Some time ago, I spoke with a woman in ministry who was at her rope's end. Everything and everyone in her life seemed to be a source of stress. After offering a listening ear, I asked her: "We know what's going wrong, but could we take a moment to list the things that are going right?" A bit surprised by my question, the woman paused to think, and slowly — one by one — she began to list many things in her life that she had overlooked. And, as her list grew longer, her spirit was uplifted.
Without a doubt, some of us are facing challenging times. Sometimes bills are unpaid, our lives can feel stagnant, relationships may get rocky, and our obligations can become burdensome. Nevertheless, we can remain uplifted by meditating on "the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly" (Philippians 4:8, Message Bible).
Although easier said than done, we can even be thankful for our hardships because God uses our difficulties to make us stronger, wiser, and more resilient. Life's challenges build our perseverance (Romans 5:3-4); and perseverance produces character; and character produces hope. In the Amplified Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 encourages us to "thank God in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you."
Therefore, the next time you feel as if everything is going "wrong," take a few moments to list — one by one — the things that are going "right." You'll be surprised how many things you have overlooked.