#1 Get in the Game
It is our responsibility to discover and develop our unique aptitudes and apply ourselves in developing our full potential.
10 “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither you go.“ – Ecclesiastes 9:10
God expects us to use our talents in profitable and productive ways here on earth.
22 “But don‘t just listen to God‘s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.“ – James 1:22
- POINT: Be a DO what the word says person, not someone who sits on the sidelines of life. This is NOT a spectator sport.
13 “I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength.“ – Philippians 4:13
- POINT: I can do all things. All things? That is what he said – ALL THINGS!
Why? Because, my strength comes from God; it isn‘t up to me to be strong on my own.
#2 Maintain a Positive Focus
Negative emotions often result from focusing on mistakes of the past. If God has forgiven our sins, then why should we not forgive ourselves? Dwelling on past blunders perpetuates negative thought patterns and emotions. We must live for the day and focus on the future, not the past.
13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus“. – Phil. 3:13-14
Paul made some mistakes in his past. He said that he chose to forget what is in the past and focus instead on the future. The goal of fulfilling our calling is in THE PRESENT and THE FUTURE, not the past.
#3 Ask God for His Assistance
If you find yourself spiraling downward into depression, ASK God to help you.
- God is the source of our strength.
- He knows the proper responses for our particular situation.
- He has given us His Spirit to overcome negative forces impacting our lives.
Since God is the source of all good things, we must ask for His aid.
7 “Ask, and what you are asking for will be given to you. Look and what you are looking for you will find. Knock and the door you are knocking on will be opened to you. 8 Everyone who asks receives what he asks for. Everyone who looks finds what he is looking for. Everyone who knocks has the door opened to him. 9 What man among you would give his son a stone if he should ask for bread? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, would he give him a snake? 11 You are bad and you know how to give good things to your children. How much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?“ – Matt. 7:7-11
#4 Get Your Thinking Straight
What are your mental debates like? What contemplations fill your mind?
- The worries of daily life?
- The emotional pain you are suffering?
- Hurt feelings?
- Physical pains?
- Your economic circumstances?
If so, your thinking stinks!
- Instead, set your mind on THE truth!
- Focus on the kingdom of God above everything else!
- Live as a man or woman who is true and transparent before God
Jesus put it this way…
33 “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need”. – Matt. 6:33
Everything we need comes to us when we fix our mind on things above and focus on God‘s kingdom while we live within a right (i.e. righteous) relationship with Him.
Paul told the Christians at Colossi…
1 “If then you have been raised with Christ, keep looking for the good things of heaven. This is where Christ is seated on the right side of God. 2 Keep your minds thinking about things in heaven. Do not think about things on the earth.“ – Col. 3:1-2
Paul‘s instruction to God‘s people makes it crystal clear that we must refocus our thinking to a different level, to have an optimistic view in this mundane evil world.
8 “and now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you“. – Phil. 4:8-9
Truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness, good reports, virtue and praise are not views upon which the world commonly focuses. The news media, business community, governments and educational institutions do not generally bring about this type of thought pattern. Therefore, to remain positive in a negative world, we must sidestep this world‘s agenda and reflect on God‘s point of view.
#5 Obedience Promotes a Positive Outlook
God‘s Word tells us that to obey is better than sacrifice (I Sam. 15:22). Obedience to God‘s Way brings many blessings, not the least of which is an optimistic view of our life. Being in harmony with God‘s laws brings confident assurance that our lives have value and that God will guide us. Notice the tangible blessings that bring contentment into our lives when we obey God:
- Peace: “Great peace have they which love your law: and nothing shall offend them“ (Psalm 119:165).
- Vision: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he“ (Prov. 29:18).
- Favor: “My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of your heart: So shall your find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man“ (Prov. 3:1-4).
- Requests Granted: “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight“ (I John 3:21-22).
As we walk with God, we will recognize our need to claim more of His promises. Our faith will increase as we see God actively helping us each day. We can overcome the blues; deal with bad attitudes, solve unresolved problems, settle disputes, and calm our anxiety and fear.
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656