Everything can be taken from a man (or woman) but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.
In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been
times like these.
Helen Grace Lescheid
Our circumstances are not an accurate reflection of God’s goodness. Whether life is good or bad, God’s goodness, rooted in His character, is the same.
Attitudes are more important than facts
The more one probes the workings of an emotional life the more he will be convinced of its vacillation and undependability. No one should wonder that a child of God who walks by emotion rather than by spirit usually comports himself in a wavelike fashion. He bemoans his existence because it is so unstable.
Circumstances which we have resented, situations which we have found desperately difficult, have all been the means in the hands of God of driving the nails into the self-life which so easily complains.
No Christian should feel ‘under’ the circumstances, because the circumstances are under God.
Where transformation is actually carried out is in our real life, where we dwell with God and our neighbors. . . . First, we must accept the circumstances we constantly find ourselves in as the place of God’s kingdom and blessing. God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are.
Edmund P. Clowney
The answer to decision-making is not putting the Lord to the test by ascribing arbitrary significance to events in his providence … God has not authorized us to make oracles of events.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
My whole outlook upon everything that happens to me should be governed by these three things: my realization of who lam, my consciousness of where I am going, and my knowledge of what awaits me when I get there.
J. Sidlow Baxter
God doesn’t want to keep changing your circumstances; he wants to change you.
It is true that he [Christ] has awful majesty; he is the great God, and is infinitely high above you; but there is this to encourage and embolden the poor sinner, that Christ is a man as well as God; … and he is the most humble and lowly in heart of any creature in heaven or earth…. You need not hesitate one moment; but may run to him, and cast yourself upon him…. Whatever your circumstances are, you need not be afraid to come to such a Savior as this…. Be you never so poor, and mean, and ignorant a creature, there is no danger of being despised; for though he be so much greater than you, he is also immensely more humbled than you.
Sermon: “The Excellency of Christ.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”
Andrew M Davis
It is no stretch to say that the Lord may orchestrate amazingly challenging circumstances for you and your family for the primary purpose of giving your supernatural hope and Christian contentment a platform. As despairing lost people look on and see a buoyant peace and joy that is not based on favorable earthly circumstances but rather on faith in Christ, they will ask “you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15). That hope shines most brilliantly when earthly circumstances are darkest, and the rare jewel of Christian contentment is a radiant source of that light.
If you let your circumstances define the way you see God, you are a prisoner of perspective. Or worse, a prisoner of your past mistakes! But if you let God define the way you see your circumstances, you are a prisoner of hope.
Paul David Tripp
Through difficult relationships and circumstances, God works to expose your heart so you will seek the grace that can be found only in him.
It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances.
Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Penguin, 2014, p.19.
What’s madness but nobility of soul / At odds with circumstance?
Happy people look beyond their circumstances to someone so big that by his grace, even great difficulties become manageable—and provide opportunities for a deeper kind of happiness.
Christian leaders tend to use the Bible as their exclusive source for framing Christian speaking and living. Yet only through a kind of “thick description” of our present circumstances, being attentive to both the world and the church, can we deeply understand the hope of the gospel in redefining and reforming the self within our complex times.
Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age, 2015, Brazos Press.
If a man have Christ in his heart, heaven before his eyes, and only as much of temporal blessing as is just needful to carry him safely through life, then pain and sorrow have little to shoot at.
Still Looking for inspiration?
Consider checking out our illustrations page on Circumstances.