Overcoming the Negatives – By Dr Charles Stanley

overcoming_negative

What do you believe today about your success?

Do you believe success is possible?

Do you believe you are a success?

Do you believe that even greater success is possible for you tomorrow?

Negative responses to these questions can shut down success very quickly, and each of them is rooted in what a person believes.

In earlier chapters we discussed the relationship between attitudes and success, and thoughts and success. What you think is rooted in your mind. Thoughts are rational. They can be directed and focused and altered through the acquisition of new information, repetition, and a refocus of perspective.

Beliefs lie deeper in the soul. They are related to emotions and general attitude toward life. They are the source of your spontaneous responses to life. In many ways, they are much more pervasive and basic than your thoughts.

Beliefs are directly linked to motivation. They are the foundation for the way you view yourself, the world around you, and God.

To be successful, you must believe three things that are directly related to success:

1. €œI can be a success.

2. €œI am making progress toward success.

3. €œGod desires for me to be a success.

A failure to believe these three things strongly and consistently can be devastating to success.

Believe You Can Succeed

The apostle Paul wrote from a prison chamber in Rome, €œI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).

Is that what you believe today about yourself? Do you truly believe that you can accomplish what the Lord has helped you identify as goals for your life?

Paul did not say he could do all things in his own power. He said he could do all things through Christ. Paul drew his identity and his strength from Christ.

Moreover, Paul did not desire to do anything that was apart from Christ`s purpose for him. He did not desire to fly without wings or pursue a career in an area where he was neither talented nor called by God. Paul sought to do only what Christ had called him to do and equipped him to do. Paul then said, with confidence, €œI can do these things because Christ is fulfilling His purposes in me, and He is strengthening me in the very areas where He has equipped me. I can trust Christ to enable me to do what I desire to do and attempt to do, but am unable to do in my strength alone.

Every Christian can, and must, reach the point of making this same statement of affirmation€”€œI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me€”if he is truly to be successful. Why? Because the goals we set for ourselves are God`s goals. Any goals that leave God out are not goals we can ever expect to achieve fully and with eternal benefit. If we set God`s goals, then God is committed to helping us accomplish them. He promises to be with us, to provide for us, to empower us, and to give us courage to accomplish His goals for our lives.

With Christ, we cannot fail! We are always in the process of succeeding more and more.

As I have stated from the beginning, to be a genuine success is to seek continually to become the person God wants you to be and to pursue and achieve continuously the goals that God has set for you€”God`s person, God`s goals, God`s help! And with God`s help, you cannot fail. You will succeed.

A person can be committed to a goal, enthusiastic about it, and work toward it with persistence, but if he doesn`t truly believe he is going to succeed in accomplishing that goal, he will fall short. Something will be missing. And that missing something is going to cause that person to become less committed to the goal, less enthusiastic about the goal, and give less effort and be less persistent in pursuing the goal. The underlying motivation required for attaining a goal is going to fizzle.

Consider for a moment a student who enrolls in college intending to pursue a degree. He has a goal of earning a bachelor`s degree in four years. He is enthusiastic about going to college. He starts attending college and doing his homework. But deep down inside, that student doesn`t believe he is smart enough to finish college. He doesn`t truly believe he can earn a college degree.

His belief about his ability to do college work may have many roots. Perhaps his parents, teachers, or friends have told him that he doesn`t have what it takes for college. Perhaps he has had some negative experiences in high school, even failing a course or two. Perhaps he has doubts about where he will get the money to finish college. Whatever the root causes, he has a belief that he cannot earn a college degree. And that belief will counteract everything else over time unless he changes it.

His belief that he can`t finish college will make him less committed to attending class, doing his assignments, or studying for tests. His belief will erode his enthusiasm for attending college, and he`ll find more and more excuses to justify his poor performance in college and to pursue things other than college. In the end, the number-one reason he will fail to complete college is a lack of believing.

In contrast, consider the student who may not have great intellectual capacity or very good high school grades, but is accepted to a college and enrolls fully believing that she will graduate. She, too, has a goal and is enthusiastic about it. She, too, begins attending classes. As she studies and writes papers and takes exams, she does so with the firm conviction, €œI can do this through Christ who strengthens me. God helped me to set this goal, and He is enabling me to accomplish it. I am going to graduate, with God`s help.

