Do you know people who are just always grumpy? Glass half-empty type people? Do you also know people who are always positive? They don’t believe the glass is half-full, they believe it’s always full?
Both of these groups bother me. I hate being around negativity. But I equally hate being around people who don’t seem to be in touch with reality. The first group can never see beyond the problems that are around them and the second can never see that there are problems around them.
Then I read a guy named Paul, who wrote “Rejoice always.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) And my first inclination is to put Paul in the second group. But I’ve read enough of Paul’s writings to realize that his life was really hard and he knew it was hard. He talked about how he suffered and was persecuted quite often.
So, what’s the third option? Another thing Paul wrote was, “In all things, give thanks…” That makes me consider that Paul saw his circumstances in a different way then the two other groups. He didn’t ignore the problems around him, but he also didn’t allow his circumstances to mess up his attitude. He saw beyond the moment to a better future, but embraced the moment as part of his journey to that better future.