Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Positive Thinking Is Biblical
Philippians 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
A number of years ago, a young woman called me on the phone. I was referred to you by my brother who goes to your church she said, and I need help. What is your problem I asked? Well I don’t know what to do, things are so horrible, I might as well die. And then she went on to explain. My unemployed husband was drunk and while trying to steal some pallets, he jumped off a fence and broke both legs. Now he is in the hospital and I have no way to pay the bill. Welfare cut off our checks and so we can’t pay our rent and we are six weeks behind. I just know the landlord is going to evict us. I have three small children and I am pregnant and I have a huge tumor on my neck, that needs to be removed … but they can’t remove it until after I deliver my baby, and I just know that it is going to be cancer and I’ll die. I know you might be thinking … this can’t be a true story, Bob must have made this up but, it is true, and I remember it as clear as if it happened today.
That is a sad situation, I said, and then I asked, Is there anything good going on in your life? NO, she replied, everything’s horrible. That can’t be true, I said there must be something good. Can’t you even name one thing good in your life? No, she said.
I said okay, would you mind if I asked you a few questions? And then I proceeded.
Are you a Christian? Yes she replied. Is that good or bad I asked. I guess its Good she said, but it doesn't seem like it right now.
You have three kids. Are they healthy? Yes Is that good or bad. Good she said.
Did your family eat today? Yes she replied. Is that good or bad? Good.
Are the utilities on in your home? Yes Is that good or bad? Good.
Is your husband a good father? Yes! Is he good with your kids? Yes Good.
Has your landlord given you an eviction notice? No is that good or bad? Good.
Has the doctor told you the tumor is cancerous? No. Is that good or bad? Good.
Does Jesus Love you and your children? Good or Bad? Good.
Has God promised he will never leave you or forsake you? Yes Is that good or bad? Good.
Good … Now, I said, that's ten good things and I am not even warmed up ... do I need to continue? And finally she replied, no, I see what you are getting at. What’s that I asked? "I guess it is all in how you look at things." She said.
Well, to make a long story short, I went to meet with that young woman’s husband Randy, and he prayed for Christ to come in and take over his life, and the last we talked they were working on a plan to get their family’s problems solved and their life on the right path. Hopefully I’ll be able to get an update from them in heaven.
I don’t know about you but these past ten years have brought me a negative list longer than the girl’s above … so much so, that from a human perspective, sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and quit. Oh I know, some would say … Bob’s list couldn’t be that bad, but none of us really have any idea about how many problems someone elses life is going through. I will only say, no matter how low you have been, I think I’ve been lower. I won't burden you, but trust me, I could go on and on. And watching political television news shows only brings me lower. The news of the day provides a hundred ways to bring us down and very little that brings us back up! But the Good News is that God has provided a Positive list that far outweighs the negatives. All we need to do is meditate on The lord's blessings and promises and He gives us peace and joy in the eye of the storm.
When we focus on Christ and his word, the highs will far outweigh the lows. Today’s verse is God’s answer to negative thinking and receiving negative input. As I have posted previously, I love to talk politics … but the problem for me is that it always turns negative and nothing gets resolved. People’s minds are set and it is always your opinion against someone elses. The difference with Christianity is that we have a final authority to look to and stand on. The problem Christians run into is that many want to receive Christ, but then they remain the god of their day to day lives. With God, we can always turn to his truths for hope, wisdom, knowledge,courage, direction, peace, joy, love and encouragement.
Now let’s review the text above:
Be anxious for nothing: Don’t worry. The Lord has everything under control. He knows your problems and will cause all things to work together for your good.
"But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Make a list of your blessings first. Give thanks for all of the ways God has blessed you. Then you will be able to bring today’s problems to the Lord in prayer with a thankful heart and a heart and mind that faithfully believes that God hears you and will answer your prayers. Your prayers will take on new power and you will hear God and see what he wants you to do today.
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". Once you are confident that you are doing what he wants you to do, you can now live above the problems of the world … trusting your cares to the one who is the Creator and Lord of all. And He will guard you heart and mind from wrong thinking, and negative and evil input, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." This is Biblical Positive Thinking. God wants us to meditate on the good, the clean, the pure, the powerful, and the positive. Cut off the negative input … which would include the majority of the news in the world. We are here and cannot ignore the problems of the world but one hour of filling your mind with positive hardly balances eight hours of negative input from the TV. Think about it. What fills your mind each day? You are what you eat … works mentally as well as physically.
"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." So become disciplined. Memorize God’s instructions and practice living His truths morning, noon and night. And the promise is: Jesus will guide you, guard you, love you, and protect you.
It doesn’t get any better than that!
God Bless You, My Friend … Bob