What I love about my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is that it doesn’t dwell on problems but focuses on the potential of what could be. Surely there are problems in life but my focus is twofold. First, overcoming my challenges through faith in Jesus Christ and being improved on the other side. Second, improving my character to be like God and ignoring the crummy things in life.
Why would I focus on sad things that just keep me sad? I want to be like my Lord so that
- “when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.”
God is happy, confident, strong, true, loving, kind, unashamed, accepting, virtuous, and all good things and I want to be like God therefore I’m like that, too.
The scriptures say,
- “For a small moment … I hid my face from thee”
and I think of myself saying to God, “Lord, for a small moment I forgot who I was and dwelled on problems but I remember who I am now, more important who I can become, and I’m back” and the Lord saying to me,
- “With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee … For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee.”
The Lord doesn’t stop there but reassures me with this,
- “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
God’s focus isn’t that I forgot him because it doesn’t matter now that I came to myself. He is good and always gives me hope. His response to me is basically, “I’m with you and because you’re with me you will have every good thing and not only you but also your children.”
God’s promises assure me that as I work on my righteousness He works on the rest. He defends me and makes life work in my favor:
- “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
I love that God takes care of the crummy things in my life so that I can focus on what’s good (becoming like Him.) He is the bright light that shines before me and leads me through the darkness.