Responding positively or negatively to adversity makes the difference in life.


December 8, 2019

Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
120819
It’s whether you respond positively or negatively to adversity that makes the difference in life.

This is the Greek prepositional phrase “en emoi”  correctly  translated “in me” which refers to our union with our Lord Jesus Christ and it is also used to identify “our oneness” with Him.

The sad thing is that even today, the average believer still has no idea what positional truth is and how it can affect believers in such a positive way.

And, what is that positive way?

The positive way is simply believing what God’s word says and then apply it when needed.

In fact, recently researches (Boston) have found positive thinkers live longer, live healthier, have more energy, have more successful careers, make better decisions, are more productive, are less stressed, have healthier relationships, and (not surprisingly) are much happier than pessimists.

It’s important to recognize that positive thinking is NOT the idea that you’ll never encounter any obstacles as long as you stay positive.

Instead, being believers who think positive is all about how we  respond and not react to the obstacles, the trials, the unjust and unfair treatment which eventually we all go through one way or another.

It’s whether you respond to adversity positively or negatively that makes the difference in life.

Now, in 2Co 4, the apostle Paul begins to bring some answers to the questions that many believers have as they continue to go forward in the PPOG (Predesigned Plan of God), fulfilling their own PSD (personal sense of destiny),  which has been tailored perfectly just for all of us.

Therefore, after dealing with some of the false doctrines and divisions in the Corinthian Church, the apostle Paul had to come back to the city of Corinth to reconcile the two different categories of believers who were fighting and bickering among each other.

Basically, there were two opposite points of view that one could take or receive, both of which emphasized the personal tastes of the individuals which was wrong and causing divisions in the local church or assembly.

The two opposite points of views are as follows:
a. The arrogance of morality = the thinking of the individual who thinks that his or her little system of being good and moral and following the Ten Commandments is  living the spiritual life.

  1. b. The second category is called lasciviousness which refers to those individuals, believers or religious unbelievers, who fail to put into action that which they you claim to be.

Sometimes we need to be encouraged by words that should serve as motivation and inspiration to persist and never give up; Pro 18:21.

Once we stay focused, we have no idea WHAT the Lord is going to do, nor do we know “WHERE” He is leading us to, or “WHEN” He will do it.

What I want you see is that when we are patient and waiting upon the Lord or the timing of God, we will automatically have the fruit of the Spirit available for all of us.

Many times, as we wait upon the Lord, the exact fruit of the Spirit will be manifested to us along with the peace and serenity that our RMA gives to believers as we rest in the Lord.

  1. 1. “Things have a way of working themselves out if we just remain positive.”
  2. 2. For those believers who endure and refuse to quit they will eventually discover that one of their own strengths is their ability to keep negative thoughts out of their mind; 2Co 10:3-6.
  3. 3. “Be positive because your mind is more powerful than you think.
  4. 4. Optimism is hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
  5. 5. Pessimism = the tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future.
  6. 6. Pessimism is a negative or depressed mental attitude in which an undesirable outcome is anticipated from a given situation.
  7. 7. Pessimists tend to focus on the negatives of life in general.

A common question asked to test for pessimism is “Is the glass half empty or half full?”; in this situation a pessimist is said to see the glass as half empty, while an optimist is said to see the glass as half full.

It’s interesting that throughout human history, the pessimistic disposition has had effects on all major areas of thinking.

If you fill your mind with negativity, you shouldn’t be surprised when you experience a negative outlook on life.

In MAT 15:11 “Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

It was the greatest basketball player of all time who said;  “Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”– Michael Jordan.

No matter who you are, what you do, or how you think, life will throw negative situations at you especially those sudden shocks.

Optimists recognize that they have the power to turn those obstacles into opportunities.

Those believers who are positive toward life and are optimists recognize that they have the power to turn those obstacles into opportunities.

They find the good in whatever negative situation they encounter and attack the problem with a can-do, find-a-way mentality.

Optimism is like a magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.

Positive thinkers remind themselves that every problem is temporary. By staying positive, good things will eventually come your way.

“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.” – Vince Lombardi

Don’t put a limit on God and do not put God in your little petty religious box on how positive you think you should be.

No one likes to be around negative people — they drain life out of God’s people and wear them down.

Listen, I can be loud or noisy but I’m positive. You don’t get anywhere by beating people down with negativity.”

Being a positive thinker or having a positive attitude doesn’t mean you always have to walk around with a forced smile on your face no matter what is going on.

Positive thinkers aren’t weak-minded pushovers.

It means that you never give up because you believe you can always find a way to get better and to move forward.

Because your attitude is important and critical to success as a believer who is living the spiritual life.

It would be delusional to never expect any adversity. Optimists don’t pretend they can avoid all adversity; instead, they believe they have the power to overcome whatever adversity comes their way.

“There’s nothing more important than attitude, and it’s YOUR choice.” – Mike Krzyzewski.

While there are many things you can’t control in life, you have complete control of the most important thing: your attitude.

  1. 1. We have as a description called Efficacious grace – which enables the believer to have an effective faith in Christ; Heb 9:14, our Lord relied on the ministry of God the Holy Spirit when He offered up Himself without blemish to God.

When God the Holy Spirit works with the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is the tremendous blessing also of having our hearts cleansed from guilt and condemnation.

Joh 8:32  “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Because in JOH 8:36, our Lord reinforces the freedom that He mentioned in Joh 8:32, but this time our Lord switches from “the truth setting us free” to “the Son setting us free” which is why we read “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”

  1. 2. Regeneration – Born Again; TIT 3:5; 1Pe 1:23.

TIT 3:5  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

  1. 3. The Baptism of the Spirit; — Union with Christ; 1Co 12:13; Gal 3:26-28; Eph 4:5.

And probably one of the most important passage and probably the least known reference on the Baptism of the Spirit is the passage in Eph 4:5, that says that there is one Baptism, not 2, or 3, but one —.

And that one baptism is without a doubt, not water;
Not a second blessing;
Not liquid waves of love running down my spine,
Not  some idiot putting his hand around my throat and trying to move my vocal cords and pressure me so that I could receive the Holy Ghost.

In fact, in REV 2:4 our Lord says;  “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
 
4. Indwelling of the Spirit; 1Co 3:16, 6:19-202Co 6:16.

  1. 5. Filling of the Holy Spirit; Eph 5:18; Gal 5:16.
  2. 6. Sealing of the Holy Spirit; Eph 1:13-14, 4:30.
  3. 7. The Sovereign Distribution of Spiritual Gifts to each Believer by the believer; 1Co 12:4-31.