Joel Osteen — Have A Positive Mindset
I want to talk to you about having a positive mind-set. Every day, we get to choose what kind of attitude we're going to have. Look on the bright side, expect good things, believe that our dreams will come to pass, or we can choose to be negative, focus on our problems, dwell on what didn't work out, live worried and discouraged. It's a choice that we all make. Nobody can force you to have a certain attitude.
Life will go so much better if you will simply choose to be positive. When you wake up in the morning, choose to be happy. Choose to be grateful for the day. Choose to focus on your possibilities. A good attitude doesn't automatically come. If you don't make this choice, most likely you will default back to a negative mind-set, thinking, "I don't feel like going to work. I've got so many obstacles. Nothing good ever happens to me".
The problem is a negative attitude will limit your life. We all face difficulties. We all have tough times, but the right attitude is, "This didn't come to stay. It came to pass, it's only temporary". Maybe you didn't get the promotion you were hoping for. You could easily be sour, "No, that's all right. I know God has something better in store". You got caught in traffic, "I'm not going to be stressed. I know I'm at the right place at the right time. God is directing my steps".
Perhaps the medical report wasn't good, "I'm not worried. God has me in the palm of his hand. The number of my days he's promised to fulfill". Or maybe it's that your dream is taking longer than you thought, but that's all right. "I know the right people, the right opportunities, are already in my future. At the right time, it will come to pass".
When you live with this positive mind-set, you can't be defeated. No matter what comes your way, you shake it off and move forward.
It's like a little boy I heard about. He had a baseball bat and a ball, and he said to himself, "I'm the best hitter in all the world". He threw the ball up, swung at it, and missed. Picked it up, straightened his hat, said it again, "I'm the best hitter in all the world". Threw the ball up a second time, swung away, and missed again. This time he said it even more determined, "I'm the best hitter in all the world". He threw the ball up the third time, concentrated, swung away, but he missed it the third time.
Laid the bat down, smiled real big, said, "What do you know? I'm the best pitcher in all the world". Stay positive. Learn to focus on the bright side. In every cloud. A lot of people use the excuse, "I'm negative because I've had negative things happen to me". "My business didn't make it". "A friend did me wrong". Or, "Joel, I'm dealing with this sickness. That's why I'm sour".
No, the truth is it's not our circumstances that make us negative. It's our attitude toward those circumstances. You can take 20 positive people and 20 negative people and give them the same problem. Put them on the same job, the same family, the same house, and the positive people will come out just as positive, with a great attitude, as happy as they were before. The negative, just as negative.
Same problem, exact circumstances, two different outcomes. What's the difference? Their attitude. Positive people have made up their mind to enjoy their lives. They focus on the possibilities, not the problems. They're grateful for what they have, not complaining about what they don't have. Positive people know that God is in control, and that nothing happens without his permission. They choose to bloom where they're planted. They don't wait for the situation to change, and then they're going to be happy. They're happy while God is changing the situation.
When you're positive, you are passing the test. You're saying, "God, I trust you. I know you're fighting my battles for me". I've learned, if you don't get happy where you are, you probably will never get to where you want to be. Don't wait for everything to work out, then you're going to have a good attitude. Have a good attitude now, then God can begin let's keep the right perspective.
Some people would love to have our problems. They would gladly trade places with you. They would love to have that job that has you frustrated. They would love to sit in traffic in that car you don't like. They would love to have your husband that gets on your nerves. Some of you are thinking, "Can I give you a phone number real quick"? They would love to live in that house that you think is too small, "And as soon as I get into this new neighborhood, then I'll be happy".
No, why don't you choose to be happy right where you are? Why don't you decide to have a good attitude with what you have, or with what you don't have? It's all in our approach to life. One man gets up and says, "Good morning, Lord". Another man gets up and says, "Good Lord, it's morning". Which man are you? You control what kind of day you're going to have.
You're as happy as you want to be, and a lot of times we're making ourselves unhappy. We can't control the weather, the traffic, how people treat us. If our happiness is based on everything going our way, everybody treating us right, we're going to live frustrated. Before you leave the house, you need to make up your mind you're going to stay positive what comes your way. You have to decide ahead of time.
