By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – January 17, 2016) — “But put God’s kingdom first. Do what he wants you to do. Then all those things will also be given to you”—Matthew 6:33 (NIRV).
After reading many New Year’s posts on Facebook, I’ve come to the conclusion that most people are trying to remain positive in spite of personal trials and the constant spate of negative news with which we are bombarded with daily. However, I’ve noticed that most of those who have a confident outlook have one thing in common. They are believers and followers of Jesus Christ.
In a recent sermon, our pastor made the following statement, “The future is different when you have met the Living Christ.”
One important lesson I’ve learned since I sought a serious relationship with Him is that being a Christ follower does not automatically insure you are free from trials. In fact, I can attest that my trials have increased. But, those trying times have stretched me spiritually, teaching me to trust Him even more.
How can we stay positive in a negative world as a New Year begins? How can we awaken each day in joyful anticipation instead of troubled doubt?
First, remain positive by avoiding cynics and doubters. Instead, choose to believe the impossible. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Faith + Optimism = Possibilities.
Second, remain grateful. Recently, someone shared with me the idea of a morning walk of gratitude. It’s called a “Thank You Walk.” As you walk, count your blessings. Being grateful begets a positive attitude. Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
Third, remember that outside circumstances and events only have power over you if you allow it. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Fourth, feed your mind with words of truth and encouragement instead of listening to your fears and doubts. Read the Bible daily. Joshua 1: 8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Fifth, don’t seek happiness by chasing wealth and success. Instead live with passion and purpose. When we live a life of purpose, we make a difference for His kingdom. Look for opportunities to love, serve and care. Romans 8:28, says, “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.”
Author James D. Maxon once said, “If you measure your life by what you own, the cavern of your heart will never be filled.”
When we put God’s kingdom first, we can’t help living a life of positive expectation with a heart full of joy.
Photo captions: 1) Keep a positive attitude. 2) Carol Round.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net).