What Has God Done For Me Lately?
Tracie Miles

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 (NIV)

Is the glass half full or half empty? Is it partly sunny or partly cloudy? Perspective makes all the difference.

Even for strong Christians who are grounded in their faith, discouragement can easily sneak its way into hearts and minds as life deals us chaos. As we struggle with the challenges and difficulties of everyday life, or things that happened to us that were unfair or unwarranted, it is easy to get pulled into a habitual mindset of negativity. Just like that old song from the ‘80s says, we may find ourselves asking God, “What have you done for me lately?”

Our answer to that question will depend entirely upon our perspective. God does more for us each and every day than we deserve, but it’s so easy to lose sight of the good, because we are caught up in the reality of the bad. How do we combat this perfectly human attitude?

Prayer.

Resolve to have an attitude like Christ.

Take inventory of our every blessing.

Life. Your every breath. Your every heart beat. A spouse or loved one. Children. Clothes that need to be washed because God gave you clothes to wear, and a way to wash those clothes. Good health to help those whose health is failing. Trusted and educated doctors to treat you when you are facing health challenges. A house that needs cleaning. A car to drive. The ability to purchase gas for the car. A job to go to. The ability to be a stay at home mom or wife. Healthy kids who can play music or sports. Friends. Family. Freedom. Jesus. Eternal life.

What is on your inventory list today? If you were honest with yourself, would you say you have been looking for the positive aspects of the situations in your life? Are you considering how God could be using those things to draw you closer to Him? Or have you been primarily focused on the negative?

During times of negativity, we actually become our own enemy. We wage a battle in our mind because we look at our situation from our own perspective, instead of what God may be doing through our situation. So in order to change our minds, we have to choose to change the way we think – our perspective. Attitude is a choice.

Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” What do you usually see?

To quote an old cliché, today is the first day of the rest of your life, and it is never too late to become an optimist! I have heard it takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a new habit. The more you practice challenging your thought patterns, the more automatic it will become. Changes may not take place immediately, but over time, the challenge gets easier, and optimism becomes the norm instead of the exception.

Are you willing to take the challenge to become an optimist today? The rewards of looking for God’s goodness in every situation will be a healthier and happier heart.

Dear Lord, help me with my human tendency to be critical or look for the negative in situations. Forgive me for a lack of gratitude for all You have given me. Thank You for Your patience with me as I strive to be a Godly example. Guide my heart to recognize You at work, instead of seeing things from an earthly perspective. Lead me into a closer relationship with You by helping me remember to count my blessings every day. I n Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles

A Thankful Heart: How Gratitude Brings Hope and Healing to our Lives by Carole Lewis

Visit Tracie’s Blog

Application Steps:

Draw two columns on a piece of paper. On the left side, make a list of the difficult situations or daily frustrations in your life. On the right side, write down something positive about that situation or frustration, and how God can grow your faith by depending on Him about that situation. If you have a hard time finding something positive, pray and ask God to show you.

Reflections:
Is my attitude typically one of negativity or optimism?

If a close friend were asked to describe me as a pessimist or an optimist, which one would they choose?

Power Verses:
1 Peter 1:1-3, “Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.” (The Message)

© 2009 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Brooke said...

This was EXACTLY what I needed to read and meditate on today!!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole devotional spoke to me so clearly especially realizing that Jesus has gone through this and so much more. Recognizing that I need to think like Him and realize that my sufferings are WEANING me from that old, sinful habit of always expecting to get my OWN way. Then I will be FREE to enjoy the journey of life and pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized, controlled by what I want. Yes, exactly what I needed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the devotion! This is exactly what I needed to hear!

Just yesterday I was in tears, feeling frustrated and discouraged after work where I am a school teacher. Many times I feel very discouraged especially after a rough day with the kids at school depsite my efforts. Many times I just feel like I am not in the right profession. Instead of focusing on God's goodness and blessing of a job, I focus on the negatives. "Oh yea of little faith!"

Dear God please forgive me, please help me change my attitude.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good challenge...I am often negative and came from a negative family....have (sadly) trained my children to be negative (it seems)...

21 days...there is a challenge I pray the LORD will help me take up and become a positive person! An optimist!

Thanks!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am, most of the time a half full kinda gal. But today I had one of those half empty, no more like completely empty mornings. It is amazing how it all snowballed in a matter of 1 hour.

I am so truly blessed and yet I can have my moments that none of that matters and I just feel like I am going to explode.

God is so AMAZING that He has put this before me today, a day that I really needed to hear it. Thank you for allowing God to use you in such a wonderful way.

Mary T

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This message was just what I needed to hear today, too. However, I am confused by the power verses. When I went to go read them and more in my Bible, this is not what I found in I Peter 1:1-3 - even in the message.

Any clue as to where this really is in the Bible?

Emily

Anonymous Tina said...

I am a college student and am often so overwelmed with school work, working at my job, finding the money to put gas in my car or even do my own laundry. I complain to the point where my devoted boyfriend can't even stand to hear me talk.(and he's always been one to listen.) this devotion has given me a stepping stone of faith to see that it is beautiful outside today. That I'm grateful to have the ability to attend college and to have a car to drive and clothes to wear. This is just what I needed. Thank you, and Thank you Lord for all you have done for me.

Blogger blessedfamily said...

Thank you! like many of your other commentors, this is EXACTLY what I needed to read and meditate on today.

Blogger Joy in The Truth said...

Thank you, Tracie!
I love the scripture from today's devotion! Phil 2:5 "Your attitude should be the same as that as Christ Jesus." Then it goes on to explain: servanthood, humility, obedience. And these heart attitudes bring intimacy in our relationship with Him.

"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace..." Romans 8:6

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The verses in 1 Peter is the from the paraphrase of the Bible called The Message. The author and I forgot his name but I think he is a songwriter with an extremely crippling disease. Look at the verse on the devotional page and you will see The Message printed after the verse.

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