POSITIVE OUTLOOK AND VOCABULARY!
--By Maria Maria #182 DO 2841
1. One day I overheard Techi saying, "Dear Lord, please stop the rain & help it to be a nice day tomorrow!" I said, "Honey, I don't think the Lord minds us asking for Him to stop the rain & for making our wants & wishes known to Him, just so we realise that we can't have sun every day. The rain is important too. If our need for the rain to stop is more important than the need of the grass & flowers & trees & plants for the rain to continue, then I certainly don't see anything wrong with your prayer, & I believe the Lord will answer it. But remember, we need both sunny days, and rainy days, & rainy days can be nice too! If we call only sunny days `nice' & `good', it makes us think of rainy days as `not nice' & `bad'. So let's try to always praise the Lord for the beautiful day He has brought, whether it's rainy or sunny." (Amen!)
2. This was when Techi was younger, & we were trying to help her to form good positive attitudes. But then we realised that the adults' attitudes had to change also. The next day I came into the kitchen & heard one of our staff members saying to David & Techi, "Ooh, that nasty weather!" I said, "Maybe we should be more positive about the weather & thank the Lord for it. If it's not hurting us, but it's helping to give us our water & food & clean air, we should try to look at it as `good', & not as `bad'. If we were in a drought & didn't have enough water to drink & then this rain came, we would be thanking the Lord for every minute of this wonderful rainy day! Rainy days would be beautiful to us! They would be the nicest days we'd had in a long time. If we were in a drought & were having nothing but sunny, cloudless days, we would be praying, `Lord, please stop the sun & send us rain! Please, Lord, give us some nice rainy days! Stop the nasty sun & give us some nice beautiful rain!' Thus, a different situation may change your outlook on things & you may suddenly see the rain as something very wonderful."
3. We have gotten into such a bad habit all our lives of saying, "This is a nice day" when it's sunny, & "this is such a bad day" when it's rainy, which is sad. Because rainy days can be beautiful too, especially when the Lord is bringing them for our good, to quench the heat or to make the plants grow. Some people are extremely thankful for rainy days. When you have drought & you don't have enough water & you need rain for the flowers, the grass & the plants which produce your food, you're very thankful for rain & you wouldn't call a rainy day a bad day, you'd call it a very good day!
4. So I think we need to work on our outlook & terminology & try to change it. Instead of saying "a bad day" for a rainy day, just say "a rainy day." Instead of saying "a good day" to mean a sunny day, just say "a sunny day." Or if you desire a day without rain, instead of saying, "Lord, please give us a good day," be more specific & tell the Lord that you would like a day without rain, or even a sunny day.
5. If we simply ask the Lord for a "good" day, we shouldn't be surprised if the Lord gives us a rainy day, just to teach us that rainy days are good also. Even if we're more specific in asking for a sunny day, the Lord may still give us a rainy day if He knows that's what's best. But whatever you say, the Lord knows your heart & what you mean, & He also knows what is best for you. But it's still good to be specific in your requests & to let your words reflect your meaning.
6. It must be a little bit insulting to the Lord, & must make Him a little bit sad when we call the beautiful rain that we often need "bad" or "nasty," when often it isn't bad or nasty at all, especially if the flowers & plants & trees need it. And of course, if they need it, we need it, because we depend on them for our nourishment, our fresh air & our pleasure. So if we're trying to be more positive, & think more positively, we should also change our vocabulary to be more positive, too, because it's pretty hard to talk about a day as "bad" & think of it positively.--So you not only have to change your thinking, but the labels you put on things.
7. It would be pretty hard to think of someone as being intelligent & capable whose nickname was "pea-brain." This fellow might have been given the nickname at some awkward time in his youth when maybe he messed up in math class, for example, even if he was extremely bright & not at all "slow" or "dumb." But your vocabulary, the way you label things, the way you say things, has a lot of influence on the way you think. If it's negative, it keeps you from being positive. So calling somebody a derogatory name but meanwhile thinking of them in a good way is a little difficult to do. It's better to just change our vocabulary to reflect the good that we really feel about someone or something. If we want to think positively, let's speak positively! Let's try to look at things more positively & to change our vocabulary accordingly! Praise the Lord! (Amen!)
