Make It All About Jesus

Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.  Psalm 113:2-3

OK, I confess…. I woke up in a VERY grumpy mood this morning. I had just finished replanting the various pots that had blown off my front porch in a strong wind three weeks ago. I had to visit many different places to find replacements since it was so late in the season. Evidently Mother Nature doesn’t want me to have any pots on my front porch because she blew them off again last night!

As I tromped downstairs, making my feelings known to no one in particular, I flipped on my kitchen light to find that all three light bulbs in one of my kitchen fixtures had gone out. These were the ones I had to move the table out of the way to replace. Great, just great! I knew this was going to be a bad day.

I flipped open one of my devotional books and landed on something that made me stop and think. The author was talking about the power of praise and how praise not only lifted up the Lord, but also lifted you up. I realized I had a choice this morning. I could be crabby and grumpy and complaining about everything that was wrong in my life. Or I could praise the Lord for all the things that were so right in my life.

I chose praise. And you know what? It DID make a difference. By the time I went to finish getting ready, there was a smile on my face and a plan for how to deal with things today. Praising Jesus didn’t make my problems go away (I still had to get the table moved and I still had to repot those plants), but it did give me a different perspective on my day. I decided that today, I would choose to see the good things in my life. Today I would choose to erase all negative thoughts and emotions. Today I would let God’s peace reign in my heart.

“I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them.”  Isaiah 57:18b-19 (NLT)

I know you’re saying, “But……” Yeah, I know it’s hard not to look at the negative circumstances. It’s hard not to wish things would go back to the way they were. It’s hard not to feel like life isn’t fair. All of that is hard.

But praising Jesus is easy. “Thank You Jesus for the beautiful sunrise this morning. Thank You for watching over me and those I love. Thank You for the blessings you have given me and the blessings You have in store for me today. Thank You for Your promise for my family. Thank You that I know You are in control and that, in Your timing, You will turn everything around for good. Thank You for hearing my prayers.”

Not so hard, huh? Choosing to think about the greatness of our God instead of the enormity of our problems, brings us into a place where Jesus can really work in our lives. Choosing to praise Him instead of complaining to Him can make those huge mountains look like mole hills. Choosing to see the good in our lives changes how we will see the whole day. It can even change how we see other people. That bully in the hallway? Maybe he just needs a friend. That teacher who is always so hard on you? Maybe they’re just tired from something going on at home. That best friend who sat with someone else at lunch? Maybe they are trying to help you be a friend, too.

See? It’s all about how we look at things. Making it all about Jesus makes it all about unconditional love, forgiveness, seeing things from a Heavenly perspective. It means being thankful for all the blessings you have already received, knowing that there are more to come. It means that no matter what problems you are facing today, no matter all the things that are wrong in your life right now, Jesus sees and He cares about you. So today, make it all about Jesus.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.  Psalm 100:4 (NLT)

God bless

A Stander in Nebraska

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