Her belief in God keeps her burning the midnight oil as she studies. Her belief in God`s help and calling keeps her at college, even if she makes less than top marks and even if she has to repeat a course. Her belief in God`s help and calling sustains her motivation even if she has to work part-time as she studies and she takes six years instead of four to earn her degree. Her belief carries her across the finish line.

You can apply this same €œI can do this, with Christ`s help belief to any pursuit in life€”to being a spouse, parent, employee, salesman, pastor, singer, youth worker, missionary. If you believe you can do it, you very likely will do it. If you do not believe you can do it, you very likely won`t.

The Bible never calls us to succeed apart from God`s help. Our success always has a built-in faith element to it. Without faith, we aren`t going to receive anything from God (James 1:6€“8). Without faith, we do not access God`s help.

Choose to be a person of faith today. Choose to believe that you can do all things that God has set before you to do because Christ will enable you to do them.

Believe God Is on Your Side

Another aspect of believing that is directly related to your success as a Christian is this: you must believe that God is on your side and that He is going to equip you, provide for you, empower you, and be present with you to do what He calls you to do.

Genuine success is rooted in the pursuit of the things that God has planned and purposed for your life. Your belief must remain strong that you are in pursuit of God`s goals for you and that God desires for you to be successful in accomplishing the goals.

The writer of Hebrews declared, €œHe who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (11:6). What does this mean to you on a daily basis? It means that God is with you, and that He is working on your behalf to bring rewards to you as you seek and pursue His plan for you.

Many people who believe that God is for them fail to recognize that God is also within them to ensure that His beloved children succeed. Paul wrote, €œHe who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thess. 5:24). The Lord who calls you to undertake a task also provides the power, wisdom, courage, and ability within you to see that task to full completion. God-given goals are just that: God-given goals. God is not going to help you set goals and then be uncommitted to and uninvolved in their attainment. The Holy Spirit has been imparted to you to give you a built-in divine ability to help you succeed.

Believe God`s Principles Work

I recently encountered a person who said to me, €œOh, I believe God wants me to succeed. I`m just not sure how He wants me to succeed or to what degree He wants me to succeed. When in doubt, go to your Bible!

If you don`t believe in the principles of the Bible, you won`t act on them and apply them to your life. If you don`t apply them, they won`t work.

The opposite is equally true. If you believe in the principles of the Bible regarding a successful life, you will act on them and apply them. You will read God`s Word, and you will do what it tells you to do. You will be eager to learn from God`s Word and to apply what you learn. And as you apply God`s principles, you will discover that the truth of the Bible works in your life.

Let me give you several examples. The conventional world wisdom is that a store must be open seven days a week. God`s Word says,

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. (Ex. 20:9€“10)

Are you willing to obey what God says over what the world says? Do you truly believe this commandment of God?

The conventional world wisdom is that giving 10 percent of your earnings to the Lord is foolishness. God`s Word says,

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,

That there may be food in My house,

And try Me now in this €¦

If I will not open for you the windows of heaven

And pour out for you such blessing

That there will not be room enough to receive it. (Mal. 3:10)

The conventional world wisdom is that if you give anything away, you lose it. God`s Word says, €œGive, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom (Luke 6:38).

The conventional world wisdom is that to be successful, you must give as little as possible and take as much as possible. God`s Word says, €œWith the same measure that you use [to give], it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38).

Which are you going to believe€”the conventional wisdom of the world or God`s Word? What you believe will determine what you do. And what you do will determine what God will do on your behalf.

Are you willing to believe what God`s Word says about you? Are you willing to believe that God loves you, values you, and considers you worthy of success?

Are you willing to believe that God truly cares about your daily needs and desires to provide for you and help you through even the most difficult circumstances?

It isn`t enough to believe that God exists and that His Word is true. You must believe that God exists in you by the power of His Holy Spirit and that His Word is true for every aspect of your life.

God Equips You for What He Requires of You

You must remind yourself often that whenever God requires something of you, God assumes the responsibility to enable you, equip you, and provide all the necessary resources for you to complete the job. If God has helped you set a goal, God will help you reach the goal. God never commands you to do anything He will not equip you to do. Neither will God ask you to do something and then fail to provide the necessary resources.

We see this principle borne out again and again in the Scriptures. Consider the example of Noah. God said to Noah,

The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. (Gen. 6:13€“14)

At the time God spoke to Noah, Noah had no concept of an ark. He had never seen one or heard about one or seen a picture of one. Furthermore, he had no idea why he should build an ark. He knew only that it had something to do with his protection and God`s destruction of wicked mankind.

