HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
We live in a society that is obsessed with negative messages. All you have to do is watch the local news on TV and the majority of what they report on is negative. You will hear about the latest murder or how some child has been abused, or about the latest scandal a politician or a city official is involved in.
The same thing is true when it comes to the newspapers because people seems to thrive on the latest bad news. Think about it, when is the last time you have seen good news on the front page of a newspaper, or when is the last time a TV news program lead with a good story? It just doesnít happen that often. It shouldnít surprise that we have many in our nation that are depressed and have many Americans that think negatively just about everything.
It is hard to have a positive attitude sometimes especially when we are constantly surrounded by the negative, but as Christians, we can and should have a positive attitude about life because we are the children of God. This morning, we are going to talk about some of ways that will help us to have a positive attitude in a negative thinking nation.
First, you need to remember who you are.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."† 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.†
Unlike the atheist who believes that we evolved from monkeys and thinks we are no different then the rest of the animals other than our inelegance, we can know that we were created by God in His image, and He created us with a soul. This means, we are unique and our origin is from God, not a monkey.
When we remind ourselves about our creator and think about what He has done for us, it should cause us to have a positive attiude about life.
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.
One thing that will help us to have a positive attitude is to look at Godís creation and realize that He made everything for us to enjoy. When you look at the beauty of a flower and smell its aroma, it will bring a smile to your face or when you look at a sunrise or a sunset, nothing negative comes to mind. When we look at beautiful mountain, a waterfall, or the ripples of the ocean, it will makes us feel good inside because we can know that God created all this for us, which is a reflection of His love for us.
No one would go through the trouble of making so many beautiful things for us if they did not really care for us. Of course, our little planet is only part of the beauty He has made for us because David says:
Psalm 19:1 †The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
All you have to do is look up at nighttime and observe the stars and the planets in the sky, and it lets us know how mighty our God is. Seeing His wonderful works should cause us to smile and have a positive attitude because God is real and His promises to us are true.
As we think about being created in the image of God and consider what He created for us to enjoy, we also need to remember that God has given us the responsibility of taken care of His creation just as Adam and Eve were given the responsibility to tend the garden (Gen. 2:15).
Another thing that will help us have a positive attitude is knowing that we have a purpose and a duty. If we just sit and do nothing, its not long until we get bored and depressed. If we have no purpose or duty, we donít have anything to live for. I believe God created in such a way that we thrive when we do have a purpose and duties because it makes us feel more important and make us feel like we contribute to life itself.
God has given us a free will, and we can choose how we live our life, but Godís purpose for us is to respect Him, and our duty is to keep His commandments as:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 †Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.
This is a simple message that all of us can understand. The reason he wants us to fear Him or we could say respect Him is because He is our creator, and He has the wisdom we need.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
When we respect God and understand who He is and what He stands for it will cause to be humble enough to listen to His Word and keep His commandments. Some might think keeping Godís commandments are burdensome, but they are not:
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
When we fear God and keep His commandments, it can bring great joy to our life and can give us strength that we did know that we had as:
Isaiah 40:28 †Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.† 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.† 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,† 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.†
I promise you, that you when fear God and make His Word part of your life, you will have a positive outlook on life no matter what the situation may be. When you consider how the church began and how many of the Christians were being persecuted and put to death, they were still able to maintain a positive attitude because they knew God was on their side, and they knew the benefits of being a Christian.
For example, when the apostles were arrested by the council they commanded them not to preach in the name of Christ and they let them go. We can read what happened next in:
Acts 5:41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.† 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.†
They did not let this negative message of the Jewish council get them down, and though the council would have loved to killed them, they rejoiced that they could takes stand for Christ and continue to preach His Word no matter what the council tried to do to them.
This is the same positive attitude we can have when we learn to fear God and keep His commandments. Of course, this takes having faith in God. We have no, reason or excuse we can give for not knowing God or how to have a positive outlook on life because the Word of God equips with every thing we need to know:
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,† 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.†
When we fear God and keep His commandments, we can know that we are in fellowship with Him.
