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Dare to be Positive?

If you're a person who makes resolutions with the coming of each new year, how are you doing?

Researchers indicate that more than half of those who make New Year's Resolutions don't keep them. They also say that some of the common ingredients for failure are resolutions that are made at the "last minute," and those that are absolutes ("I'll never smoke another cigarette," or "I won't go home without stopping at the gym every night .").

Last month, I mentioned advice I'd read that suggested we "resolve to rejoice." That seemed worthy of consideration...but I must say, it's quite challenging! It seems like bad news is everywhere - which, of course, has a way of feeding upon itself and generating even more pessimism.

Of course there's a psychological effect from hearing gloom and doom stories about the economy and the sub-prime mortgage situation on the news day after day. (Wouldn't it be nice if the same attention were paid to good news? But we know good news doesn't sell quite the way bad news does. There are definite downsides to the 24-hour news cycle, but that's a whole separate issue...)

The economy may very well be having a negative impact on you. Or maybe you just overspent a bit on Christmas and are regretting it now that the bills are due.

You could be dealing with some type of family strife. Maybe you or someone you love just received bad medical news. In my family this January, an automobile accident took a life very suddenly.

In the face of all the troubles, struggles, and various difficulties that can come our way, can we still resolve to rejoice? Ironically, it might be that the darkest days illustrate even more clearly how much about which there is to be positive. Because it's even when (or especially when) things are at their worst that we know our situation isn't hopeless. We have Christ by our side, helping us through whatever storm it is that we're facing. Because of Him, we are stronger than we think.

Each day is a gift for which we can be grateful. While that doesn't mean endless blue skies and flower-strewn pathways, every morning does deliver the promise of help and love from above. If God is for us, who can be against us?

This is one of my favorite "pick me up" verses: I may have fallen, but I will get up; I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light. Micah 7:8 (CEV)

Here's to keeping the "resolution to rejoice!"

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