God did not leave Noah in the dark about this, however. He said to him,

This is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. (Gen. 6:15€“16)

God revealed how Noah was to build an ark.

Then God revealed why Noah was to build the ark:

I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark€”you, your sons, your wife, and your sons` wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them. (Gen. 6:17€“21)

God explained what He was going to do, what Noah was to do, and how God intended for events to unfold. Noah was given clear direction about how to respond to God`s command. He was equipped with knowledge. Notice, too, that the Lord said, €œTwo of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. Noah didn`t have to go out and seek all of the species that were to be kept alive in the ark. God was going to cause them to go to Noah, and Noah was to take care of them.

We read in Genesis 6:22, €œThus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

It took Noah more than one hundred years to complete the ark and for all of the animals to be gathered. And throughout those years, God provided. He gave Noah the strength and materials and know-how to gather the gopherwood, build the ark, and cover it with pitch. He gave Noah three sons, and each was married by the time the €œfountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened (Gen. 7:11). Noah was given the provision and help necessary to get the job done.

If God calls you to do something€”even to a goal you don`t understand fully€”you can trust God to provide for you the knowledge you need, the provision you need, and the help you need. He calls you not to fail, but to succeed. He will provide for you everything you need to get the job done successfully.

When the Lord called Moses to return to Pharaoh with the message, €œLet My people go, Moses argued that the people would not listen to him or believe that the Lord had sent him with the message. What did God do? He provided a means of proof to the people that He had sent Moses: a rod that became a serpent when it was cast on the ground, and regained its shape as a rod when Moses took hold of it. He also told Moses to put his hand in his bosom and draw it out€”and when Moses did so, his hand was leprous. Then the Lord told Moses to put his hand again in his bosom, and when he drew it out again, his hand was restored like his other flesh. The Lord said, €œAnd if they don`t believe these two signs, take water from the river and pour it on the dry land, and it will become blood (Ex. 4:1€“9).

Moses argued further that he was ill-equipped for the task since he was not an eloquent speaker but was €œslow of speech and slow of tongue (Ex. 4:10). The Lord said, €œI will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say, and He also gave Moses the assurance that his brother, Aaron, would be by his side to act as his spokesman since the Lord would be with his mouth as well (Ex. 4:11€“16).

What excuses are you using today for not pursuing the goals you believe God has set before you? God`s word to you is that He will provide the skills and abilities necessary, and He will cause you to be effective in your relating to other people.

Don`t let others tell you what you can and cannot do in your pursuit of God`s goals. Trust God to provide what you need in order to accomplish what He calls you to do. He will reveal to you precisely what you need and what tactics you are to employ.

Ask God for His guidance every step of the way. The apostle Paul certainly did. Paul was totally reliant on the Holy Spirit to show him where he was to go, to whom he was to speak, with whom he was to stay, what he was to do, how long he was to stay, when he was to leave, and where he was to go next. At times, he made his plans to the best of his ability only to have the Holy Spirit reveal to him, €œGo here instead. And Paul was faithful to the leading of the Lord each time.

We have no mention in the Scriptures that Paul consciously planned to preach in the major cities of the Roman Empire where transportation and communication systems were developed to the greatest extent so that thousands of people might not only hear the gospel but also take it to the far reaches of the earth. But as Paul followed the leading of the Holy Spirit, that is precisely what happened. He had remarkable results in places such as Corinth and Ephesus€”large cities that were major ports, key cities on major trade routes, and centers of international commerce. Paul had a goal of preaching the gospel to as many people as possible, as effectively as possible. The Holy Spirit filled in the details about where and how and to whom.

Trust God to do for you what He did for Noah, Moses, and Paul. Trust the Holy Spirit for the practical how-to`s related to your success. Believe that God will equip you fully for all He has called you to do.

An Ongoing Revelation

In 1989 I was in a hotel room in Kansas City, walking toward the window to look out, when the Lord spoke in my heart, €œI am going to make your name a household word around the world. I stepped back and thought to myself, Stanley, that`s the most egotistical thought you`ve ever had. And then I thought again, But I didn`t think that up. I`ve never had any desire for my name to be a household word around the world. I said, €œLord, if that`s of You, how could that possibly be?

Immediately my attention was directed to the top of a building across the way from the hotel. It was covered with satellite dishes and antennas. I didn`t understand fully how the Lord was going to do what He had spoken in my heart, but I knew it had something to do with media. I never spoke a word of this to anyone in those days€”in fact, not until just a few months ago.

