Jesus told a great parable about the wise man who built his house on the rock versus the foolish man who built his house on the sand. Both men wanted a wonderful place to dwell, and both probably figured they were going about it the right way. One could even speculate that the houses themselves were equally beautiful. But the foolish man’s house still crumbled—not because of the house’s own integrity, but because he started wrong from the bottom up.

As Christians, a good foundation is essential in conduct, in practice, and in how we receive the words of our Lord. There’s another kind of “good foundation” I want to talk about today: the daily foundation.

Something that Christians and non-Christians alike seem to struggle with more and more is a sense of dejection, distress, and even hopelessness when confronted with the perils of the world around them. It’s impossible to turn on the news, scroll through social media, or most days even walk out your door without seeing something that raises your hackles. We’re constantly inundated with negativity in the religious, political, social, economic, entertainment, and interpersonal spheres. There’s almost nowhere we can turn where another punch isn’t swinging at our faces.

Sadly, I can’t offer a solution for that. What I do know is that the way we start each day—the foundation we build on, if you will—is essential to whether we see these negatives as overwhelming or already overcome.

God doesn’t sugarcoat this subject in His Word: life is going to hit us, and hit hard. But there’s great hope in knowing that greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world, and that we will never be left, nor forsaken, and that we are more than conquerors.

Unfortunately, these timeless truths often get buried under the onslaught of negativity that surrounds us. In order to cling to what is good rather than being overwhelmed, one of the best things we can do is start each day by building a positive foundation—living a Philippians 4:8 kind of life, for example, which reads:

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,   whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

These thoughts, these things we dwell on, and even when we dwell on them, all helps to set the day-to-day foundation of our lives. People who start the day excessively negative have a hard time bouncing back to positivity, whereas the person who dwells on the things that God has deemed true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable has already laid a foundation solid as rock of things to fall back on if their day goes sour.

There’s a saying that goes “The life you think is the life you live.” I prefer the more historical variation: “A bad tree cannot produce good fruit.” In other words, negative produces negativity. Positive produces positivity. What kind of tree are you planting and watering? Is your intake bad, or good? Do you direct your thoughts to the positive or dwell on the negative?

 Everyone has a choice of how to lay the foundation of each day. Choose to begin yours by dwelling on the goodness and glory of God and see how it turns your dark times to light!