God as the source of hope – Day 10

The importance of being positive

In the “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus teaches his followers: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

The message is clear: Jesus, the Light of the world, teaches his followers to become light bearers for the world. We should reflect the light of Christ both in ourselves and in our daily activities.

It is unfortunately a sad reality that many Christians are often more negative than positive in their outlook and reticent in their Christian witness. They often feel aggrieved about the circumstances in which they find themselves and also do not have much hope that matters will improve in the near future. Unfortunately, their attitude reflects their despondency.

Such pessimism is a common human failing. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) was an American author and clergyman. His best-selling book, The Power of Positive Thinking, has inspired and motivated countless people through his concept of positive thinking. In this book, he affirms his total commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ: “I place this day, my life, my loved ones, my work in the Lord’s hands. There is no harm in the Lord’s hands, only good. Whatever happens, whatever results, if I am in the Lord’s hands it is the Lord’s will and it is good.”

It is not easy to be positive when you feel the odds are stacked against you. When instead of briskly facing life in confident expectation, you find yourself despondently stumbling in your struggle to cope with the challenges facing you. That is when the testimony of Jesus becomes very relevant for you: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Our Lord has given us the promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives (John 14:16-17). He will guide us every step of the way in our quest to be shining lights in this world to the glory of our Sovereign God.