That's what it says in colossians 3, "Set your mind on higher things and keep it set". The higher things are when you wake up in the morning, you need to set your mind for victory. Set your mind for success. Our attitude should be, "This is going to be a great day. God's favor is on my life. I'm excited about my future".
When your mind is set, positive, hopeful, expecting good things, that's when you'll go places that you've never dreamed. New doors will open. The right people, the right opportunities, will come across your path. But if you don't set your mind, negative thoughts will set it for you. You cannot start the day off in neutral. If you're passive, lying in bed, the thoughts will come, "You're never going to accomplish your dreams. Nothing good happens to you". "You'll never get married. You're too old". "You'll never get well". "You'll never get out of debt". You may not realize it, but that's setting the tone for defeat, for failure, for a lousy day.
Right at the start get your mind going this is the reason why some people don't have the energy they should, the passion, the enthusiasm, the vision. Their mind is set in the negative. It's been that way so long, they don't know any better. It's normal to them. They go out expecting problems, bad breaks, to barely get by. They live by Murphy's law. It says, "If anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible time". Things will take longer than they look. Everything will be harder than it seems.
Because they haven't set their mind, they go out they wonder why they can't get ahead and why everything is a struggle. It's because their mind has been set by default for defeat, for failure, for bad breaks. You've got to change your outlook. You are a child of the Most High God, you were never created to live an average, get-by, short-end-of-the-stick life. You were created to be the head and not the tail, to lend and not borrow, to reign in life as a king. That means you have royalty in your blood. Winning is in your DNA.
Now get rid of a negative mentality and set your mind for victory. Set your mind for increase. Set your mind for good breaks. Start expecting your plans to work out. Expect people to be good to you. Expect to have a productive day. If it doesn't happen, don't fall back into that old negative, defeated mentality, "Oh, I knew this wouldn't work for me, Joel. It always takes me longer than everybody else. I can never find a parking spot. Nobody treats me right". No, you're not a victim. You are a victor. You wouldn't have that opposition if there wasn't something amazing in your future.
Now keep a smile on your face. Keep a spring in your step. Stay positive. Stay hopeful. God is still on the throne. You may have had a lot of unfair, negative things happen in the past, but don't let that become a stronghold, a pattern, to where you think that's all there will ever be, and you live with a negative mind-set. No, if God were to show you all he has planned for you, it would boggle your mind. If you could see the doors he's going to open, the people he's going to bring across your path, the opportunities that are going to show up, you'd be amazed, excited, passionate. It would be easy to set your mind for victory.
This is what faith is all about. You have to believe it before you see it. Right now God's favor is surrounding you like a shield. Every setback was a setup for a greater comeback. Every disappointment, every bad break, every person that did you wrong was a part of the plan to get you to where you're supposed to be. Now don't fall into that negative mentality, complacent, just taking whatever life comes your way. No, set your mind for victory, for success, for new levels. Enlarge your vision. Make room for God to do something new. You haven't touched in store.
I was talking to a reporter one time, and I could tell he didn't like the fact that my message is very positive and very hopeful. He asked what I would tell a person that had lost their job, and didn't have any family, and they were about to lose their house and had nowhere to go, and had a child that was sick and needed treatment, on and on. He painted the worst possible situation. I said, "I would tell them, number one, to get up and find something to be grateful for, and number two, go out expecting it to turn around, expecting new doors to open, expecting a breakthrough".
Proverbs says, "When darkness overtakes the righteous, light will come bursting in". When it's dark, when you don't see a way out, you're in prime position for favor to come bursting in. He said, "Oh, Joel, wouldn't that just be giving them false hope"? Well, here's the alternative. I could tell them to be negative, get bitter, give up on your dreams, be depressed, start complaining. All that's going to do you may be in a difficult time, but you have to dig your heels in and say, "I refuse to live my life negative. I refuse to give up on my dreams. I refuse to go through life with no passion. I may not see a way, but I know God has a way. It may be dark, but I'm expecting the light to come bursting in. I'm setting my mind for victory".
