“As humans, we’re wired with an automatic negativity bias, paying more attention to what’s negative than positive.” – Elisha Goldstein
“We become what we think about.” – Earl Nightingale
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8 BSB
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” – Isaiah 26:3 NIV
I don’t believe there is a greater understatement ever composed then when the psalmist penned, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
Think for a moment about the miracles occurring within your body as you read this. All the complex systems that monitor heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, cell growth, and immune response – all outside of our conscious and willful ability to regulate. Even the word “miracle” to describe such a wonder falls far short of accurately describing the phenomenon that takes place every minute of every day for billions of us across this planet.
Of all the miracles found within our bodies, the mind seems to outweigh them all – so powerful and yet so underutilized. To harness it seems almost impossible at times, but the key to our success and happiness can be found in how it is reined in and yoked – how it is channeled and controlled. Unfortunately, our minds seem to have a mind all their own 😊
Imagine a tug-of-war game happening within your mind. On one side is negativity – the other side optimism. Just like in real tug-of-war, the side with greater power and leverage always wins. In my own mind, it seems like the negativity side tends to have the bulky, muscular fellows while the optimistic side often fields a team of chaps that are scrawny and under-nourished to say the least 😊
Pessimism seems to have an edge – not only with me at times but with most human beings. Negativity bias, mentioned above by Elisha Goldstein, happens to us all subconsciously. Our minds tend to place more psychological significance on negative experiences than positive ones. It seems we can thank our ancient ancestors for this trait – one that was developed over time and driven by survival. Better to dwell on the animal that might eat you versus meditate on the pretty pedals of a flower I guess 😊
Life isn’t much different today. We are surrounded by all kinds of negativity – especially in today’s world where pandemics, inflation, wars between other countries and culturally within our own country have a way of encircling our lives and framing our thoughts continually. It’s hard to remain positive when all that surrounds us is filled with stress, difficulty, and uncertainty.
So how do we win the tug-of-war battle in our minds when the negativity side seems overwhelming?
When pessimism, hopelessness, and doubt fill my own life, I like to take quiet time to dwell on the following thoughts I’m about to share. The Scriptures remind us to “think on these things” – giving us strength and determination when we need it most. These thoughts have a way of bolstering the “positivity team” in the tug-of-war game in our minds. They feed those scrawny, puny chaps – giving them more strength and power than any negativity bias or stressful situation can muster!
UNDERSTAND HOW EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY, YET WE ARE ETERNAL
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” – 2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT
Nothing in this world lasts. Every aspect of it is temporary. The only thing that lasts is YOU 😊
“So that, having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.” – Titus 3:7 HCSB
The illness won’t last. The loneliness is only short-lived. The disability is impermanent. The lack is only momentary. It all ends, and when it does, you continue on my friend 😊
MEDITATE ON THE GREATNESS OF YOUR GOD
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.” – 1 Chronicles 29:11 NIV
“To Him who alone does great wonders, for His lovingkindness is everlasting;” – Psalm 136:4 NIV
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” – Ephesians 3:20 NIV
Think about the depth, vastness, and reach of our God. Nothing in the universe compares to Him. Not only is He in control of every aspect of this world, He’s in control of all that impacts your world and your life.
No evil is too powerful. No problem is beyond repair or outside of His reach. He sees all, knows all, and rules over it all. Whatever seems too big, too overwhelming, or too difficult in your life currently cannot compare to the Creator of all things! His love for you is immeasurable and His lovingkindness is everlasting!
CONTEMPLATE THE MIRACLES AROUND YOU AND THEIR INSTANTANEOUS NATURE
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” – Jeremiah 32:27 NIV
“But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” – Job 5: 8-9
“So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight.” – Matthew 20:34 KJV
“And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her.” – Mark 1:31 KJV
Earlier we mentioned the miracles occurring within your body right now as you read this. Every aspect of life itself is a miracle! Take time to look around you and recount them all if you can. As the Scripture verse mentions above, they are so numerous in nature, they cannot be fathomed nor counted in their entirety.
That miracle you need can happen RIGHT NOW. It may be less than a month away, less than a day away, or even minutes from now. Lazarus was in the grave on the second day, but day three everything changed 😊 I love how many of the miracles recanted in the Scriptures describe immediate healing or an instantaneous result.
NOTHING is too hard for God. What may look impossible to you is never beyond God’s reach and capability to remedy my friend 😊
DWELL ON GOD’S CONSTANT PROVISION AND PROVIDENCE
“Does he not see my ways and count my every step?” – Job 31:4 NIV
“For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” – Isaiah 41:13 NLT
“And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19 Amplified Bible
There isn’t one single need you have that God cannot provide. In fact, He is at work providing for you as you read this. He goes before you and makes the crooked places straight (Isaiah 45:2). His provision is boundless and His providence ever-present.
His provision and His providence are continually a part of your life – never dictated by who you are, what you have done, or by how you might think. They are an eternal part of your life based on WHO HE IS 😊
All your needs are being met in ways you cannot fully grasp. You are continually being guided toward your purpose – a created purpose that cannot be destroyed by another human being’s actions or lost by your own incapability. These things are never based on your human ability to see them, interpret them correctly, or on your own power to provide for yourself. God is at the center of them and in complete control of how they unfold 😊
You will never miss His purposes for you and your life! What a wonderful thought!
NO EVIL WILL EVER PREVAIL
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 NLT
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” – Revelation 21:4 NLT
No evil you face will have the final say. The immoralities prevalent in this world will not succeed. They have already been defeated.
If you’ve suffered loss, felt crushed, beaten, or conquered in this life, know that it will not have the final word! You are a victor and a conqueror in each battle you face – not through your own power, but by God’s gift of grace to you!
Tonight, think on these things 😊
When you do, that tug-of-war battle between negativity and optimism in your mind will become one-sided my friend 😊
Praise God for who He is, what He does, and for His great love and devotion to us all in this life! God bless!