Using Christian Principles to Maintain a Positive Attitude in 2013

Using Christian principles to maintain a positive attitude in 2013

What choices of attitude are available to you and I in 2013?

1- Negative2013 will be a horrible year – inflation, health care uncertainty, job loses, teenage use of alcohol and drugs, divorce rates, lack of Christian principles – Fox News

2- Can’t do anything about future attitude. God is in charge, just need to get through the year. Don’t have much influence over culture so just pray children and grandchildren will make it through and use God in decisions….and then we die!

3- Grumbling attitude – Numbers 14: And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Penalty of Grumbling????  40 yrs Wilderness,

Health Issues, Ulcers, Headaches


4- Trials that we will learn so we can help someone who is going through that same trial

What should be the goal of a trial?

 How can God use me to share Christ!

Can you point to the exact time you accepted Christ? Duke’s story

5- Positive attitude directed to making a difference in your family, your work place, your church, your marriage, and your walk with God to see how you best can serve Christ in 2010.  

GOAL OF TRIALS: How can God use me to share Christ!

Everyone is:

  1. In the middle of a problem
  2. Just got over a problem
  3. About to have a problem

Zig – Story – waitress – Make a great day!

How should we approach trials in our life?

  1. Joy
  2. Thankful



James 1:1-8          James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3     for you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6         But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. [i]

Trials are not to be seen as tribulations but testings. A test is given to see if a student can pass, not pass out. James gave sound advice on how to score high on every test.

One who brings the right attitude to the trial, who understands the advantage of the trial, and who knows where to obtain assistance in the trial will certainly end up on God’s honor roll.

How do you handle interruptions in your schedule??   Trial or Opportunity?

It is important to note that James did not say that a believer should be joyous for the trials but in the trials[1]

When surrounded by these trials, one should respond with joy. Most people count it all joy when they escape trials. James said to count it all joy in the midst of trials

Our attitude toward trials (James 1:2–4). James called on us to actually welcome trials and difficulties. These are to produce unmixed joy, not because the trials themselves are pleasurable, but because we look beyond the immediate experience to foresee the result.

God permits such experiences as a test (intended to show the validity, not weakness) of our faith. Such trials call for perseverance, which in turn produces maturity and spiritual wholeness. If we are able to look beyond the present and see the product God intends to produce through our suffering, we will experience joy.

This perspective is impossible for most men. But those who have confidence in God value character above pleasure, and eternity above the present moment.

Our expectation of God’s aid (James 1:5–8). Trials are likely to panic us. When a person doesn’t know which way to turn, he or she may fear to make decisions or may constantly change his or her mind. James reminded us that ours is a giving God, and one of His gifts is wisdom.

This “wisdom” is practical: it is the capacity to apply spiritual truth to daily decisions.

James promised that God will show the person who asks the way to go. “Belief” here suggests a willingness to respond and act on God’s guidance. The wavering individual, who hesitates to respond obediently, will be unable to receive what the Lord is eager to give.[ii]

Trials can be faced with joy because, infused with faith, perseverance results, and if perseverance goes full-term it will develop a thoroughly mature Christian who lacks nothing. He will indeed be all God wants him to be.

James’ argument may seem logical, but it is still difficult to see how trials can be welcomed with an attitude of joy. Where does one turn for help to understand this paradox?


1:5. To those who feel confused and frustrated by the high goal of “not lacking anything,” James wrote, If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God. Assistance is readily available from “the giving God”. To those who lack wisdom, this valuable resource is available for the asking. James assumed his readers would feel the need for wisdom, not just knowledge. God will not only provide wisdom, but will do so generously, not grudgingly.



Heavenly Father, you are in charge of everything that will happen to me today—whether good or bad, positive or negative. Please make me thankful for everything that happens to me today. Please give me your wisdom to handle events of today. Expand my ministries for you today.  I give you the right to set the agenda for my life today. Help me to do those things that are on your agenda as well as those you have given me on my list of items to do today. Please forgive me for____________? I am grateful for______________?


Philippians 4: 6-8

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 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.

Duke – stolen computer




2 Corinthians 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.  Past trials –Divorce, bankruptcy, what to look for in marriage – grandchildren


Phil 3:12-16

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.



Romans 12:1-2

1. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.



Make a Great Day! Dr Duke

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