Charles Spurgeon: A Firm Mind-Set

August 1

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties

today of its strength.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

2015-06-10 21.03.01

“Being saved in Christ is merely the

glorious beginning… there is so much

more to come… ”

A positive approach to life…

in all circumstances…

expecting good…

not awaiting the bad…

This is a new way of thinking for me. I recognize that I may not have this exactly right or be very good at it at first. But there is merit in this approach to life when (if) it can be balanced with a healthy dose of realistic thinking. It’s called… being positive in all things regardless of how things appear to be. More importantly, it’s learning the art of being positive in the midst of how I may feel or what impossible circumstances that I may be facing.

Look. For all you sickening “positive” people out there, go ahead and just tune out because probably none of this will speak to you. All of this comes naturally for you. Born into this blissful, “the sun always shines” mindset, how wonderful your lives have been. Seriously. Don’t take my comments with any kind of cynical sarcasm. I truly admire positive people… I’ve just never been one. My philosophy on life has always been: lower your expectations and you’ll seldom be disappointed and even sometimes pleasantly surprised. I love positive people – well, usually – I mean, I married one. So naturally, I knew I was going to be around positive-ness the rest of my life. I think I knew, intuitively, that I needed a positive outlook to help offset my negativity. What I love most about positive people is the way they always seem to rally, to rebound, to retain that positive outlook no matter what has happened – what IS happening – or what seems APPARENT to everyone else around them that is about to happen. The myth is positive people never get down. That’s not true – people who never get down are either insane or just plain stupid, living in a constant state of denial. No, positive people definitely get down but the difference is, they always manage to not just rebound (heck, I rebound better then anyone) but they come out of it with an even stronger conviction that everything is still gonna be alright. The beauty of living with a positive personality is the constant presence of a positive mindset.

Positive living suggests two things about the person who tends to be positive: first, they live in a world where Hope consistently is also present. No matter how the odds appear stacked against them, they will always believe in their souls (whether they see a way out or not) that some circumstance will ultimately present itself which will work in their favor. Secondly, (and this really applies to the believer who is positive) the positive person has a much firmer grasp on Truth, more so, then negative people. The negative mindset losses sight of who God is and the world as it relates to a God who truly control everything. See, I understand that this is true but there are many times when I can’t possible believe God is actually going to work a situation out for my benefit or good. In crisis, I can hold out hope but when disaster strikes, though I am able to rise above it, somewhere deep within my soul I feel that somehow I deserve whatever tragedy befalls me. And in my grief, seldom can I think beyond my own circumstances to see the many ways that God is still with me.

I understand I don’t have this all figured out and truthfully, well… this kind of thinking doesn’t come naturally (nor easily) to me. But I want to learn how to be positive at all times. Being positive doesn’t mean an absence of anxiety or even worry. I think my wife worries more then I do, actually. But she always insists that somehow, things will be okay. She gets up in the morning with Joy and she expects good things from God in her day. I awake awaiting bad things to transpire and am pleasantly relieved when they don’t. But a positive approach to life is understanding this: that God is who He says He is regardless of whatever transpires on any given day. The positive approach knows that there are great things to be seen and experienced because God delights in His people. How often have I missed some of the greatest works of God in my life simply because I’ve been too focused on dwelling upon the bad things that took place? When I understand who God really is and that He ALWAYS is at work and ALWAYS working every last detail of my life to position me into a greater proximity of His Grace, I begin to view life in a far more positive light.

Yes. Bad things happen and difficult circumstances can be scary and frightening. But I can always be positively sure of one thing: Jesus Christ will never abandon my side just because a little trouble seems headed our way. More often then not, He looks forward to these moments so that He can say to me “Sure… that looks pretty bad. But watch what I’m about to do, now!” If I can learn to adopt a more positive approach to my life each day, I might find things a bit more exciting as I wait anxiously to see how Christ is going to work today. There are some really great things ahead – even when I can’t see them on the horizon. I’m positive that in this new way of thinking, well… my eyesight on those horizons may actually improve quite dramatically! I know I’ve missed so much but now I also know there is so much more to come! How can I NOT be positive when I firmly understand that MY God is – and will always remain – Faithful!

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

 

Today’s Scripture: 1 Kings 2:1-4

1 When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying,

2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man,

3 and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn,

4 that the LORD may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.”

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