And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Recently I got a new camera for a trip we took to Disney World. We took hundreds of pictures to remember our trip by. When we got home we sat down to look at the pictures. Many of them were fantastic memories of our trip, but several of the pictures were a disappointment. Apparently the new camera I got had a slight design flaw. If you weren’t careful one of the dials could be switched and the focus of the pictures would become grainy or blurry. Several picture memories were ruined because the picture was out of focus.

There are software programs out there that can improve the lighting, the color and many other aspects of the picture. But if the focus is off, there is little that can be done. I learned the hard way to make sure that this camera had its dial on the correct settings before taking a picture!

Sometimes life can be like that. We get out of focus. It’s not dials that cause our problems. We play the ‘blame game’ and blame people, our past, our family, the injustice of the ‘so-called’ justice system, finances, politics, bad choices or even God for all the bad things that happen in our lives.

We get failure and adversity so ingrained in our thought processes that we lose sight of the many positive aspects of life. The circumstances of life aren’t what keep us in prison. It’s our reaction to the circumstances of life that hinders our ability to move forward. Fear, guilt, hate, anger, shame and unforgiveness keep us in bondage so that we can’t function. We go through life crippled by unhappiness and frustration.

The Apostle Paul gives us a cure for losing the focus on life. He tells the Philippians to keep their minds focused on the truth. There are some things in life that we will never change. Learn to accept them. There are other things we can change if we rely on God for the strength and wisdom to forge ahead.

We can’t always change the circumstances in our lives, but we can always change how we react to them. Start your day by forcing your mind to focus on the good things God has done for you. The fact that you can read this is a start! You are breathing! Jesus loves you even when you can’t feel it! If you are a Christ-follower you are forgiven and have eternity to look forward to. These are just a few things we can focus on. Train your mind to see the many works of God around you. Live a life of praise in the midst of adversity.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I admit to you that I can find plenty of people and things to blame for the pain I’m suffering right now. I’ve been attacked wrongfully. I’ve tried to follow you and failed. I’ve even questioned your Love and power. Sometimes I’ve wondered if you are even there! I ask that through the power of your Holy Spirit you would empower me to train my mind to focus on the true and honorable things in my life. Amen.

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