In 1991, two years later, I was on a retreat with my staff members. We had spent part of the morning reading the Bible, praying, and taking walks to listen to what God might say to us individually. When we met together as a group, I felt led to turn to the last words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of Matthew: €œGo into all the world and make disciples of all nations. I stopped reading and asked one of my associates, €œIs it possible to get the gospel into all nations? He said, €œYes, I believe it is.

We prayed some more and talked about how we might get the gospel into every nation.

I said, €œLet`s set our minds and energies toward doing this within two years, but not tell anybody about it. Let`s see what God will do. And we began to plan and work. One week short of two years later, we were on the air with the gospel€”by means of television, radio, or shortwave radio€”into every nation of the earth.

I didn`t make the connection between 1989 in Kansas City and 1991 on retreat until recently. And then it became clear€”God knew all along what He wanted to do and was going to do. But for me, a worldwide media ministry has been an unfolding revelation.

God may not tell you all you need to know at the outset of your pursuing a goal. He may have goals, methods, and means that unfold before you as you take each step of faith. Look for God`s continuing revelation to you.

Turning Belief into Reality

The process of belief is actually a very simple one. The stronger you believe something, the more you are motivated to act on that belief. The steps from belief to action are these:

Visualize Your Success

Your belief will trigger your imagination. You will be able to visualize yourself doing what you believe God is calling you to do.

Do you believe God has called you and equipped you to be an outstanding salesman, one who uses his earnings to help fund the spreading of the gospel around the world? If you truly believe that, you are going to be able to see yourself making sales. You are going to be able to visualize yourself closing deals and seeing people sign up for what you are offering or purchase what you are selling. You are also going to be able to visualize giving your earnings to a project that the Lord has revealed to you as one worthy of your gifts. You are going to be able to see that ministry impacting lives for Christ€”winning souls, encouraging believers, and teaching others the truth of God`s love and the commandments of God`s Word.

Have you lost your job? Do you believe that God has another job for you, one that is even better suited to your abilities? Are you able to visualize yourself going to an interview and being confident in that interview and landing that job? Are you able to visualize yourself doing excellent work in your new job? Are you able to visualize yourself working with others in that place of employment, creating and developing and producing new products and projects that are of benefit to the world?

Your ability to visualize your success is directly related to your belief. It flows from your belief, and in turn, it strengthens your belief.

The Bible tells us, €œFaith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). There is nothing wrong with visualizing godly success. That is the very essence of faith, which is believing for God`s plan and purpose to be fulfilled.

Being able to visualize your success reinforces your confidence. Have you ever been asked to give a talk to a group of people, but you were petrified at the thought? Check your believing. Do you really believe God can help you do this? The stronger your belief that, in Christ, you can give this talk and that God wants you to give the talk, the greater your motivation will be to prepare a good talk and to deliver it with confidence. Visualize yourself giving a successful talk. Visualize yourself standing behind the lectern, smiling confidently at the audience before you, and delivering the message God has enabled you to prepare.

Do you believe God can help you overcome a particular type of temptation? Visualize yourself in a tempting situation and walking away from that temptation.

Do you believe God can help you overcome a bad habit? Visualize yourself saying no to an impulse to engage in that habit.

Visualize what you want to be, want to do, and want to accomplish. Visualize how you want to live and how you want to work, relate to others, and pursue goals.

Don`t visualize negatives. Visualize the positives that God has set before you as commandments, goals, and godly desires.

Drive Away the Cobwebs of Disbelief About Your Success

Cobwebs can appear in even the cleanest homes. The same is true for the cobwebs of doubt that can invade your believing. There is no sin in having doubts; the real issue is what you choose to do when you have doubts.

As you visualize your success in any area of life, doubt is likely to erupt€”suddenly, unexpectedly, and perhaps enormously. You`ll find yourself doubting if you have heard God, wondering if God is really with you, feeling inferior and unworthy, comparing yourself to others. The negatives may seem endless.

Immediately you must take authority over that doubt. Just as you would say about a cobweb hanging in your dining room, €œI can get rid of that with just one swipe of the broom, you must say to a cobweb of doubt, €œI can banish this with a swipe of faith. And then get out the broom of your faith and go to work! Proclaim the promises of God. Quote or read aloud Scripture to yourself. Focus on verses that speak of God`s power, authority, ability, and desire to impart to you His presence.

The more you confront a doubt with expressions of faith, the more readily your doubt is going to vanish, and with it, fear is going to dissipate.

