When Harold and I were first married, we visited the coalmining region of England for the first time. The weather was cold and gloomy as we entered a little town whose buildings were darkened by the coal smoke. The laundry hanging on the clotheslines looked gray and dirty even though it had just been washed.
Turning to our host, my husband remarked, “I’d think these folks would be depressed all the time.” To his surprise, the man replied, “No, these are some of the happiest people in all England. They have learned to live above their circumstances.” We’ve never forgotten those words.
Maybe you are going through one of those dark periods of time when everything looks gray and discouraging. You wonder if you’ll ever see the sunshine of happy days again.
Someone once said that “Praise is the only shortcut to victory.” And I think that is true. The apostle Paul wrote, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The hardest word for me in that verse is the word all. I can give thanks in some circumstances and, in fact, in most circumstances. But sometimes I hit a point where the pain is so bad that praise seems almost impossible. That’s when I have to take up the shield of faith mentioned in Ephesians chapter six to extinguish all the devil’s flaming darts he throws at me.
Put in plain words, I have to tell my emotions where to get off and then tell God that I do believe He is going to cause the light of His sunshine to shine once more in my heart.
The only way we can live above dark circumstances is to praise God that He is greater than our circumstances and will eventually bring us through the problems we face.