Are you half full?

Now, I don’t know about you but life has a habit of causing all sorts of trouble. There are times when it seems that anyway you turn you come across something that can drag you down into an emotional canyon. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t have something going on underneath the water line, just like the duck that is gracefully moving across the pond. Take a look around, maybe at yourself, because most people often mask what is truly happening in their lives.

The problem is that people get stuck in a rut and they can’t find their way out. As one wise person once told me, “The only difference between a rut and the grave is the depth!”

Rather than dwelling on the problem, let’s swing around and look at the solution. We’d call someone with a positive attitude as a ‘glass-is-half-full’ person. You will have seen them around you but maybe they weren’t that obvious so you couldn’t identify them. They’re the ones with a constant smile; they have a kind word for everyone; they possess a can-do-it attitude to almost everything before them. They’re the sort of people we love to be around, and we see many others also gravitating to them.

These ‘half-full’ people aren’t that different to you and me, but they have invited two important character traits into their lives that do make a difference – joy and thankfulness.

When Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica his goal was to encourage them because he was aware of the difficulties they’d endured during their formation. As we read his heart-felt letter, we can feel the excitement Paul had for their successes, but also his empathy for their trials.

“You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6 NIV

The Joy of the Spirit is an amazing gift from God. It introduces into our lives a new lens through which we can see the positive outcomes that come from both good and bad experiences. Scripture goes way beyond this, suggesting that a Spirit-filled life will provide us with: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV) Now, who wouldn’t want a life that looks like that?

Joy and thankfulness are choices we need to make on a daily basis. As we wake each morning we know that we will have our fair share of potholes, but with the power of the Holy Spirit, they’ll get filled in one by one.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

Peter

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