As we near the National Day of Prayer, Joni encourages us to face hardship with a hopeful spirit.
Hi, I'm Joni and this week we’ll be observing the National Day of Prayer.
I hope that you are making plans to attend a local observance of this year’s National Day of Prayer. I can hardly believe it was only a year ago that Ken and I were in Washington DC where I spoke to the prayer gathering in the House of Representatives. What a privilege it was to serve as the Honorary Chairman of last year’s National Day of Prayer. That day I talked about facing hardship with a hopeful spirit.
Because you know, it really is all a matter of perspective. Perspective means everything when you are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of life. I grew up in Baltimore, and years ago when I was on my feet and in high school, I played women’s Lacrosse. Our team was ranked pretty high in the county, and some of the schools we went up against played a really physical game. My teammates and I could count on lots of whacks from the sticks of our opponents ... because I played as a “forward,” I seemed to always be in the thick of things; collisions, falling face-down in the mud … but no matter how many times I took a hard fall, if I knew we were ahead on the scoreboard ... Oh my goodness I would jump up, brush myself off and head back into the game with drive and energy. Hey, we’re ten points ahead? Let’s go; we’re winning; we can do this; victory is within reach.
But if our opponents beat up on us in a game where we were ten points behind … then it was a different story. I’d drag myself back up on my feet and head back into the game, feeling discouraged, like “oh come one, what’s the use … we’ve already lost … we’ll never get back into it.” My attitude toward collisions with my opponents, and trip-ups, and knock-downs and stumbles depended entirely on what the scoreboard looked like. If we were winning, it did not matter how hard things were; we were “game on; let’s go!” If we were losing, then who wants to keep taking these hits; why put up with it? What good will it do? Come on, we may as well throw in the towel—after all, we’re going to lose.
Pretty sad attitude—and sometimes we weren’t even past the second quarter! See? It really is all a matter of perspective. And it’s the exact same way in life—our attitude toward times of uncertainty and turmoil depends on our perspective. And the Bible says “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” ... “who (here comes the perspective) ... who, for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Oh my goodness, with an attitude like that of Jesus Christ, trials are not just an assault to be withstood, they are opportunities, opportunities to be seized! And those Bible verses are intended to inspire and invigorate us, showing us that when we get whacked and fall face-down … we get up and get back in the game with energy. Because the scoreboard, after all, shows that God is still on His throne and Jesus is sitting at His right hand! Victory is within grasp.
Well, I could go on and share more, but if you’d like to hear the rest of the message, let me send it to you. Just visit my radio page at joniandfriends.org and ask for your free CD which contains the talk I gave at last year’s National Day of Prayer (and you can see how the story ends up). Remember, with this perspective, life becomes inspiring—not in spite of the trials but because of them. So let me hear from you today at joniandfriends.org … and again, if you haven’t already made plans to attend a National Day of Prayer observance in your community, now’s a time. Do it today! So, come by and visit my page today at our Radio page at joniandfriends.org and let us hear from you. Until next time, thanks for listening to “Joni and Friends.”
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