I had a conversation with a guy a while back, who had a defeatist mentality. From an outsiders perspective, his life was really good.
He grew up in a stable family, had a good wife and a couple of happy kids. He had a decent job, drove a newer car, and lived in a nicer house than I had ever lived in. And he was healthy.
But to him, everything was wrong. His parents were nags, his wife wasn’t perfect, his kids misbehaved, his job was stressful, his car didn’t have bluetooth, his house needed repairs, and the doctor said it was time for a Colonoscopy. How bad can it get?
I wasn’t very sympathetic. I don’t always respond in the way I should when people complain :-). In fact, that’s how I responded, “How bad can it get?” I was being sarcastic and he knew it.
He said something like, “I know what you’re thinking, but just because I have a good job and a nice house doesn’t mean I don’t have problems. With everything comes problems.” I then asked him if he’d rather have the problems associated with a poor paying job or a good job? With owning a house or being homeless? Having a wife and kids or being all alone? He had some kind of sarcastic comeback and I added, “Listen Mike (not really his name), life is more about attitude than anything else. I could name a hundred people without thinking who would trade circumstances with you in a heartbeat. You live in the top 1% of the world with all that you have, your health, your stuff, and good people in your life. But if all of your problems were solved tomorrow, with this defeatist mentality, you still wouldn’t be happy.”
Whatever your circumstances, living a life of victory or defeat comes down to focus. Yes, we all have problems. Life is a series of problems and a big part of the joy we get in life comes through the challenge of finding solutions.
Paul talked about this in Romans 8. He reminded his readers, “In all these things (problems) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). He then reminded the Roman Christians that in everything we face in this life and beyond, nothing can ever separate us from Jesus’ love for us and God’s care. And it is for that reason that we can rest assured, that while discouragements will come and challenges will always be a part of our lives, nothing can defeat us as God’s children! No matter what the score at this point in the game, we are winning!
So get out of that murky world of self-defeat and misery! Grab ahold of the promises of God in the midst of challenges, and claim the victory he already won for you when he came back from the grave!
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7 NAS95).