July 7, 2014
No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.—1 Thessalonians 5:181
We often have a habit of saying, “This is a nice day” when it’s sunny, and “this is such a bad day” when it’s rainy. But rainy days can be beautiful too, especially when the Lord is bringing them for our good, to quench the heat or to make the plants grow. In some places, people would be extremely thankful for rainy days. When you’re experiencing drought and you don’t have enough water and you need rain for the flowers, the grass, and the plants which produce your food, you’re very thankful for rain, and you wouldn’t call a rainy day a bad day; you’d call it a very good day.
It must be a little bit insulting to the Lord and must make Him a little sad when we call the beautiful rain that we often need “bad” or “nasty,” when often it isn’t bad or nasty at all, especially if the flowers and plants and trees need it. And of course, if they need it, we need it, because we depend on them for our nourishment, our fresh air, and our pleasure. So if we’re trying to be more positive and think more positively, we should also change our vocabulary to be more positive, because it’s pretty hard to talk about a day as “bad” and think of it positively. We not only have to change our thinking, but the labels we put on things.
Your vocabulary, the way you label things, the way you say things, has a lot of influence on the way you think. If it’s negative, it keeps you from being positive.
The Bible says, “In everything give thanks.”2 In other words, in every situation give thanks. We can thank Him for all things, as they all work together for good for us who love Him.3 If something “bad” teaches us to pray and teaches us lessons of faith, patience, love, and perseverance, we can then realize that it has not been bad but good. In other words, the good effect has been greater than the bad effect.
Most things in life have both a bad and a good effect. Most things have a negative and a positive side. Everything has its pros and cons. But if the positive outweighs the negative, then you can say it is a good thing. And in our lives for Jesus, the Lord makes the good ultimately outweigh the bad in everything that happens to us.—Maria Fontaine
May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.—Psalm 19:144
I’ll never forget when I was leading the meeting and my mother was preaching for L. P. Lehman in a little coal town in western Pennsylvania. It was a small church on a cold, rainy night with a very small, poor crowd of about a dozen people. I kept saying, “I’m sorry there aren’t more folks here. I don’t know where the rest of the people are.”
I was dwelling on the negative and the empty seats instead of complimenting them for being so brave to come out on a night like that and telling them, “You’re wonderful people that you have been the ones to come, and you have braved the weather!” I should have been speaking about the positive and encouraging them, inspiring them, and complimenting them instead of dragging everybody down by pointing out all the empty seats and talking about all the folks that didn’t come.
It’s always better to accentuate the positive. I got a real dressing down from L. P. Lehman, who was a good business manager and smart promoter. He had the biggest radio work in Pennsylvania.
He took me aside and said, “David, you shouldn’t have talked about all the people that weren’t there and why they didn’t come and kept complaining about the empty seats. You should have been congratulating the people who did come, thanking God for them, inspiring them, encouraging them, thanking them for coming in such bad weather, and highlighting how wonderful it was that so many people came out in such bad weather instead of talking about so many people who didn’t come! Dwell on the positive. Accentuate the positive, the encouraging, and the inspiring, trying to lift up, and don’t keep talking about the negative and the bad side. Look on the bright side.”
It’s the old story about how the optimist sees the doughnut while the pessimist sees the hole. The optimist raves about the quality of the doughnut and how delicious it is and how wonderful it is to have a doughnut, and the pessimist complains, “How come they cheated us by putting a hole in it? Where’s the rest of my doughnut?” It’s the same thing we are often tempted to do with God. Instead of thanking God for all His blessings, we’re tempted to complain about our trials and tribulations and suffering.
Lehman said if you don’t call attention to some mistakes in your program, most people won’t even notice them. A small meeting is better than no meeting at all. A witness to a few is better than no witness at all. Try to bring out the positive and accentuate the positive!—David Brandt Berg
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive, for then you will have the right answer for everyone.—Colossians 4:65
The power of praise and positiveness is contagious. So be a carrier! If you’ve been negative about yourself or situations or people in the past, turn over a new leaf in your life and ask the Lord to transform you into someone who is so praiseful and positive that you’ll be able to influence others’ lives for the better. It is possible, “for with God nothing shall be impossible.”6 You can change—and not just slightly, but drastically. What was once your weakness can become your strength! I know it’s possible, because I’ve personally seen some incessant negative thinkers overcome their nature with the will to change and the Lord’s unfailing help.
The Lord can change your heart‚ your mind, your desires‚ your very nature, if you’ll just give it all to Him. Commit it all to the Lord, ask Him to transform your life, and He will.—Maria Fontaine
When you walk in a positive spirit, you’re walking in a spirit of faith and trust. You’re acknowledging Me and trusting Me, accepting that I know best and that I’m in control of everything. It takes faith to be positive. It takes faith in My Word that all things will work together for good. No matter how you feel at the time, if you have faith and believe, you know that all things will ultimately work together for good no matter how they seem at the time. When you believe this promise, you walk in faith and trust and carry a positive, happy, trusting spirit.
I don’t let you get into any bad situations that I can’t get you out of. So never look at any predicament as a total loss, a failure, or as hopeless. There’s nothing you can’t look at positively and with faith, no matter how bad it might seem.
Of course, you have to be realistic and admit it when there’s a problem, but remember that I am the God of the impossible. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the all-powerful, the all-knowing‚ and I’m on your side. So what do you have to worry about or fret about? There’s nothing hopeless‚ there’s nothing beyond salvaging, and there’s nothing I can’t bring good out of in some way.
When you walk in a spirit of faith and speak faith, no matter how difficult you find your circumstances, you create a vacuum for My Spirit to flow in and strengthen your faith. You reap what you sow, and if you’re sowing faith, speaking words of faith and trust, you’ll reap the good fruits of faith. You’ll be inspired and you’ll inspire others. You’ll have a spirit of peace‚ your countenance will shine, your speech will be edifying and positive, and you’ll open the channel for My love to flow through you.—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
Published on Anchor July 2014. Read by Carol Andrews.
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