What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up? Do you have thoughts like:
Oh great, another miserable cold day.
These kids are driving me crazy.
I have to meet with my boss today.
I hate my job.
This house is such a mess.
I have so much to study before my final.
I am so tired.
Need coffee! Now.
The thoughts we start the day with can set the tone for our day. We can begin the day grumbling and down. We can kick off the morning worrying or stressed. DML Jones said:
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problem of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you?
Jones refers to Psalm 42:5:
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
So Jones goes on to say we must do what the Psalmist did:
The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why art thou cast down’–what business have you to be disquieted?
A little later he says:
And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do.
This is a great habit to get into. Not just when we wake up but all day long. Remind yourself of who God is and his promises to you. I heard one man say that he’d cultivated the habit of thanking God for the gift sleep as soon as he woke in the morning. So years ago, I began to do that. Then I added a couple other things to try to remember to thank God for every morning as I stagger toward the coffee pot:
Thank you for your protection during the night.
Thank you that your mercies are new every morning.
Thank you for your steadfast love that never ceases.
Thank you Jesus for saving me.
As I begin to thank God each morning as I’m waking up, it sets a tone of thankfulness for my whole day. This small habit has made a huge difference in my life. Try it as you head towards your coffeemaker. This works equally well for tea drinkers….
Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have four sons and one daughter. Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.