NOT THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
See scripture in red.
Christ the Consoler
Please forgive the fuzziness of the above photo. I took the picture from an old book on my iPhone. Bible Readings for the Home was published in 1942 by
Review & Herald Publishing Association in U.S.A. An inside page bears the
uncharacteristically large writing of my Daddy as follows:
"Given to Mom & Pop 1942 by son Warren". The outside binding is no longer secure - all the yellowed pages are present (question and answer topical form).
The scripture for today is not the one in the picture and not specifically pertaining to comfort. However, I believe all prayer to our Heavenly Father will bring us comfort as well as pleasure for Him.
The picture also brought to mind Ukraine. How many people will be struggling with the loss of a soldier whether in Ukraine or elsewhere?
I can see the heart of the young woman in the above picture. Surely she prayed fervently for his safety and return for both herself and their young child. The outside world temporarily stopped and she wonders why all people seem to be in a hurry. What could be so important? Her world now consisted of her baby and the God of all Comfort in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.
Today's scripture are words of Jesus:
Matthew 7:7-11 NAS
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
As the title states, the above is not about the power of positive thinking! That would put all the power in the hands of a man / woman to use for themselves.
That was a very famous title of a book by Norman Vincent Peale. He very much wanted to help people but he was using scripture incorrectly. He wanted to teach those who had an inferiority complex. He claimed our unconscious mind could turn wishes into realities when the wishes were strong enough. Of course then the opposite would mean you did not get the answer because your wishes were not strong enough.
That is not what Jesus meant when He said "Ask, and it will be given to you". The failure of this is the reality of life.
Jesus does want us to pray.
James 4:2 states "You do not have because you do not ask".
But asking requires humility. We (myself included) are so self-sufficient and self-reliant. My father was the same and he lived almost to be 100. Remember Frank Sinatra's song "I did it My Way!"? Movies promote the same ideas.
After 'ask' He said seek! That implies asking and going about doing something. It means pursuing. Then comes persevere by knocking. Jerry & I have been watching a series on TV. Each episode had someone knock, knock, knocking on a door in the middle of the night. They did not stop knocking until the person inside the home answered the door.
In Luke 18:1 Jesus begins a story which illustrates this idea. It is NOT the Name it and Claim it idea. We do not tell God what to do. Instead God wants us to have faith. Faith is trusting God to do what He promises. God has all the power, not us. God is always good. He has no dark side. "God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5b