When I clean my house for a special event, I become discouraged because I think that guests won’t notice what I clean, only what I don't clean. This brings to mind a larger philosophical and spiritual question: Why do humans more quickly see what's wrong than what's right? We are more likely to remember rudeness than kindness. Crimes seem to receive more attention than acts of generosity. And disasters grab our attention more quickly than the profound beauty all around us.
But then I realize I am the same way with God. I tend to focus on what He hasn't done rather than on what He has, on what I don't have rather than on what I have, on the situations that He has not yet resolved rather than on the many He has.
When I read the book of Job, I am reminded that the Lord doesn't like this any more than I do. After years of experiencing prosperity, Job suffered a series of disasters. Suddenly those became the focus of his life and conversations. Finally, God intervened and asked Job some hard questions, reminding him of His sovereignty and of everything Job didn't know and hadn't seen (Job 38–40).
Whenever I start focusing on the negative, I hope I remember to stop, consider the life of Job, and take notice of all the wonders God has done and continues to do.
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When you think of all that’s good, give thanks to God.
When confronted with God’s power, Job said, “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4). His reaction is consistent with the reaction of others in the Bible. After seeing a vision of heaven’s throne room, Isaiah declared, “Woe to me! . . . I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (Isa. 6:5). After Jesus provided a miraculous catch of fish, Peter cried out, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). When we see God’s power, we can begin to grasp that our sin is no match for His great love.