What you see is what you get

For many years, I’ve found myself desiring more joy. I mean, Jesus says, “‘I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!’” (John 15:11 NLT). Why am I not joyful?

I’ve always wanted more peace. After all, Jesus says, “‘I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33 NLT). Why am I anxious?

I’ve been wondering why I find myself so dissatisfied. Especially when my Savior says, “‘…My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life’” (John 10:10 NLT). Why don’t I enjoy my life at times?

Because what you see is what you get. It’s not your situation; rather, it’s how you see your situation that determines the life you live.

I’m convinced that someone living a “perfect” life can be more miserable than someone living through difficulty. Why? Different perspectives.

“Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:11-14 NKJV).

Here we find David struggling with his enemies. As I often say, we have enemies, too. Although they may not take the form of humans, they attack us all too often. Maybe your enemy is cancer. Maybe it’s anxiety. Maybe it’s a lack of joy. You get what I’m saying.

Nonetheless, we often find ourselves in David’s dilemma. It’s so easy for us to lose heart. It’s so easy for us to give up. Instead of living full lives, we live in a world full of alarm clocks, hurts, tears, and stress.

Enemies hide around the corners of our hearts. Make a wrong turn, and we’re defeated. Get this in our mind, and we’re done. Distracted! But when times are tough—when things appear to have easy targets toward our hearts—we can’t lose heart. Like David, we must see the goodness of the Lord in the middle of chaos.

As a high school senior, college stands at the forefront of my mind. But before I travel there, I need a more reliable car. So I’ve been thinking about the kind of car I’d like to have. Many different makes and models have traveled through my brain. For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I wanted a Toyota Camry. Then, I wanted a Nissan Altima. Now, I want a Ford Fusion. Needless to say, I wanted a Jeep Renegade two months ago. Anyway, my point is this: when I have a particular vehicle in my mind, I tend to find that particular vehicle. I currently want a Ford Fusion, so my eyes are open to finding them throughout my day. (Oh, I hope you’re catching this!)

Whatever I fix my thoughts on determines what I see. I’m not sure if I’ve seen a Dodge Journey this week. Why? Because I’m not focused on seeing Dodge Journeys. I’m focused on seeing Ford Fusions. In fact, I thought I saw one less than an hour ago, but I think it was a Taurus. Even still, my eyes are on the lookout!

Hey, what you see is what you get.

If you go into your day thinking about bad news, you’re going to find bad news.

If you go into your day focused on your workload, you’re going to be stressed.

If you go into your day seeing depression, you’re going to be depressed.

If you choose to see negative things, you’re not going to be happy.

So today, I’m encouraging you to see God’s goodness in a world full of Satan’s evil. You can have Heaven in your Hell. Why? Because what you see is what you get.

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What you see is what you get

By Isaiah Pauley

Isaiah Pauley is a senior at Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Ministries.