As a part of confronting doubt, choose to speak positive words of faith aloud. They can be verses of Scripture. They can also be positive statements about yourself or the situation at hand.

Consider for a moment a cook who prepares a meal and then says to her guests before the meal begins, €œThis may not be fit to eat, but let`s gather around the table anyway, or €œI`ve got a new oven, so I`m not sure if this dish is really cooked sufficiently, but let`s try it. What is your reaction going to be as a guest? You are probably going to be reluctant to eat.

But another cook may say to her guests, €œThis is one of my favorite recipes, or €œI could hardly wait to taste this dish from the time I first read the recipe. What is your reaction going to be? You likely are going to be salivating even before you sit down at the table!

If we do not come to grips with our doubts, and do so quickly, our doubts can escalate into paralyzing fear. As we read in the book of Job:

For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,

And what I dreaded has happened to me.

I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;

I have no rest, for trouble comes. (Job 3:25€“26)

When doubt and fear rise up in you, you must forget about past failures, turn a deaf ear to the criticisms of others, and move forward with your faith. Get your eyes off your doubts and fears and onto the Lord.

Speak what you know to be true from God`s perspective. Choose to trust that His Word is true and that He will equip you to visualize the very success He is calling you to experience. Keep in mind always that what you say to dispel your doubts and fears does a great deal to impact what you will eventually do.

Take a Bold Action Step

The stronger your belief and the greater your ability to wipe away the cobwebs of doubt, the more likely you will be to take a bold step toward your goal. Do something positive toward accomplishing the goal that God has helped you set. Don`t wait until you can take a huge step. Take the step you are able to take right now. You`ll be one step closer to success.

Ten Tips to Strengthen Your Belief System

A strong belief system is essential as you begin to take steps toward your goal and all along the pathway to success. Here are ten ways to strengthen your belief system that you can apply to any situation and build into any day:

1. State with confidence and boldness: €œGod has endowed me with everything I need to be what He wants me to be and to accomplish what He wants me to accomplish. Remind yourself of this truth repeatedly, as often as necessary.

2. Remind yourself often of the Lord`s promise to make a way when there seems to be no way. Reread portions of Scripture that illustrate this truth€”Daniel`s release from the lions` den, the deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego from a fiery furnace, the opening of the Red Sea so the Israelites might cross it, the provision made for Elijah as he ran for his life from Jezebel, Peter`s release from Herod`s prison, the provision of the wise men for the flight of Joseph, Mary, and the young child Jesus to Egypt, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. No matter how dark or disappointing things may seem to be, choose to recall: God can make a way!

3. Highlight every verse in your Bible that deals with courage, confidence, faith, and believing. I suggest using a colored pencil so that you can lightly shade these verses. You will find as you thumb through your Bible that it is filled from cover to cover with verses that build faith. You`ll also find that these verses are easy to access just when you most need a boost to your faith.

4. Pray the promises of God. As you read aloud verses of promise, turn them into prayers, saying, €œLord, You have said in Your word €¦ The Lord doesn`t need a reminder, but you do! In reminding God of His promises, you are reinforcing the truth of these promises to yourself.

5. Visualize and affirm your assets. Remind yourself of your talents, skills, abilities, and good qualities of character. Visualize yourself using your assets to maximum productivity with maximum quality. See yourself establishing good relationships and doing excellent work, with a smile on your face and joy in your heart. Don`t just say, €œI`m trying to do my best. Instead, say, €œI`m becoming the best I can possibly be!

Any person who focuses only on his faults and failures is going to end up in depression. Choose to focus on the good traits and talents God has built into your life.

6. Make a list of character qualities you want to develop and then memorize your list. Turn your attention from what you are doing and what you want to do, to what kind of person you are and desire to become. Make a list of the character traits that you desire to be known for, and then ask the Lord to help you develop those traits. Visualize yourself speaking, responding, and acting as a spiritually mature person would speak, respond, and act.

7. Actively replace negative thoughts and statements with positive thoughts and statements. Monitor continually your thought life and speech. When you catch yourself thinking or speaking negatively, immediately think a positive thought or speak a positive word. Make an active, concerted, intentional effort to replace your negative speech and thought patterns. Consider words such as can`t, won`t, and couldn`t to be red flags in your thinking and speaking. Reemphasize to yourself, €œI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

8. When an obstacle arises, state boldly, €œIf God is for me, who can be against me? (Rom. 8:31). Is God big enough, great enough, powerful enough, wise enough, and strong enough to handle any problem you can imagine? Absolutely! Paul also wrote of our Lord that He is €œable to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20).

