Be a Positive Person
By Maria Fontaine
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). His life-changing power is the same as ever, and it’s there for us. If we avail ourselves of it, we can all have it. Jesus can help anyone overcome anything if they want it badly enough.
It is as we continue to become more and more immersed in Jesus and His Word, earnestly wanting His best and asking Him to work in our lives day by day, that we grow deeper in Him and truly become the new people He wants to make us (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our old mindsets pass away as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). The Lord doesn’t make one big change in us and that’s all; He continues to work in our lives—if we do our part.
“Ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. … Let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8).
If our mind isn’t focused on the Lord and His Word, if we’re going back and forth between listening to encouraging things the Lord says to us and the Devil’s lies and fears and worries and discouragement, then we’re definitely double-minded and therefore we’re not going to receive anything from the Lord—at least not in respect to whatever we’re wavering about. If we’re wavering in our faith, then of course we’re not trusting the Lord.
The Lord says He’ll keep us in perfect peace if our mind is focused on Him and we set our affections on things above (Isaiah 26:3; Colossians 3:1-2). The Psalmist David said, “My heart is steadfast, O God” (Psalm 57:7). If our mind is focused on Him, our heart is steadfast on Him, and our affections are set on things above, then we’re going to be firmly connected to Him and won’t waver between the Lord’s Word and the Devil’s lies and fears.
So it is possible to live above worry and fear and discouragement! Of course, you’re still going to have those first little “fiery darts” of temptation (Ephesians 6:16)—the Devil’s going to continue to try to whisper them in your ear—but you don’t have to entertain his thoughts! It doesn’t have to keep going on.
“Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). As soon as you realize you’re being tempted, if you refuse to give in to him at that point, then you will have the victory. It may take a few minutes or even a few hours to fight the battle, but that doesn’t mean you’ve “given place” to it (Ephesians 4:27). As long as you’re fighting it in your spirit and mind, you’re doing what the Lord says and you’re bound to get the victory. Memorizing a few key Scriptures and quoting them to yourself and the Devil at those times increases your faith and helps to defeat him. The Devil can’t stand God’s Word!
But if you don’t put a stop to discouraging thoughts by resisting them when they first come, if you yield to that discouragement, it’s going to be a much harder fight for you to pull out of it. You may think it’s hard to get rid of those initial feelings, but you’ll find that if you don’t fight discouragement or worry or fear initially, if you give the least place to it, it can get much worse. The battle you have to fight in the beginning is nothing compared to the one you’ll have later if you let yourself fall into one of the Devil’s traps!
Fight that discouragement from the beginning. Don’t yield to it! You can’t help but have negative thoughts sometimes, and you can’t help but have initial feelings of depression sometimes. The Devil can just fire them at you sometimes through no fault of your own, but you don’t have to accept them.
We are not supposed to operate according to our feelings; we are supposed to operate by fact—faith in the facts according to God’s Word. We walk by faith and not by sight—or by feelings (2 Corinthians 5:7). So what you need to do when the Devil attacks with those negative feelings is fight them with the Word. Fight that oppression in the power of the Spirit with the Word of God, and don’t let it overcome you! Don’t give in to it!
Of course we’ve done wrong things. Of course we’ve made mistakes! Of course we’re sinful and full of faults! So what?! That discouragement is from the Devil, so fight it! And if you’ve already made a mistake, you’re just going to make things worse by getting discouraged over it. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and it’s certainly not going to help matters one bit for you to pile one wrong on top of another by allowing yourself to be lured into the Devil’s trap of discouragement.
So whenever you feel like, “Oh, I deserve to feel discouraged,” fight that thought! You do not deserve to feel condemned or discouraged! You’re not to give in to those feelings!
I was hit with discouraging thoughts the other night. I stopped and prayed against those thoughts, but for a while afterwards I was still being barraged by depressing feelings. So what I did then was claim the Word. I said, “Lord, You promised that if we will cast our burdens on You, You will see us through” (Psalm 55:22). I had to fight it with the Word. I couldn’t reason it out. I had to claim the Word. I had to give it all over to the Lord and let Him take care of it.
Then I got that verse, “They that observe lying vanities”—worthless or empty falsities—“forsake their own mercy” (Jonah 2:8 KJV). If we allow ourselves to get discouraged, we are observing lying vanities, and if we do that, it says we then “forsake our own mercy.” In other words, we miss the offer of the Lord’s mercy, help, faith, and grace, as well as the Lord’s miraculous power that can free us from the Devil’s discouragement.
When we turn away from looking at the Lord and we begin to look at circumstances and problems, then we can’t even see the Lord anymore because we’re so busy looking at the mountains! When actually, the Lord says if you have your eyes on Him and have just a little faith, no larger than a mustard seed, you can say to the mountain, “Be removed!” and it will be cast into the sea (Mark 11:23).
Fears, worries, and discouragement can seem like mountains, but for us, those things should have no place in our lives. When we are living close to Jesus and operating according to His Word, we live in the world of the spirit. It’s a miracle world where the obstacles and problems we encounter can’t stop us. They are dispelled through faith! Looking to the Lord and His Word is what gives us that kind of faith.
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