Monday, December 15, 2014

The Cure for Pessimism - Martin Wiles

What I always feared has happened to me...I have no peace…only trouble comes. Job 3:25-26 NLT

A glass half-full to one is half-empty to another.

Charles was a pessimist. If anything bad could happen, it confronted him. Fate and the forces were against him. If his bad luck wasn’t caused by one of his poor decisions, then someone else had made a decision that led to his misfortune. The future was bleak. No hope now and no ray of sunshine ahead. His days dragged by, and he faced each one with a frown. Those who chose to closely associate with him were also affected by his negative attitude.  

Job shared Charles’ pessimistic outlook. He had lost everything a person could lose and still exist. Though his outlook was pessimistic, he never lost faith in God. Job could have taken his wife’s advice to curse God and get it over with, but he chose what psychologists call cognitive restructuring instead. Thoughts are powerful, and negative, pessimistic thoughts can be devastating. Whether circumstances or others are inserting these thoughts into my head is immaterial. They carry the potential for harm either way. 

I can turn my pessimism into optimism by re-ordering my thought pattern. Rather than degrade myself because I’ve made a bad decision, I can learn from it. And while circumstances may be beyond my control, I serve a God who controls my circumstances. Restructuring my negative thoughts into positive ones will create a new mindset and lead to healthier behavior. Through prayer, association with encouraging friends, and reading God’s Word and other uplifting books, I can renew my mind. 

God gives me the power to take my thoughts captive under his authority. Those thoughts that would destroy his purpose, crush my self-image, or lead me into sin if acted upon must be discarded. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but God can give me a life outlook that will enhance my attitude, lead to emotional health, and build good behavior patterns. 

Let God give you a spirit of optimism.

Prayer: God of grace and hope, guide us to grasp the truth that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us because we are Your children. 

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