If you haven’t been touched by all the negativism in the world in recent months, you aren’t paying attention.
Often, it seems like each side in politics is just tearing the other one up, and talk show hosts only present the worst-case scenarios. We live in a fallen world in which we are constantly bombarded with negativity. Add to that natural life—where people experience sickness and relationship problems—and there is a pressure in this world that if you were to allow it, it would totally defeat you.
However, it’s important that we maintain a positive attitude no matter what is happening in the world.
I’ve often told people that life is a terminal experience. It really doesn’t matter how young or healthy you are. Unless Jesus comes back, we’re all headed toward a grave. If you just look at things from this perspective, you could feel defeated.
In Scripture, Jesus talked about end times. He said wars and suffering would increase (Matt. 24:6–7, Mark 13:7, and Luke 21:9), and people would cry out for “peace and safety” (1 Thess. 5:3), but instead there would be earthquakes and other terrible things happening. In Matthew 24:10–12, Jesus says:
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
This is an amazing statement. Jesus is saying that because of what’s going on around us, “the love of many shall wax cold.” The word wax is significant. It goes back to the way candles used to be made. They would take a wick and dip it in hot wax, then lift it up and keep it out for a short time. That wax would instantly cool off and form a little layer on the wick.
They would keep doing this over and over, hundreds of times. That is how candles were made, and that’s what this verse is referring to. The constant negativity and ungodliness in the world causes the love of many to wax cold. In other words, it’s a process. It’s like a callus on your hand. It happens layer after layer. Over time, you get to where you become hardened toward the love of God.
Sad to say, the news media focuses on everything that can go wrong. Good news doesn’t sell. People capitalise on the bad news and if there isn’t any bad news, they will make up dire predictions! In contrast, every year people get really excited about the first day of school at Charis Bible College. Some people have spent years believing God to get here. This is the fulfillment of all their efforts, and it’s electrifying when you are in that Auditorium. People are shouting and praising God. There’s nothing like it.
However, the exact same people who were so excited at the beginning of school—after a few months of having to get up early every morning don’t display the same enthusiasm.
I prayed about this and asked God what made the difference. The Lord told me it was because on the first day, people were anticipating. Hope made the difference! Hope is anticipating all the positive things that are going to come. Thinking about all the bad things that can happen results in dread and fear. This is the opposite of hope.
Hope is a powerful force. The reason students were praising God and were so excited was because they were only thinking on the positive things that were going to happen. They were envisioning good things.
But then as life sets in, people’s attitudes change. God is not the one who cuts off the spigot. God is not the one who’s different two months into the school year. God is never the variable. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). God doesn’t change.
What changes is our focus. When you get caught up in negative news and the mundane things that it takes to just walk through life, you can get into trouble. In Matthew 14:24–32, Jesus called Peter to walk on the water. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on top of that water. But then he took his eyes off Jesus. He saw the wind and the waves, which had nothing to do with him walking on the water. He couldn’t have walked on the water even if it had been a perfectly calm day. He took his eyes off the Lord, related to things only as a natural person, and began to sink. The Lord had to reach out and lift him up, and it’s the same thing with us!
If we could keep ourselves focused on what God has said, on the promises of God, and all the good things God has done, we could maintain a positive attitude in the midst of a negative world. Think about it. You could maintain your faith even if a doctor gives you
a bad report. You could maintain your joy and your peace even if a relationship is falling apart.
Regardless of what’s going on in the world, you can stay positive. But I guarantee you it’s not going to happen without effort. I believe it’s absolutely crucial that you make a deliberate attempt to stay positive!
What I’ve shared with you here is just the tip of the iceberg on this topic. I’ve got many biblical examples—David, Moses, and Abraham all found themselves in crisis situations and had to stay positive. I hope you’ll get the complete teaching so that you can fully understand and be equipped to apply what I’m talking about. I promise you’ll be encouraged! To order How to Stay Positive in a Negative World
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