8. Back to my previous thought; it's not that I'm saying that it's wrong to ask the Lord to change the weather if you have a need for it to be changed. The Lord has given the day, but He may allow the condition of the weather to be affected by the "prince of the power of the air," the Devil. (Eph.2:2) So if that day's weather hurts or hinders our work for the Lord, we know the Lord can answer prayer & overrule it, & He will, as He has answered the prayers of His children many times & calmed the winds or stilled the waves or let the rain fall or brought the sunshine according to their need. So there may be times that we may be led of the Lord to pray for a change of weather, but until it happens, we can still have a positive outlook & thank the Lord for the day that He has given us, while asking Him to change the condition of that day if we feel we need it.
9. But is this following the Scriptural admonition to be "content in whatsoever state you are"? If you are in the middle of a drought & you are praying that the Lord will send the rain, you could say that you are not really obeying the Scripture about being content in whatsoever state you are in. (See Phil.4:11.) Or if it's raining day after day & it's hindering your getting out to witness, & you're praying that the Lord will stop the rain & give you some sunny weather, again, you're not being content with your state of rain, since you're asking for a change. Under such circumstances it's true, we are not being content with the way things are, but instead we are asking the Lord to change them, to change ours or someone else's situation in some way.
10. We have to learn to balance Scripture with Scripture & not take one Scripture on its own & decide to base our whole life & philosophy on it. If we misinterpret that verse on being content in whatsoever state we're in, & just decide that we should always be content no matter what, we will never stir ourselves up to fight the good fight of faith, we will never desperately pray & beseech the Lord to change things--to change hearts & to change lives & to change us & to change difficult situations, to heal bodies, to win battles against the Enemy!
11. If we know or feel something needs to be changed, we need to, first of all, fight in prayer for that change. And if the Lord wants us to do something more than pray, we can counsel with others & do our part & try to do all we can to bring about the change. But while we are doing those things, we know from the Word that we're not to have a murmuring or complaining attitude, but are to give thanks in all things, knowing that the Lord is in control, which is why we can be content. And if the desired change that we're asking Him for does not come, then we are expected to thank the Lord anyway, knowing that "He doeth all things well" (Mk.7:37), & that we can be content & accept the situation until He sees fit to change it.
12. So if you've prayed, & for some reason the situation doesn't change, we know that God's in control & that all things work together for our good. And even though we may not be thrilled about the rain, for example, we can still be happy, knowing that each day He gives us is "the day which the Lord hath made," which is why we can "rejoice & be glad in it!"--Psa.118:24. Even in a drought, we can be thankful for each day that comes, even while praying for Him to send rain.
13. "In everything give thanks."--1Thes. 5:18. In other words, in every situation give thanks. While you may not say, "Thank You Lord, I'm glad You sent the drought," you can say, "Thank You Lord that even in this dry situation we can still thank You for all the wonderful things we do have, all the blessings we have, & for giving us another day of life to serve You." In a sense, we can even thank the Lord for the drought because we know it has brought about some good, it has gotten us closer to the Lord & made us more dependent upon Him & more desperate with Him. It has probably taught us other lessons of saving, being more frugal & economising, learning not to be so wasteful. So in that sense, we can even give thanks for things that we want the Lord to change.
14. We can thank Him for all things, as they all work together for good for us who love Him. (Rom.8:28.) If something "bad" teaches us to pray & teaches us lessons of faith & patience & love & perseverance, we can then realise that it has not been bad, but good! In other words, the good effect has been more than the bad effect. Most things in life have both a bad & a good effect. Most things have a negative side & a positive side. Everything has its cons & its pros. But if the positive outweighs the negative, then you can say it is a good thing. And in our lives for Jesus, the Lord makes the good outweigh the bad in everything that happens to us. PTL! (Dad: I always say, "Thank You Lord for this wonderful day!"--No matter what kind of day it is!--Do you?)
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Dad's Revelation on "Thanks Be to
God Which Giveth Us the Victory!"
15. Dad had a little revelation the other night on one of the verses that he has on his wall, "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."--1Cor.15:57. He said, "Have you ever wondered why the word `which' is used in that verse?" I said, "Yes, it should have been `who', shouldn't it?" He said, "No, it shouldn't. The reason the word `which' is used instead of `who' is because the `which' refers to the thanks! If this particular verse was saying that God gives us the victory, it would say, `Thanks be to God Who giveth us the victory.' The who refers to God. But in this case, it is saying that it is the thanks that gives us the victory! And therefore `which' is used. `Which' is used to refer to things or objects, whereas `who' always refers to people. This verse is saying it is the giving of thanks which gives us the victory. Isn't that beautiful? PTL! TYJ!"
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family