The Cloud of Negative Thinking
“There’s nothing magic about it, but seeing things in a positive light—including yourself—will give you that attitude necessary to succeed.” ~ Kevin Leman
“The Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!’” (Judges 6:12 NKJV)
Gideon felt he had too many problems. He asked God, “How do you expect me to save Israel when I have all these challenging circumstances? I have too many problems to do what You’ve asked me to do.”
We all carry around an extra bag. Yes, we have our normal one that has our phone, pen, credit cards, and maybe even our work and laptop. We also have this extra one—it’s a bag full of excuses.
It’s invisible to most people, but it’s always there so we can quickly pull one out when things get tough. “I have no money,” “I have no time,” “I have no education,” “That’s not what I want to do,” “I’m not feeling like it,” “I’m not ready,” “I have no help,” “Nobody understands me,” “It’s too hard”—just to name a few.
Consequently, we’re defeated before we even begin, just as we see Gideon in the beginning of his adventure with God.
Trusting in God and His promises flies directly in the face of such thinking. A necessary part of our faith and believing is knowing deep in our hearts that He is with us, He’ll never leave us, and with Him, we have the power to do whatever He’s called us to do.
How can we do this, even in the midst of loss?
We must set our minds ahead of time to find good and find joy. We must take every thought that comes into our heads captive, let it run past God’s filter, and determine not to act on things that don’t line up with His Word. It means making a decision to be positive even when circumstances look grim.
It’s impossible to be negative and be happy. As the cloud of negative thinking comes, choose to have joy. Choose to trust God and choose to let Him work out the situation.
When we use excuses, we miss the bigger opportunity to trust God and see how He will work things out for our good and our joy.
Ask God to show you when you are pulling out excuses from your Excuse Bag. Thank Him for what He’s doing to help you right now and ask specifically for joy and peace through the journey.
Study Judges 6:11–16; 21–24. What were some of Gideon’s excuses? How did his faith change? Why is it important to note the name of the altar he built?
Understand that getting rid of excuses means battling those negative and unbelieving thoughts that come to mind. Removing the hindrance of negativity involves actively seeking God, actively trusting Him, and actively doing what He’s telling you to do, just as Gideon did.
Discover God’s presence. Notice how the Lord never left Gideon and how He clearly showed Gideon His path for him. Find peace in the truths that God is with you and that His promises are for you and your situation.
By Wayne Hastings
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