Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hail Thou Once Despised Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Philippians 4:8-9 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV)
We have a corn broom which I keep in the porch. It is extremely handy for sweeping the walk and floors. Unfortunately, the broom was left standing with its head down and its handle up against the wall on a regular basis, instead of the other way around. Soon, the fibres of the broom began to bend toward one side until it became so bent that it was virtually useless for any kind of sweeping. Upon seeing this, I was annoyed, as it had been an expensive and useful item, and I did not want to have to replace it. As I stood there assessing the situation, the thought came to me of turning the broom the right way up and placing it in a corner so that the bent side was resting flat against the wall, so I did just that. Little by little, day by day, the broom fibres began to straighten out, until one day, much to my delight, I once again had a nice, straight broom to sweep with.
Sometimes, much like my broom, my attitude can also become crooked, especially if I spend a lot of time looking "down" instead of "up". When my thoughts are focused upon the negative instead of the positive, my spirit is deeply affected. My faith begins to bend away from the hope that all things are possible with Christ, and toward discouragement, despair, and cynicism. When my mind spends long enough in this position, my usefulness to myself, others, and Christ is severely impaired. There is, however, a solution to this dilemma, and that is to take the admonition of the apostle Paul seriously and to begin looking up instead of down, to focus my thoughts on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — to think about such things. And when I do, slowly, but surely, such thinking works its own miracle within my heart. The negative becomes positive. Despair turns to joy. Peace replaces turmoil. And hope once again begins to resonate loudly and clearly within my spirit that all things are indeed possible in and through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that everything is possible with You. Thank You for the wisdom that You have blessed us with, through Your Word, which has the power to straighten out our lives, that we may be of the most use to ourselves, others, and You. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.