How we think determines how we feel. We can have a positive attitude that gives us an optimistic look on life or we can have a negative attitude that continually keeps us buried under a pile of emotional rubble. When something positive happens to a negative person, they find what is negative in it. When something negative happens to a positive person, they find something positive in it. If we want to live a joyful and abundant life―one that spills over with spontaneous faith—we must work to have a positive attitude.
Thinking right is essential to living a joyful and victorious life in Christ. “Brothers and sisters,” Paul declared, “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” (Philippians 4:8, NIV). If we keep our minds focused on God's truth―on whatever is godly, uplifting, and joyful, we will learn to have a positive attitude. To develop an optimistic spirit we must be changed in the attitude of our minds (Ephesians 4:23). This takes our determination and perseverance.
We stand accountable for our own thinking. “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b, NIV). It is impossible to stop the fiery darts that the enemy aims at our thought life, but we can learn to make those thoughts obedient to what the Word teaches. It is possible to have the power to bring them under the control of the Holy Spirit. This is achieved when we daily practice the presence of God. When our minds are focused on Him and not upon every possible scenario, He brings peace in the midst of our storms (Isaiah 26:3).
There is no way we can control our circumstances, but we can learn to control what happens in our minds as a result. When we learn to take our negative thoughts captive we change the way that we think. Not only are we able to say, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13), but we believe without any doubt that He will give us His strength. Facing our circumstances with a mind that has been transformed by His power, we live with a positive and joyful attitude—fully able to determine God's good pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).
If we will think right, talk right, and act right, then we will feel right. For instance, if we feel weak then we say we are strong (Joel 3:10). If we act on His truth and not act upon our feelings, the Holy Spirit will change our thought processes. Our feelings will fall into line with His Word, and we can rethink who we are. Determine that He is greater than any “mountain” of negative thinking. “Truly I tell you,” Jesus imparted, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20, NIV). It is never impossible to be changed in the attitude of our mind. When we surrender control and allow the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out, we become as God knows we can be. We think differently so we feel differently. We believe. We trust. With faith we can tell any mountain which has claimed our mind to just move.