When you are incapable, He is able. When you are weak, He is strong. When you don`t know, He does know. When you are powerless, He is all-powerful. When you don`t have an answer, He does. The Lord is capable of handling any problem, any enemy, any obstacle, anytime, and anywhere.

9. When you are feeling harassed by Satan, say aloud, €œFather God, I want to thank You that You are greater in me than anything Satan can do to me. Remind yourself of 1 John 4:4: €œHe who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

10. Remind yourself continually, €œGod is with me in this. God is not confused, troubled, fearful, doubtful, or weary€”at any time or about anything. God is with you always. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is ever-present to help you in all things that are in line with His commandments and His highest plans and purposes for your life.

Expect to Succeed

Go into any new project, task, or opportunity with the idea, €œLet me see what I can do! Rather than focus on problems or obstacles that might arise, set a goal that you believe is possible to accomplish. And expect to succeed at reaching that goal.

A friend said to me, €œI had about twenty hours of work to do the last day before I had to leave on an international business trip. I had no idea how I was going to get everything done, but when I went to bed the night before, I prayed, €˜Lord, give me a good night`s rest so I`ll have the energy I need to give it my best tomorrow.`

€œWhen I awoke that morning at six o`clock, I prayed for the Lord`s wisdom and energy, and I also prayed that I`d have no wasted motion and no unnecessary interruptions in the day ahead. I concentrated my focus on the tasks at hand and dived in. To my great surprise, I had everything done by ten o`clock that night. I even had a chance to rerun some of the numbers in my report to double-check their accuracy. I was packed and ready for the trip!

Another person once said to me, €œWhen I don`t know if I can get something done in the time designated, I say, €˜Well, I don`t know that I can`t get it done,` so I start in and give it my all. I usually get it done!

Choose to Believe

Are you aware that your body cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined? If a giant grizzly bear weighing about two thousand pounds lumbered into the room where you are reading right now, you`d no doubt jump up and run for your life. And rightly so! But what if a person came into the shadows of your tent out in the wilderness in a very realistic grizzly bear outfit, making very realistic grizzly bear sounds? You`d still run! Why? Because your mind isn`t going to take any chances about whether or not that image is real. It is going to react to what it perceives€”a big furry object that looks and sounds and moves like a vicious grizzly bear!

When you imagine yourself succeeding, your body and mind move in the direction of that success. A mental pathway is created that is just as real over time as if you really were doing what you are imagining yourself doing. Your body lines up its spontaneous reactions so that a built-in propensity to act in a positive, successful way is created.

The same is true, however, if you imagine failure. You are setting up mental pathways and propensities to fail.

A man once had an idea that he thought would help people, and he wrote a book explaining it. He sent the manuscript to a number of publishers, and each one rejected it. He finally said, €œI`ve failed. I`m going to forget this project and move on. He tossed the manuscript in the trash can of his office, and when his wife reached in to pull it out, he said, €œDon`t take that out of the trash can. She didn`t. But the next day as she was emptying the trash, she had an idea.

She went personally to a publisher her husband hadn`t contacted, and she said, €œI have a manuscript I`d like for you to consider. She reached down and lifted a large object from the floor next to her and placed it on his desk. It was wrapped in brown paper, much larger than any book manuscript he had ever seen. He said, €œWell, what kind of manuscript is it? She said, €œOpen it and you`ll see. When the publisher unwrapped it, he found a trash can, and in the trash can, the manuscript of the woman`s husband. She hadn`t removed it from the trash, but she also hadn`t emptied it from the trash. He was so intrigued with what had happened that he went home and read the manuscript from first page to last. He liked what he read, and he published the book. It became a number-one seller around the world.

Is it possible to keep from getting discouraged or having doubts about your ability to succeed or your work? No.

Is it possible to keep from questioning occasionally whether you are on the right track or whether God is with you? No.

Is it possible to keep from wondering if certain principles in God`s Word will work? No.

But it is possible in these moments of doubt to choose to believe. It is possible to reaffirm that God has called you to success, God is with you, and His Word is true. It is possible to encourage yourself with the Word of God and to build up your faith and strengthen your power to believe.

You can become the person God has ordained you to be.

You can achieve every goal God has set for you.

You can always count on God`s Word as truth.

You can rely on God to be with you and to help you.

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