Many years ago I was an extremely negative person. My whole philosophy was, "Don't expect anything good to happen, and then you won't be disappointed when it doesn't." So many devastating things had happened to me through the years, I was afraid to believe something good might actually happen.
Because my thoughts were all negative, my talk--and my life--were too. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. My life was a reflection of my thoughts and my words.
When I began to study the Word in earnest and to trust God to restore me, one of the first things I realized was that the negativism had to go. And the longer I serve God, the more I realize the tremendous power in being positive in my thoughts and words. Positive, faith-filled words are full of life, but negative words are full of death.
Perhaps you are like I was. You are avoiding hope to protect yourself against being hurt. Unfortunately, this type of behavior sets up a negative lifestyle. Everything seems to go wrong because our thoughts are negative.
But if you are thinking according to the mind of Christ, your thoughts will be positive. God is positive, and if you want to flow with Him, you must get on the same wavelength and begin to think positively.
Have a positive outlook and attitude. Maintain positive thoughts and expectations. Engage in positive conversation.
Throughout His life Jesus endured tremendous difficulties, including personal attacks, and yet He remained positive. He always had an uplifting comment, an encouraging word. He always gave hope to those around Him.
The condition of your mind should be as described by Paul in Philippians 4:8. You have the mind of Christ, so begin to use it. If He wouldn't think it, you shouldn't think it!
The road to freedom from negative thinking begins when we face the problem without making excuses for it. The choice is ours. Any time we don't get what we want, our minds will rise up and try to get us into self-pity and a negative attitude. Or we can choose to adjust to the situation and go ahead and enjoy what God has for us no matter what happens.
Stop and think about what you are thinking about. Satan usually deceives people into believing that the source of their misery or trouble is something other than what it is. But by continually "watching over" your thoughts you can begin to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ (see 2 Cor. 10:5).
The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that "we are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose" (The Amplified Bible). Notice Paul does not say that all things are good, but he does say that all things work together for good.
Paul also tells us in Romans 12:16 to "readily adjust yourself to [people, things]." The idea is that we must learn to become the kind of person who plans things but who doesn't fall apart if that plan doesn't work out.
Let's say you get in your car, and it won't start. There are two ways you can look at the situation.
You can think: I knew it! It never fails. My plans always flop. Or you can tell yourself: Well, it looks as if I can't leave right now. I'll go later. But I believe this change in plans is going to work out for my good. There is probably some reason I need to be at home today, so I'm going to enjoy my time here.
Allow God to be the glory and lifter of your head (see Ps. 3:3). He wants to lift everything: your hopes, attitudes, moods, head, hands, heart--your entire life.
The Holy Spirit will be quick to caution you if your mind begins to take you in a negative direction. The decision becomes yours whether or not you will continue. Will you flow in the mind of the flesh or in the mind of the Spirit? One leads to death, the other to life. The choice is yours.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!