“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory,” Colossians 3:1-4.
I have thought about comparing positive thinking with how our faith in The LORD is different than that.
The whole origin of “Positive Thinking” actually began with Norman Vincent Peale and a book that he had written in 1952.
While Mr. Peal had been a Methodist Episcopal Church ordained pastor in 1922, he later established a clinic with Freudian psychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton in the basement of the Marble Collegiate Church and combined some and developed his positive thinking/ positive confession philosophy.
He at one time had said that he had “the worst inferiority complex of all,” and yet we are told in the verses of Psalm 1, that those who meditate upon the word of God will be like the tree that is planted by the water.
The Word of God will give us strength and purpose in our lives. We can feed upon it for our spiritual sustenance.
The mind is a very fleeting thing. We wake up thinking about the day and the things that are on our agendas. We make plans and go about our day, and yet in the midst of all these endeavors, we find ourselves thinking about tomorrow, thinking about our children, perhaps our jobs, and a whole host of other things that may consume us.
We are told to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5).
And yet our minds do still wander. It is a battle ground and this is where the real battles are fought. They are perhaps more severe here than even on the battle field.
For we do live in this world and yet we are not “of this world.” The enemy of our souls knows of the delicacy and framework of our minds and this is where he attempts to inject those things that can get us off-track or away from the purposes of God.
And yet it is quite true that once we begin to change our thoughts and consider those things that are above, then how we feel about things begins to change.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things,” Philippians 4:8.
But we must not forget that Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. I’m certain that our LORD had experienced great joy while he walked this earth in the flesh, but I know that he also knew and experienced things that would cause one to not always “be positive.”
And yet, He had faith in His Father that He would be delivered and would rise again after his death on the cross.
He knew that he would triumph over the grave and death, not just because he held “positive thoughts.”
How could one be positive when suffering on the cross? How could one hold “positive thoughts” when their flesh was being flogged and their skin and muscles were being ripped open?
I’ve read many of the psalms of King David and I don’t see a man who was always “positive.” I see a man who experienced a wide range of emotions and grief in his life and yet, he always “believed” beyond what was happening at the time. He had faith beyond being “positive.”
Our faith is a much stronger and deeper ingredient than mere “positive thinking.” Our faith serves as an anchor in the great turbulent storms of life.
It carries us through the dark times. It carries us through those times of despair. It carries us through our utter loneliness and utter depravity.
Yes, we are new creations in Jesus. Yes, we have been renewed and have been given a new life in him, but we still live in this human tent of ours.
We are still creatures with human emotions that can change because of the circumstances that we face in this life.
There is value in thinking “positively.” It is a helpful thing to always consider that the glass is half full rather than half empty.
But, that only won’t help us through all the dark alleys and difficult times of our lives when we can’t “think ourselves” out of the most difficult times in our lives.
To focus on a beautiful bird or a beautiful scene is comforting, but when one is faced with the utter destruction of their home and their community; when an earthquake has caused utter destruction, our faith in our God alone will deliver us.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?