February 7, 2010
Proverbs 23:7—For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
We usually have no control over what happens to us. But we are responsible for how we respond to what happens to us.
Fritz Kunkle said that our last freedom in life is to determine our attitude in any given situation.
? The Bible has a lot to say about choosing our attitudes:
? Everything is possible for him who believes (Mark 9:23).
? I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! (Matthew 9:29)
? 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 such things (Philippians 4:8).
A positive attitude produces a good result; a negative attitude produces a bad result. Compare the lives of the apostles Paul and Thomas. Paul said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13). He was three times given the notorious thirty-nine lashes. He was shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, the object of death threats and public hatred. Yet he was able to write, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). He wrote that, as he wrote most of the New Testament, from a dark, damp, disease-infested jail cell. That is a positive result in an impossible situation.
Thomas had the benefit of three and a half years of following Christ and personally witnessing miracles that stagger the mind. Yet when Jesus rose from the dead and the other disciples ran to him with the news, Thomas just rolled out his lower lip and pouted, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” (John 20:25).
Two men, two different choices. One is forever branded as Doubting Thomas. The other is mentioned in hushed tones as the apostle of power who established the church of Jesus Christ.