Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 2: Optimist Challenge

Welcome back friend! I hope you experienced a more positive day yesterday as a result of starting this heart and attitude challenge. Lets go ahead and jump right into todays challenge!

Day 2: Remember that you are not the only one with troubles.

Sometimes it feels like God is singling us out - maybe even working overtime trying to make our lives miserable. We may even feel like God is punishing us for our past sins or mistakes, and just maybe, we secretly believe that we deserve it.

In fact, you may even feel like a modern day Job at times, certain that God has given the enemy permission to attack you from every directions. But how sad it would be to have to get up every morning feeling that way - that attitude would most definitely result in a die hard pessimist!

Despite how bad things might seem, if we allow ourselves to drown in the type of mindset mentioned above, then we are really not believing in who God really is.

Pain, failure, and disappointment are a part of life, but it is never our entire life.

Life is like a puzzles. Some pieces of the puzzle are fun, rewarding, and exciting. Other puzzle pieces are hard, sad, and difficult. But nonetheless, all the pieces fit together to make up this unique life that God has given you.

It is also crucial to remember what Gods word says about love. He loves you, and me. He forgives you, and me. He keeps no record of wrongs of you, and me.

He adores you, and me, as His children.

So even though God may allow things to happen, or cause things to happen, He always has a purpose for everything, as we are told in Romans 8:28. His goal is not to make us miserable, but to draw us closer to Him during the triumphs and defeats; during the mountaintop experiences and the times in the valley; through the good and the bad.

He could change our circumstances at any time, but He is always more interested in changing us through our circumstances.

The genuineness of our faith is often proved by trials.

And consider this - if suffering was limited to only sinners, and those who were Christian never suffered, then everyone would want to be Christian just so they could avoid problems, not because they truly loved God.

Faith is not only believing in God, but believing He is indeed The Great I Am.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Challenge: If you have been blaming God for your problems, or have been angry at God for allowing trials to happen in your life, ask God today to forgive you for doubting His sovereignty.

Pray earnestly and ask God to show you how He is at work in the midst of your circumstances. Pray for open eyes and an open heart to be able to see His activity in your life, and for the strength and willpower to trust that something good can come out of all of it. Ask for forgiveness for your doubts of His soverignty, and renew your commitment to Him today - despite what is going on around you.

Pray to see life through His eyes, and not just your own.

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Joyful said...

Tracie, what confirmation your post has given me today. I am speaking this afternoon at a Ladies Valentine Tea. I was beginning to doubt the message I felt the Lord had guided me to prepare. Your post here as reaffirmed His message.

I'm sharing about Loving BIG, but also about the Mystery of God's Love. I'm even sharing about Job and when circumstances appear to make us question if we are loved. Your writing here has encouraged me so much this morning. Thank you for being His vessel.


Sheena said...

I had a few hiccups in challenge one but each time i felt like i was being negative or allowed some one else feeling to influence me, i would remember my challenge and make a conscious effort to not give in.Definitely challenging but its something i needed to do and i believe God knew that too.
I am not THERE yet but by the GRACE OF GOD, i am not where i used to be.

Thanks Tracie for being a blessing

Sweet Blessing
Sheena Jeremiah

Anonymous said...

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for doubting you, for questioning your plans for my life! Help me walk with you all the time!


Cindy said...

Thank you, Father for loving me even when I doubt. Please help me to trust you and your promise that you do love me all the time. Please help me to see my circumstances through your eyes and to have a positive mind set in spite of what is taking place around me. Amen
Tracie, thank you for your challenge & for sharing His word!

Kelly said...

Help me, Lord, to not question where you have me in life right and help me to listen for your still small voice in all my circumstances....and not to doubt that You are right in the middle of it with me!

Brandi said...

I was so excited to log on to the blog today and see what was the next challenge. This is truly a blessing from God. Thank you for working for Him!

B His Girl said...

I believe He is the GREAT I AM. Sometimes I do get distracted and focus on troubles. Lord forgive me for not always acknowledging everything is really in your hands. Thanks Tracie for your encouragement to all of us. B

Tracey said...

God has changed me through circumstances in my life by moving me from Chicago to Florida. It has been both a struggle and a blessing. It has also caused me to draw closer to Him.

Carmen. said...

Last year God moved me from Mexico to the States because of my husband's job, I've been struggling with food, culture and language and the result was anger, I forget that our heavenly father is sovereign. FORGIVE ME LORD, I AM YOUR LOVED CHILD AND YOU HAVE PLANS FOR ME. I LOVE YOU!
Thank you Tracie.

Mary said...

Help me Lord, it seems my challenge is my daughter is the one having a hard time believing that You care and I am just repeating what Tracie is teaching. But thank goodness for these devotionals so I can encourage her!

prince said...

Tracie, the title today has me thinking about all sorts of things..."Remember that you are not the only one with problems." If we can set our mind on Christ and not loose sight of the fact that He has a purpose for each one of us. Everything that happens to us, happens for a reason. I want to stay on the path that lines up with God's will for me. Seeking God will bring joy to my life, even in the middle of life's problems.
Loving this challenge, dear sister! Thank you for your encouraging words.
Mesa, AZ

White Hot Magik said...

I was reminded of this just today when someone left a comment who I know is in a far worse situation. It is far too easy to focus on our own problems or be overwhelmed by our self doubts. Lately when facing these things I think to myself this is a just a challenge, ask God how to solve it.

Crystal said...

Dear Tracie,

This year I'm reading the One Year Chronological Bible, and when I was reading about Job's trials, I was like "that is me." So when you talked about Job today and looking to see the work that God is doing, I was reminded of how I had seen things.
Thankfully, today I am seeing how God has used the challenges in my life, thank you for that reminder.


Tammy Nischan said...


Thank you for your optimist challenge. We lost a daughter in 1992 to SIDS and our youngest son to brain cancer on November 29 of this past year and sometimes it is easy to look around and think that everyone around me has such an "easier" road to walk, but thankfully God has opened my eyes to so many others who are hurting, facing severe difficulties with their children, and also grieving....I never want to forget that there are others with problems. thank you for this reminder. Love, tammy nischan

marilyn said...

This has to be more than just head knowledge but true heart stuff!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Father God that you are here with me in my time of need. My faith and hope are in You and I trust You.
Thank you for this challenge!

Karen C.