Philippians 4:8 (NIV): Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
It is no wonder that America is in such terrible shape – that its spiritual integrity is crumbling away so rapidly. Everywhere you look, the people are bombarded with negativity and bad news! News programs, magazines, and newspapers focus on the negative and sensational. Television programs and movies that people watch for entertainment focus on death (or threats of death), adultery, divorce, sickness, and insanity. Current popular literature demeans things that God created to be beautiful, like love, sexuality, family, and friendship. Even most artwork that is being produced today leans toward the negative.
All of that negativity being fed into people becomes toxic in very short order. Unless specific time (and LOTS of it) is spent focusing on God, the buildup of negativity will foul the mind and spirit of even the most passionate believer, leading them to believe that the world is too corrupt to save; that their society is too far gone to be helped. And that leads to feelings of helplessness and lack of motivation.
But those who keep their focus on God, on who He is and what He is doing, have a completely different mindset. Their hearts rest easy, knowing that He is in control, and that nothing is too difficult for Him. They can clearly see His hand at work, bringing beauty from ashes, order from chaos, and putting life into things that were dead. They can hear His voice as He speaks to them about His plans – plans to save and restore those things that sin has broken or destroyed. They see that God even has power to bring dry bones to life. NOTHING is too hard for Him.
One of the greatest needs of the world right now is hope. And the best way for hope to infiltrate this sad, hopeless, broken world, is for God’s people to shake themselves loose from the negative influences that so pervade our society, and to intentionally focus on the things that are true and noble, right and pure, lovely and admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. We need to shatter the bonds of negativity that are so prevalent in the Church today, and let God transform us by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2) Only then will we be able to be salt and light in the world. Only then will we be able to participate with God in remaking our city, our nation, the world.
Father, forgive me for too often focusing on what is wrong in our nation and our world instead of keeping my focus on the good that You are doing. Help me, starting today, to shake myself free from negativity, and to keep my eyes on You and You alone. Thank You for this encouragement. Amen.