Did you know that people can grow up in the same household and one sibling can have a completely different outcome from the other sibling? They can grow up with the same parents, in the same environment, and one of them can be happy and joyful while the other one is bitter and discouraged. One can be well, and one can be sick. We have a choice. We get to choose if we want to be bitter or better.
Whatever hand we were dealt in life, whatever came against us, we have the choice. We read in Deuteronomy 30:19, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life …” (NIV). That is a command. It doesn’t say, “Consider choosing life.” It says, “You, choose life.” But God gave us a choice. We get to decide if we want to be bitter or better. Do we choose life, or do we choose death?
We make that choice every single day when discouraging things happen. Maybe you are uninvited or rejected. Maybe you have a pain in your hip. You get to choose life or death. You choose the way that your thoughts go. You get to decide the path where your thoughts will go. Will your mind go to the negative what-ifs and fear, or will it go towards life and life abundantly? Will it go to the promises of God, or will it go towards experiences you had when you were hurt?
That is how people end up different. We get to choose.
After Jesus had risen from the dead, Thomas said, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” (John 20:25 NIV). He decided what his will would be. His will was apart from God. He decided. He willed himself.
We have a will. We can surrender that to God and to truth, or we can pridefully hold on to our opinions and our own understanding. If we go with the second option, we are going to walk in deception every time. We will be deceived; we will be the ones left behind, and we will be the ones who are bitter.
I don’t know what is bothering you today, but I am praying for you. In this world, we have trouble. Everyone is hurting in some way or another. But I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we can take heart because God is for us. He has overcome this world. He has no plans to hurt us, be mad at us, or be angry with us. His heart’s desire is to love us. I believe He delights in you. He is so in love with you. You can hold on tightly to His promises and choose life and choose to be better.