freshness of the new possibilities that the coming year might bring. Are there pages (or entire chapters?) that you would like to delete from your life’s story? “My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.” Ephesians 3:14 – 17 (MSG)

By opening the door of your life to Christ, He promises to bring about a glorious transformation inside of you, and you’ll be renewed from the inside out. There’s no better way to start out the new year than by accepting the gift of a fresh start with God. He alone can erase the pain of your past and the mistakes you’ve made along the way. You don’t have to spruce up for God or clean up your act before turning to Him. He meets you right where you are with His limitless love and grace. By inviting Christ to be the center of your life, He’ll be the compass guiding you along the path to your very best future.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12: 1-2 (MSG)

Now take a deep breath, close the door to your past, open the door to your best future, and step through to a new life with God!

  • “In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9 (NCV)
  • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2(NIV)
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Looking Ahead

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Snowy Path CS Lewis quote

Don’t revel only in the past, or spend all your time recounting…days gone by.
Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak,
and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert; Waters will flow where there had been none.

Isaiah 43:18 – 19 (VOICE)

 The eve of a fresh new year is a great time to start looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead. Perhaps there are things that you wish you could change about the year you see in the rear view right now, and of course you can learn a great deal from past failure ~ as well as past success! But continually looking backwards will hold you frozen in your history, rather than focused on the present task of writing your story. So don’t revel only in the past, or spend all your time recounting days gone by. The things you leave behind have already happened, but the future ahead is like a brand new page in a new chapter of your life.

As the New Year dawns, vow to live each day with resolve and intent.  God has given each of us a certain number of days to fulfill our life’s purposes. Ask Him to give you the grace to understand the important significance of each new day ~ and each moment ~ that you spend here on earth.  Some of us have more time than others, but none of us know the exact amount of time that we have left to complete our life’s mission. Pray for divine instruction concerning how to use your time purposefully throughout the days of the coming year.

Remember, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~ C.S. Lewis

  • You crown the year with your good blessings, and you leave abundance in your wake. Psalm 65:11 (NET)
 

The Bridge to Your Brightest Tomorrow

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Bridge to the brightest tomorrow

 


“The deepest pains may linger through the night,
    but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.”
Psalm 30:5b (VOICE)
 

When you’re in the clutches of an agonizingly painful situation, it’s easy to focus on your suffering and lose sight of the bright ray of hope emerging on your horizon.  If your world is falling apart the difficulties you are experiencing can be overwhelming. Every thought is filtered through a sieve of pain, pressure and misery. Jeremiah was going through a tough time, too, and here he gives a vivid description of how he was feeling ~ including the One thing that pulled him through:

“Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable.
That’s all I ever think about, and I am depressed.
Then I remember something that fills me with hope.
 The Lord’s kindness never fails!
If He had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed.
The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning.
Deep in my heart I say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on Him!”

Lamentations 3: 19-24 (CEB)

It’s understandable that you might be depressed if you continually think about your troubles. But if you turn your attention to the God of Hope and reach down deep into the depths of your heart to say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on Him!” ~ your pain will be displaced with seeds of heavenly hope, which will grow into His divine joy, the kind which greets your soul with a smile. Remind yourself that God can use everything in your life for something good…even the darkest nights and the deepest pains.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18(MSG)

Life’s Road Signs

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“Set up road signs;
   put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway,
   the road that you take…

Jeremiah 31:21
(NIV1984)

 

I was looking over my son’s shoulder as he diligently studied for his driver’s test. His thick DMV manual contains multiple pages of road signs, which he must understand before he begins learning how to navigate behind the wheel. I can tell from examining the well-worn pages of his book that he is taking this test seriously and wants to learn all that is required of him in order to pass this important test.

It’s too bad that we don’t have road signs which tell us how to accurately steer the course of or our lives. Sometimes we could use a bold “Do Not Enter” or “U Turn” sign to guide us in the right direction.

Even though we don’t have these physical signs lining our daily paths, we can receive guidance from our Heavenly Father through His Word. The Bible is our manual for living life. By reading it and constantly learning from it, we will gain the necessary wisdom to perceive God’s direction for our lives.

Psalm 119:105 tell us, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” His word illuminates the direction we should take in our lives. As you read His Word, ask Him to reveal His instructions to you. Many examples from the Bible show us how great men and women of faith asked God to lead and guide them. Here are just a few:

  • “Direct my footsteps according to your word…” (Psalm 119:133)
  • “I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.” (Psalm 119: 125)
  • “Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees.” (Psalm 119: 135)
  • “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:4,5)

On a road trip, one wrong turn can cause big problems in your goal of reaching your destination. Similarly, seemingly small decisions can have a major impact in the course of your life. Your Heavenly Father holds the road map for your life. He has equipped you for a special purpose, and He will lovingly reveal His plan to you. If you ask God for His guidance, He is faithful to answer your prayers. His promises are true, and you can trust Him to provide clear instructions to His children. “Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for Him.” (Psalm 25: 12)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

Lean not to your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3: 5 – 8

Optimism

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Lately it seems all you have to do is turn on the TV or read the headlines in the newspapers to feel a tinge of pessimism. However, I”ve always believed that optimism is one of the most valuable qualities you can possess. I’m drawn to those folks who see the glass half full. I’ll admit it’s challenging to always find a rainbow in difficult circumstances, but you can’t have a rainbow unless you have some rain. I love how Winston Churchill put things in perspective for us when he said that a Pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity and the Optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. If what he said is true, then we are embedded in one of the most opportunistic times of our lifetime, and that’s something to be excited about!

So cancel those negative thoughts. Imagine the possibilities. Look for the silver lining in every “cloud.”  Follow your dreams. Don’t focus on the obstacles. Think instead about the potential you possess. Think of all we have to be thankful for! Live optimistically!