How To Think Optimistically

I don’t know where you live, but I live in sunny California. Yet, the last couple of months has been the coldest I have ever experienced during my seven years here. Yes, I know it’s all relative and that the nation has had bad weather. Still, I cannot believe how the weather has behaved this year.


But now it is Springtime! I am thrilled to welcome spring. I love this time of year. Everything from spring breaks to spring showers excites me. I can already see beautiful yellow flowers in my outdoor flower beds. Seeing the blooms make me happy. But isn’t it interesting how we can let the weather affect moods and attitudes? I know people who feel deep depression when it rains or is gray and cold for too long, and I know those who immediately perk up when the sun is shining.

Regardless of what the weather looks like today or tomorrow, I try very hard to embrace life and live it to the fullest. One thing I know for sure is I get to determine how I will respond to each day. I can enter the day with hope, optimism, and anticipation, or I can enter it with a pessimistic, negative, hopeless attitude, always looking for the worst.

As Believers, I want our default attitude to be optimistic. I am not saying that we will not experience the human emotions of frustration, disappointment, or failure. Still, when we experience these emotions, I hope we recognize them for what they are—temporary, and they won’t always last. I hope you won’t allow negative emotions to get the best of you, and when you experience them, you will quickly recover and get back at it. I hope you will learn to rewire your mind to look for the best, to see the glass half full. Remember that even the most optimistic person can find themselves venturing down the negativity. But there is hope! And as usual, I believe that hope comes from God.

think on these things

The Bible tells us how we can maintain optimistic attitudes and have happy, hopeful, and positive minds, and Philippians 4:8 is our instruction guide. This scripture has always lifted my spirits, and I hope it will do the same for you. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

You see, we do not have to allow our minds to wander aimlessly, accepting anything that comes along. The Bible gives us all we need to help us rewire our thinking; we must recognize “stinking thinking” and decide that nothing or no one will negatively affect your attitude; at least not long-term. The Holy Spirit will help us if we let Him.

Think on These Things


Each year many of us take into account what happened during the previous year. We stop and reflect. We also establish goals that we have the sincerest desire to accomplish. I, too, set goals every year. However, this year, I am most interested in one thing—God’s perfect peace and His will for my life.

As old as I am, I never expected that I would be caught up in the same stuff I was caught up in during my early years. Yet, last year, that’s exactly what I found myself doing. I was continually battling; battling trust issues, as well as competition, and other stress-related issues. I am not a worrier at all, but I found myself doing that too. For many years I have written and talked about my belief that fear and faith cannot coexist. However, during the last year, I found myself dealing with worry a great deal of the time. I dealt with ups and downs and constantly questioned my abilities. I questioned my ability to select the right relationships and I even questioned my overall judgment. Throughout the year, I feel, I was battling crazy people and the crazy ideas that were bouncing around in my head.

As I reflect on that time, I recall teaching a class over years titled “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers. What Joyce talks about in that book is how to win the battle that goes on in our minds. What comes to mind now is that a woman like me, who has taught many people regarding thinking positively and relying on the strength of the Holy Spirit to help, found myself, battling the negative voices in my mind and intentionally trying to think positively in spite of my challenges. I desperately relied on the Holy Spirit to help me. Still, to turn around and find myself feeling doubt, confusion, anger, fear, and many other negative feelings caused me to feel condemned. 

I know the Scripture. I know that “there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1. I also know that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, but does not condemn us. Why then, was I feeling condemned? I was suffering from negative thoughts although I read my Bible daily. I began reading and consuming more of the Bible and other positive faith-based books that would help to edify my mind with positive thoughts.

The Word of God tells us in Philippians 4:6-7, “ Do not be anxious for anything, but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I remember running during the early morning and repeating that scripture to myself. I also read Think on These Things by John Maxwell and Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. I was in prayer constantly, asking God to keep me in perfect peace during my most trying times. I reminded God that His Word said that He would keep me in perfect peace if I kept my mind on Him, so I tried to keep my mind on Him. God is so good. What I found was, when my days got too frustrating, too disturbing, and I wanted to throw my hands up and walk away, God would have someone send me a word of encouragement. I would get an invitation to go and speak somewhere, or some small thing would happen that was bigger than what I was experiencing but spoke volumes that it was God. He would reassure me and encourage me. 

I share this to say to you, do not be discouraged; do not be afraid. God knows what is going on with you. He knows the ups and He knows the downs. He cares for you and is willing to step in and help you through it all. Trust Him and when your times get hard, trust Him more. Remember, we are bombarded each day with all kinds of negative thoughts. Don’t let them overtake you. When the voices get loud, let the Word of God get louder. You won’t hear God, though, if you let the negative words saturate your thoughts each day, and you sit idly by and let that happen.

How do you combat those negative voices? The answer is found in Philippians 4:8: “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”