That's what allows the creator of the universe to show up and do amazing things. It's not just mind over matter. It's not just a positive attitude. It's your faith being released. When you believe, it gets God's attention. When you go out expecting things to turn around, expecting dreams to come to pass, expecting health, wholeness, favor, divine connections, then almighty God goes to work. You may have had 1,000 bad breaks in the past, but don't use that as an excuse to be negative. One good break can make up for all those bad breaks. One touch of God's favor can catapult you further than you ever imagined.
Maybe you feel like you're falling behind. You're not where you should be in life. Don't worry. God knows how to make up for lost time. He knows how to accelerate things. Now do your part and shake off a negative mentality. Shake off pessimism, self-pity, discouragement, and get your fire back. Life is flying by. You don't have time to waste another day being negative. You have a destiny to fulfill. You have an assignment to accomplish. What's in your future is greater than anything you've seen in the past.
We need to get rid of the old Murphy's law and live by just the opposite. If anything good can happen today, it can happen to you and me. It's going to be easier than it seems. It's not going to take as long as it looks, why? You've been highly favored. Almighty God is breathing in your direction. You are equipped, empowered, well, you say, "Joel, you're just getting people's hopes up. You're just trying to get us to live positive". Yes, and here's why. God is a positive God. There is nothing if you're negative, sour, discouraged, you are going against the flow of God.
When we travel from Houston to Los Angeles on a plane, it always takes us 30 minutes longer to get there than it does to come back home. It's because the Jet Stream flows from west to east. When we're traveling there, there's a large mass of air that's always blowing against us, slowing us down. The plane has to work harder, use more fuel, but when we're coming back home, of course, it's just the opposite. The Jet Stream is working in our favor. It's pushing us forward, making it easier, saving us time and energy.
It's the same principle in life. When we're positive, hopeful, expecting good things, we're in the Jet Stream of almighty God. Things will be easier. You'll be more productive. You'll live happier, healthier, see more favor. But when we're negative, discouraged, everything is a struggle. We're having to work harder. We're not enjoying life.
Pay attention to what you're thinking. You can't think negative thoughts and live a positive life. You're going against the flow. If you go through the day thinking, "I'll never pass I can't stand my job. My marriage is never going to last. I'll never meet the right person," your life is going you're drawing in what you're continually thinking about, just like a magnet. "I can't pass this test". You're drawing in failure. "I'll never meet the right person". Drawing in loneliness. "I can't stand my job". Drawing in negativity. "I'll never accomplish my dreams". Drawing in mediocrity.
Here's the key. Just because a thought comes doesn't mean that you have to dwell on it. You control the doorway to your mind. If that thought is negative, discouraging, pushing you down, dismiss it. Don't give it the time of day. Keep the door closed. Choose to dwell on thoughts that empower you, inspire you, encourage you, thoughts that give you joy, faith, victory. If you'll keep your mind filled with the right thoughts, there won't be any room for the wrong thoughts. In other words, all through the day, "Something good is going to happen to me. I'm strong, healthy, talented. I will pass this test. I will meet the right people. I will overcome this obstacle. My best days are still out in front of me". When your mind is filled with thoughts of hope, faith, and victory, you're going to draw in the good things of God.
I read about this lady. She had been sick for several years, and she'd tried different doctors, but they couldn't really find out what was wrong with her, and this lady was extremely negative. She was always complaining about how she would never get well, and just like a magnet she kept drawing in more sickness. The battle is taking place what are you dwelling on all day? That's what you're drawing in.
She eventually went to another doctor, told him how bad she was, and how she was never going to get well, on and on. This doctor noticed how negative she was and decided to give her an unusual prescription. He had never done this. He said, "Five or six times an hour, I want you to say out loud, 'I'm getting better and better every day in every way.'" She said, "Doctor, I'm not going to do that. I want some real medicine. I want a normal prescription". He said, "No, you follow my orders, and we'll talk about what's next". She started doing this 50-60 times a day, and before long her attitude began to change.
