We live in chaotic times. Covid-19. Election results. Changes. Some may say these are tumultuous moments in history. I tend to agree. Numerous people have many questions about the events of the day.
- What do we do when things don’t work out the way we hoped?
- What do we when we feel marginalized and not heard?
- What do we do when censored for our beliefs?
- What do we do when we feel wronged?
There are two choices. First, we can choose to become part of the problem. We could let our emotions take control, break things, riot, and blame others for our problems. We could isolate and curl up in fear. We could get caught up and gaze at the news and let our minds twist and move away from God.
Or, second, we can choose to be part of the solution. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” We can choose to gaze at God and glance at the problems. We can choose to let God lift us so we can lift others.
In 2000, our family went through some difficult times, and I wrote an acronym called LIFT based on the James 4;10 passage. The acronym stood for love, inspire, forgive, and thank. Each letter represented two ideas I could do no matter what storms and stresses are around me.
- I am to receive God’s love and love others.
- I am to be inspired by God and inspire others.
- I am to accept God’s forgiveness and forgive others.
- I am to thank Him and be thankful for others.
The LIFT acronym helped me gaze at God amid the struggles, doubts, insecurities, worries, and hurts. It reminded me that my attitude is a decision, and I decided to LIFT my little piece of the world.
I wish I could tell you that it is easy. It’s not. It’s a challenge but well worth it. Here is what I am trying to do during these turbulent days.
I sought God’s love, and amazingly, I started to love more like Him over time. I was able to start loving those who wronged me. I even began to pray for my enemies. If you know me, that’s a BIG DEAL!
Instead of looking for inspiration from public sports, music, business, social media, or political figures, I looked to God for inspiration. I basked in the truths of His character. He is omnipresent (everywhere at all times). God is omniscient (all-knowing and perfect wisdom). He is omnipotent (all-powerful). God is infinite (no beginning and no end). He is transcendent (bigger and beyond everything, and He still knows me). The more I gazed to Him for inspiration, the more positive inspiration I became for others.
I chose to accept His forgiveness. I began to acknowledge my short-comings freely to God. Accept His forgiveness helped me to forgive freely and make amends with others quickly. A much healthier lifestyle!
I also become a more grateful person. I started to thank God for the big and little things. The more I thanked God, the easier it was to be thankful for the people in my life. I have even become grateful for those who have a different worldview than me and attacked me for my views. They make me more robust, more resilient, and sharper in my faith.
The LIFT Challenge is all about choices. I choose to be part of the solution to love, inspire, forgive, and thank. I decided to follow Jesus Christ’s example. It’s better than being a part of the problem.
David Towner is the pastor of The Harbor Church in Odessa, FL. He is married to Tonya and has three daughters and four grandsons. He is the author of Today Is My Favorite Day, Today Is My Favorite Day Workbook, and Today Is My Favorite Day Prayer Book.