Smiling

How to Turn That Frown Upside Down

A simple shift in thinking makes all the difference.

[guestpost] Let this article by my Dad, Chuck Swindoll, bless you this holiday season! [/guestpost]

Too often, we pastors tend to wear our smiles upside-down. The burdens of ministry—especially during the busy holidays—often cause our joy to droop into deep-wrinkled frowns.

In case you need a little help with this assignment, read through this psalm . . .

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The LORD performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed. (Psalm 103:1–6)

Gracious Gifts from God

The psalmist lists several benefits to prod our thinking. As we reflect on God’s gifts to us, it’s helpful to be specific.

  • Do you have eyesight? It’s a gift.
  • Do you have a sharp mind? It’s a gift.
  • Do you have the ability to teach and preach effectively?
  • How about leadership skills that cause others to follow?
  • Has God given you a family?
  • Has He provided you sufficient clothes?
  • How about a nice, warm, soft bed on cold winter nights or a comfortable place to live in the hot summer?

These are all gifts from God’s gracious hand.

Here’s the kicker: you and I get paid to study and preach the Word of God! I have never recovered from that fact. Talk about a blessing! As Paul asked:

What do you have that you did not receive? (1 Corinthians 4:7).

It’s all from God.

Reflect on the Lord’s numerous gifts to you—“forget none of His benefits.” It will increase your joy. And a smile will soon replace that frown.

What do you think? What’s one good gift you have received?

Let Me Hear from You

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