There are a few Bible reading plans I have been following on my Bible app. One reading plan, I follow with a group of my girlfriends that are all stay at home mommies. We read the devotional and scripture for the day and then have a group text that is ongoing where we can discuss it. It has really been encouraging and interesting to see everyone’s perspectives on the devotionals and scriptures, as well as a good reminder for me to stay focused on God when my days are busy.
One of the devotionals this week from the Joyce Meyers reading plan discussed being “Free to Think Positive Thoughts.” I liked this thought. She mentions how the “scriptures show us how important it is to think healthy, positive thoughts about ourselves” and how “you cannot love life if you are always thinking negative thoughts.”
This hit home for me. I am a realistic person, bordering pessimism at times because I see things how they are and sometimes they are not good or enjoyable! I struggle with staying positive when things are hard, or if they are not going my way. This has been something I have truly been trying to work on the last few years, and it has been challenging to change my view or perspective about things.
The devotional mentions to ask God for help. Well duh, why didn’t I think of that?! Ask GOD to help me to not think negative thoughts! What a great thing to pray for, and yes, while I have prayed to have a better outlook on things, I don’t know that I have prayed to God for Him to help me specifically cleanse my mind of negative thoughts.
Another thing I liked is that she mentions that “we need to PRACTICE positive thoughts in every situation. If you’re going through a difficult time, expect that God will work things out for your good. As a Christian, it’s time for your FIGHT for your thoughts, because your mind won’t automatically come into agreement with God’s plans.”
Wow… fighting for me thoughts? Yes, I have considered that Satan is always attacking my mind and planting thoughts in my head. He’s using any minute detail of my day to pull me away from our sweet Lord, so I suppose that I have been fighting for my thought without realizing it or doing it with a purpose. How much more effective are your efforts when you are doing things purposefully and with the aid of God?! From now on, I will be fighting for my positive thoughts, to have better control over them and try even more so to be thankful for the life I have, come what may.
She also mentions to “give God time to help you put your thoughts in line with His,” which I think is so wise. Time does not restrain God as it does ourselves, so at times we may not understand why things are taking so long to work out or get better. Being patient and waiting for Him to help align your thoughts, while challenging, is worth it. As I mentioned above, our mind doesn’t automatically come into agreement with all of His plans for us, so there is some molding and patient understanding involved until we can join Him on the same path.
I am also reading another devotional plan called “Growing Through Perseverance.” This is where I got the title for this post from… there was a reading entitled, Not “Why Me?” but “What For?” It talked about Bethany Hamilton, the young girl who was attacked by a shark, losing her arm and dreams of ever surfing again. They made a movie about her struggles and experiences and this was her statement! After everything she experienced, this was her outlook! Anyone would have expected this girl to give into a negative, dismal outlook on her new life, but she didn’t! She overcame her odds and was back to surfing a month later.
I think that we are used to our comforts here… I include myself in that statement. I’ve probably mentioned before that I don’t do super well with my “plans” changing, or things not going the way I think they should go. I like things to be predictable, I like putting in minimal effort and having nice results, don’t you? Hehe… but that’s not realistic. I truly haven’t been challenged in my life like Joyce and Bethany have been… but everyone has their struggles and each struggle is unique to each person – hard for that person, yet purposefully placed in their life for God to make them better, to make them more like Him, to refine them for His good.
I hope that some of these thoughts are beneficial to you, I listed a few verses below that correspond to these ideals. I could go on and on with these kinds of verses, but these are a few that I like. Feel free to share any others that encourage you to think positively and rely on God during our struggles to show us what they are for!
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” – Phil. 3:8
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the lift of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” – 2 Cor. 4:7-10
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Rom. 8:28
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” – Ps. 119:71
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will up hold you with my righteous right hand.” – Is. 41:10
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” – Ps. 9:9-10