As I logged on to my facebook page today I noticed that my newsfeed was flooded with inspirational and motivational quotes. As I continued to scroll, it became very apparent to me that most people have an incredibly strong desire to hear positive words. Sometimes we need uplifting words to motivate us as we move forward towards our goals, or to encourage us during difficult times; but is there really anything to the power of positive thinking, or is it all just in our heads? Do our thoughts really have the power to change our circumstances or is positive thinking just an idle waste of time? And what does God think about positive thinking? Does He approve, or is it a new age practice that Christians should stay away from?
As I did some digging through my Bible it became very clear to me that positive thinking isn’t just something that God approves of; it’s something that He has actually instructed us to do.
Philippians 4:8 says: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Romans 12:12 tells us to, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Mark 11:24 says: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
The thing that stood out the most to me in all of these verses is how our thought life is directly connected to our faith. The verse in Philippians tells us to always find the good in every situation. The verse in Romans tells us to stay positive and keep faith even in the middle of our storms, and the verse in Mark tells us that it does no good to pray if we don’t adjust our thought life to believe that we already have whatever it is that we have requested.
Wherever worry, doubt, or disbelief is present, faith is not; and faith is an essential requirement for God to step in and answer prayers. 2 Corinthians 5:7 instructs us to walk by faith and not by sight; and when we choose to think positively regarding our circumstances, hopes, and dreams, we are doing exactly that.
So, does positive thinking give us a magical power to create our own realities? No; but what it does do is extinguish doubt, expand our faith, and it opens up the door for God to come in and work in our lives. When we think positively, we are exercising our faith. We are doing what God has commanded us to do, and it is a crucial step for Christians to see their lives change for the better.