Friday, May 12, 2017

Remaining Optimistic

Chuckle: “Why do people park in a driveway, but drive on a parkway?”
Quote: “What is impossible to God? Not that which is difficult to His power, but that which is contrary to His nature.” --St Ambrose
“God is able to do superabundantly, for over and above, all that we dare ask or think. Infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams” (Ephesians 3:20 AMP).
A recent lesson dealt with living by fear or by faith. Today, let’s think about six practical ways to live by faith and remain optimistic every day and in all circumstances.
1. Start your day by expressing your faith to God. Do not allow your thoughts to go negative, but rather you might use this prayer: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice. In the morning I lay my request before you and I wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3 NIV). Start your day in faith and prayer, not the morning news.
2. Look for the good in every situation. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV). God specializes in bringing good out of bad. At age 67, a great fire destroyed Thomas Edison’s laboratory, millions of dollars worth of equipment, and all his records to most of his life’s work. The next morning, he looked at the charred embers and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start over.” He turned a stumbling block into a stepping stone to excellence.
3. Give your problems to God. So, what do I do when the situation looks impossible? “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8b-11 NIV). “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). “Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there.” (old Hymn).
4. Eliminate negative thoughts and words. “Do not let any unwholesome (harmful) talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV). You can think and talk yourself into into almost anything negative. We become what we think.
5. Associate with positive people. “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV). I think it was Chuck Swindoll who said, “If you want to soar with eagles, you can’t run with turkeys.” The wrong crowd can bring you down. In bad times, attach yourself to VIP’s (very inspiring people), not VDP’s (very draining people).
6. Remember what’s ahead. Jesus said, “I am going to prepare a place for you . . . and I will come back and take you to be with me . . “ (John 14:2-3 NIV). When discouraged, remember, this is not the end – the final chapter of your life has not been written. When you get to heaven, you will likely say, “Why on earth was I discouraged when I knew this was coming? Why didn’t I love more, serve more, pray more, and give more?”
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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