Published September 30, 2014
"Think On The Good Things"
This past week was the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, TN. It was a fantastic week There were some minor issues with this new location, but it seems like God just smoothed our path. We were blessed. And never have we seen those in charge work together so hard to make things right.
Interviewing is a very big part of our NQC activities. One afternoon I was sitting in a chair near the door to our interview room. I was waiting for my next group to arrive and Paul was in the room conducting an interview with another group.
A lady sat down beside me and immediately began to tell me everything wrong with NQC. The facility wasn't good. "In Louisville they did...." The sound was bad. She had to walk too far. She didn't like the food.
No matter what I said, she countered it with the next bad thing. I knew there were some little snags to fix, but certainly everything was not so bad. I realized she was totally depressing me and that a dark spirit of complaining was on her and about to overcome me. When the chair next to me on the side away from her emptied, I moved away from her. (I've never been so rude in my life.)
My emptied chair beside her quickly filled and she started sharing with that man all the bad things. He sympathized with her and soon they were both trying to name the worst thing of which they could think. When I finally welcomed my group to interview, those two had become "great negative friends."
The next morning when I related the story to Paul, I told him that I felt Satan had planted that lady beside me to bring me down, to give me a complaining spirit, to steal my joy.
Some people are not happy unless they are complaining. And, generally, they are happiest when they can get others to join them in complaining.
If we could actually spend our time thinking on the good things rather than the bad, how different life would seem. If we could focus on the "good report," how our attitude would change.
The Apostle Paul was often in prison. Had he focused on everything that was wrong, his testimony would have been very different than it was. The jailer wouldn't have seen Jesus in Paul's life and the jailer and his whole family wouldn't have been saved. Paul and Silas would have been sharing complaints instead of singing hymns at midnight.
Focusing on the bad doesn't change the situation. Focusing on the good doesn't change the situation either. But, meditating on the positive does take us through the battle believing in the God who can change circumstances.
And if He doesn't change the circumstances, we can think like Shadrach, Mechach and Abednego. They were to be thrown into the fiery furnace for obeying God instead of the king. When questioned, they answered, "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."
Regardless of the circumstances, we need to obey God. We need to trust God. We need to praise God. We need to see God at work.
Are your thoughts today good thoughts? Or bad thoughts? Do you have the devil's spirit of complaining or the Lord's spirit of good?
For several years, posted on our website's "Recent Broadcasts" page has been the verse taken from Philippians: "...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
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