This week our pastor had a challenge for his flock. The main theme? Encouragement. Being positive.
“Stay Positive” became the imperative and, inevitably, the hashtag.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, typically, I’ve stayed surprisingly quiet and prayerful over it since Sunday morning.
But like a flood breaking through a dam, words are demanding to pour out..
I am positive this world is hard.
That life is hard. And unfair. I am positive that evil is real, exists and is becoming more powerful in our world every single day. I am positive that we all will face sorrow, brokenness, pain and betrayal.
I am positive this is not the plan God had for humankind – but here we are.
I am positive that for every ten times I shake my fist to heaven, on my worst days and ask “why is this world so difficult on me?” I have conveniently forgotten the twenty times I sinned.
I am positive that I have an amazing knack for forgetting the times I spoke in anger, betrayal, gossip, jealousy or that I was just plain ugly to someone else. I am positive those moments fed into the evil of my own world – and the world of others.
I can positively agree that there are false Christians in this world, who use the name of Jesus and the banner of religion to hurt, hate, and destroy. I am positive we live in a day and age where the enemy is in control in our world and working his hardest to blur the lines, to snuff out your light, your clear view of truth, your very breath.
(Feeling encouraged yet? Sorry! Stay with me!)
But..I am also positive this isn’t the whole story.
There is more.
I am positive that we are all loved by a God who created a way to repair what we had broken – our connection to Him.
I am positive that our messiah came, in the form of Jesus, to save us.
I am positive that breathing out that name, just the whisper of it – even in total darkness – evokes light, power, and sends evil fleeing.
For I am positive, there is power in His name. And I am positive there is the Holy Spirit within all who believe, who is strong enough to overcome the swirling lies that we all hear – about ourselves, about how others see us, and about how God sees us.
I am positive that the enemy is a coward, posing like a fierce and brave warrior, for all his legions of darkness can be sent running when faced with one confident prayer from a heart that loves Jesus.
What seem like massive walls of pain, sorrow, grief or paralyzing fear can be dissolved to mere dust when we are positive of the power we possess through Jesus.
I am positive the bible is filled with story after story of such walls falling – and of enemies made blind, armies disbanded, sickness healed, the dead – awakened, deep waters parting and hate turned to love.
And yes, I am positive the stories are true – I am so positive that I would stake my life on it.
I am positive that you, like me, have a story. That place you’ve been, the person who hurt you, the hate you harbor for yourself, or for others. And I am positive to my core that you don’t need to stay in that place, or to keep talking about it.
I am positive that there is a God that loves you enough to rip you out of darkness and set you back in light ..and back in line. To place you back on the path meant for you, before the world interrupted, before sin caused you to stumble away.
I am positive that you should walk away from the darkness, knowing you have been marked and sealed, as a child of God, with all His power, strength and might.
Actually, no, I am positive you should run from the darkness and the broken old self that you were – run the course – the one marked out for you.
For I am positive that – with God in you, for you, before you and behind you – what lies ahead is good.
I’m positive of it.
Be encouraged. #StayPositive
Authentically and Positively Yours,
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.