A Positive Mindset – Chapter 5

Battlefield of the Mind – Chapter 5
by Joyce Meyer

Being positive is not always easy.  It sure is easy to be positive when everything is going right.  When your well-laid plans smoothly play out the way you wanted.  When things just seem to fall into place…. being positive almost comes naturally in these circumstances.  But, what about when life is difficult?  When our plans go astray?  When life takes turns we could not even imagine?  Being positive in these situations is even more important and it is also all the more challenging.

Our thoughts, either positive or negative, effect our words, choices, and ultimately our life.  Keeping positive thoughts in all circumstances will produce faith and hope and will draw us and keep us closer to God.  Keeping negative thoughts when life is tough will produce doubt and fear and draw us away from God.  God wants us to lay our doubts and fears on Him and live in peace.  The devil wants us to harbor our doubts and fears because he knows it will put a wedge between us and God.

Sometimes we have be burned before and we don’t want to be burned again.  So, we avoid getting our hopes up.  Can you think of a situation when this has happened?  For example, a teen really enjoys playing basketball and wants to try out for the team.  However, she knows the competition is fierce and she doubts she will make the team.  She convinces herself to not even try out.  This way, when she doesn’t make the team, it won’t hurt so bad.  She can’t be disappointed if she doesn’t try out… In this situation, she has lost hope.  She hasn’t even given herself a chance.  She is avoiding the entire situation.  The avoidance of hope sets her up for a negative life. (See Proverbs 23:7) She is afraid to hope for fear of being hurt and disappointed.

Matthew 8:13 tells us that as we believe, it will be done.  If you believe negative thoughts, that is what you will see.  If you believe positive thoughts, with God’s help and in his perfect timing, you will see your life bearing positive fruit.  We need to align ourselves with God’s perfect plan for us.  If we don’t know God’s plan, we need to ask him through prayer to reveal it to us.  We also need to trust that God loves us, and whatever His plan is, we will be blessed.  Romans 8:28 reminds us that God causes everything to work together for the good.  Even when there seems to be just turmoil, even when we have hit rock bottom, we need to trust that God will pull good out of the situation and we will see it play out in days, months, years even…

Practice positive thinking in your life.  Even if you situation at the moment is not so good, expect God to bring good out of it, as He has promised in His Word.

The hardest part of being a negative person is admitting it and being willing to change.  You need to ask the Holy Spirit to convict you each time you start a negative thought.  Ask God to help you change that thought to a positive one.

As we focus on being more positive in all circumstances, it is also important to remain realistic.  If you know the odds are stacked against you, recognize that.  That doesn’t mean give up, it means try hard and keep going, but understand this time it may or may not work out, and that’s ok.  You must believe that God works out good in all things.

We must also have ready minds – minds open to God’s will for our lives.  We need to be realistic and face the facts, have a ready and open mind, and stay positive!

I conclude today with hope.  Don’t ever stop hoping.  Hope is the anchor to the soul.  It is the force that keeps us steady in times of difficulty.  Hope keeps our faith going and keeps us close to God.

Isaiah 30:18
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you His love and compassion.  For the Lord is a faithful God.  Blessed are those who wait for His help.

 

Inch by Inch – Chapter 4

Battlefield of the Mind – Chapter 4
by Joyce Meyer

When you are running a marathon, moving an inch can seem unimportant, like you are getting nowhere.  And when you look ahead to the finish line, with all of those inches ahead of you, you may feel defeated, like you will never reach the end.  But it is taking one step at a time, continuing inch by inch, that you will reach the finish line.

Let’s relate this to renewing our minds; casting out negative thoughts and making room for positive thinking, God thinking.  If we allow, God will renew our minds little by little.  He will not do this all at once.  If we reach our victory too quickly, we will be consumed with pride. ( See Deuteronomy 7:22)  If we are released slowly, one area at a time, we can appreciate our victories even more.  We can realize that God is working in us.  We will recognize the gift He is giving to us and that what we are experiencing is not possible on our own.  It is only possible with God.

Renewing your mind is hard work and it takes perseverance.  Throughout this process, we will stumble.  We will have bad days and rough patches along our journey.  We must remember to refrain from condemning ourselves.  Condemnation sets us up for negative thinking.  This is exactly what the devil wants.  He wants us to stumble, condemn ourselves, and get stuck in negativity.  He wants to halt the process of renewing our minds.  He does not want us to get back up and start again.  He does this through discouragement and condemnation.   It is so important to get up, dust off, and take another step.

Discouragement destroys hope.  Without hope, we give up, which is exactly what the devil wants.  The Bible repeatedly tells us not to be discouraged.  If we are discouraged, we will not find our victory.

So, what do we do when discouragement and condemnation enter our minds?  We need to examine our thoughts.  Are our thoughts negative?  Here are some examples of negative, discouraging thoughts…

I can’t do this.
This is too hard.
Nothing ever changes for me.
I’m tired of trying.
I don’t think I can make it.
I pray but I don’t think God listens to me.

Remember, you become what you think.  (See Proverbs 23:7)  If you are thinking these thoughts, you need to change your thinking in order to be set free.  Here are a few examples of ways to rephrase the above…

Things are a bit slow, but I am grateful that I am making progress.
This is a new day. You love me Lord and your mercy is new everyday.
I’m glad I am on the right path that will lead me to freedom.
Father forgive me for my negative thoughts and help to to keep on going.

Sometimes God takes His time in bringing us deliverance.  He uses the difficult period of waiting to stretch our faith and let patience work in us.  God’s timing is perfect.  We need to trust and have faith in His timing.

Challenge –
Use God’s Word to help overcome self-condemnation and discouragement.  Write it, pray it, and speak it aloud.  Let God begin to help you take baby steps, inch by inch, toward renewing your mind.

1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.