Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”

It is no secret that our thought life impacts our actions and well-being. If we think that our life is worth living, if we believe that there is hope for our future, if we have plans and ideals that we strive for and people we love and care for, this tremendously influences our outlook on life. However, we all know how it feels when we run into a dry spell. How we negotiate such dry spells depends entirely on our attitude, and this is what Paul addresses in his letter to his Greek friends in East Macedonia.

A few years back, I had a near-death experience after an unsuccessful second heart surgery. For a while, I felt my life was drawing to a close. Naturally, this has had a profound impact on my psyche. Thinking I would soon be gone, I wanted to leave a good impression, so in all life aspects I gave it my best shot. I was really wrapping up my life to get my affairs in order. However, this was back in 2014. Meanwhile, I have made it through yet another heart surgery, and here I am, still kicking. Eventually, I had to shift gears, because my life was not about to end any time soon.  At some point I had to resolve to give my life another chance.

Regardless how much or how little time is left, we have things working for us. We need to open our eyes to notice these things. Inspired, hope will rise up in our hearts. A life without hope is no life at all. The Bible says very wisely (Proverbs 13:12):

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

The trick is not to lose hope. God never does, so we turn to Him for encouragement. God also uses people to encourage us.  Whatever our outlook on life, let’s not forget, it is never as dark as it seems. And after a long night – here comes the Sun, and with it a brand-new day.

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