2 John 1:9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
I donít know about you, but when I think about the privilege we have of being in fellowship with our Creator, I cannot help but have a positive attitude about life. In order to have fellowship with God, Again, this requires that we continue to keep His commandments, we must continue to keep His commandments.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.† 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If you are striving to keep Godís commands, then you are in fellowship with Him and you are in fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ that are walking in the light. When I think about how I have like-minded people that love God just as much as me and that have chosen heaven as their goal, it makes me have a positive outlook on life because I know I am not alone.
I also know that there others out there that are dealing with the same negativity and the temptations I deal with, and they are able to remain positive and have been able to defeat their temptations as:
1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,† 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.† 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.† 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.† 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.† 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.†
It gives me a lot confidence in resisting the devil and maintaining a positive attitude when I know that my brothers and sister in Christ have been able to do it. We have all experienced this kind of encouragement in one way or another.
For example, before I was able to drive, I loved to ride my bicycle everywhere and love do tricks and jump things. I had two friends that rode with me, but one of my friends was more daring than the rest of us, but once we saw that he was able to make a certain jump or make his way down a rugged path without killing himself, we would have the courage to follow his lead, but this can also work in the reverse because if someone keeps telling you that cannot do something and fills you with negative thoughts, you might start believing it even though you may be able to do whatever it is you wanted to try.
So, if I want to have a positive attitude, it will help if you can surround yourself with positive people. If you are around someone negative, you must train yourself to take what they say lightly. If you have something you want to accomplish in your personal life or more importantly for the Lord, donít let someoneís negativity pull you down. Instead, reach for your goal and try knowing that others have been able to do it.
I hope all us can have a positive attitude when it comes to serving in Godís kingdom. It is important that we set goals and do our best to achieve them. If we donít achieve them this year, maybe we will achieve the next year or the next year after that.
We should never give up on our goals. One goal that we should never stop working toward is the goal of heaven:
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,† 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This is the most important goal in our life because it makes the difference between heaven and hell. We must run our race with endurance. We are not trying to see how fast we can run, we are trying to see how long we can run. Those who run great distances will tell that you have to pace yourself, otherwise you will not be able to finish the race.
God does not expect us to run 90 miles an hour every minute of the day. He has simply asked us to grow, and continue to grow and do what we are capable of doing. I like that idea because it takes some of the pressure off me. I know that I can still be pleasing to God as long as continue to grow.
Knowing that God is not so demanding that He is cracking His whip behind my head 24/7 makes me have a positive outlook on life and makes me realize that living the Christian life is something everyone can do, and do welll.
Along this line, we need
to be careful that we donít compare ourselves to each other to what we do
because each of us have different abilities and different ways we labor in the
The final point I want to share with you this morning that should make all of us have a positive attitude is when we consider where we will spend eternity if we remain faithful to God.
John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.† 2 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.† 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.† 4 "And where I go you know, and the way you know."
No matter what we have to endure in this life, we can know that we are just sojourners because this earth and this weak body that we have now in temporary, as we patiently wait to be clothed with a new body that will last for eternity in heaven. As Paul wrote:
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.† 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,† 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.† 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.† 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.† 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.† 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.† 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.† 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.† 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
When we think about having a new body that will not wear
out, and being in the beautiful city of
I also like the thought John gives us about heaven in:
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.† 4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
The next time you having to endure heartbreak or severe pain, keep these verses tucked away in your mind and remind yourself that whatever you are going through is temporary, and you will not have to experience those difficult times any more when you get to heaven.
In conclusion, we have learned that every Christian should have a positive attitude about life because we know that God is our creator, and we were made in His image and He will always be there for us. Through Him we can accomplish great things and not be afraid to try and achieve our goals. We are privileged to be children of God, and to be around others that love Him as we do knowing that we will have a home in heaven for eternity. I hope all us will share our positive attitude with others so they might see Christ living in us and want to learn how to have a positive attitude in negative world by becoming children of God.
Adapted in part from David Cambridgeís outline ďA Positive AttitudeĒ.