In a few days, she noticed she was feeling better. In a couple of weeks, she got her joy back, her strength back. A month later, she was a different person. All the symptoms had gone. What happened? She changed her thinking, and instead of drawing in sickness, she started drawing in health.
Sometimes your body will not get well until your mind tells it to get well. You won't accomplish your dreams thinking, "I don't have the talent, the education, the connections". You have to give yourself permission to accomplish your dreams, permission to get out of debt, permission to overcome that obstacle. Studies even tell us that when we're negative, and we think sad, discouraging thoughts, our serotonin level goes down, that causes us to feel sad. It's not just in our thinking. It starts to affect our moods. But when we're positive, hopeful, expecting good things, endorphins are released that cause us to feel happy, to have more energy.
Puts a spring in our step. If you go around thinking, "I'll never get well. I'm so overweight. Think those negative thoughts, your faith, your energy, your enthusiasm is being drained out of you. Just like a big vacuum, it's pulling out the good things God has put in you. You'd be amazed at how much more energy you'd have, how much more productive you'd be, how much better you'd feel, if you just switch over to this positive mind-set. You have to think thoughts on purpose. "This is going to be a good day. 2018 is going to be my year. Of favor".
Ephesians 4 puts it like this, "Put on a fresh, new attitude". I've found yesterday's attitude is not good enough for today. Every morning you have to put on a fresh attitude, "I'm going to choose to be happy today. I'm going to be good to other people today. Today, not get upset". When you put on that fresh, new attitude, it's putting you in the Jet Stream of God. That's when you'll accomplish things that you could not accomplish on your own. You will overcome obstacles that look bigger, stronger, more powerful.
That's what Daniel did. The scripture says that he was a person of excellence. He stood out in the crowd. He was a cut above. How did he do it? Every morning he got up early, opened his window, and thanked God for the day, thanked him for his goodness, thanked him that he was well-able. He was putting on a fresh, new attitude. He was setting his mind for victory. As a young man, of a foreign nation. At one point, this king put out a decree that for 30 days no one could pray to any God, except the king's God. If they did, they would be thrown into a lion's den and killed.
Well, that didn't stop Daniel. He kept on praying to the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Some of his enemies told the king, and the king was heartbroken. He loved Daniel, but he had already put out this decree. He couldn't go back on his word. Daniel said, "King, don't worry. I'll be fine. The God I serve is well able to deliver me".
That's what happens when you start the day off in faith, thinking thoughts on purpose. When you face difficulties, you don't fall apart. You don't get bitter, "Why is this happening to me"? No, you rise up in faith and say, "My God is well able. I'm armed with strength for this battle. No weapon formed against me will ever prosper".
The authorities had Daniel of over 100 hungry lions. They were expecting him to be eaten immediately. But when you live with an attitude of faith, God will fight your battles. God sent an angel to close the mouths of those lions. The next morning, early, the king came to check on Daniel. Saw him lying there asleep, unharmed, refreshed. The king got him out and said, "Hey, from now on, we're all going to worship the God of Daniel. That's the true and the living God".
Here's an interesting thought. In the scripture, nothing negative is written about Daniel or about Joseph. I'm sure they made mistakes, but you can't find a record of anything they did wrong. Other heroes of faith, like Abraham, Moses, David, the apostle Paul, there are accounts where they blew it. This is making the point that Daniel and Joseph were good people, but they faced bad circumstances. Unfair things happened to them. They were mistreated. They faced incredible odds.
But if you study their lives, one common denominator is they lived with this positive mind-set. They had an attitude of faith. They didn't get bitter. They didn't make excuses. Every morning, they got their mind going in the right direction, knowing that "Our God is well able". They both saw God's goodness, but in the same way, you can be a good person and have bad circumstances, and it's easy to get negative and think, "I don't understand why my child got sick, why I came down with this problem, or why these people did me wrong".
No, dig your heels in and do like Daniel. Get up every morning in the midst of that battle, look up, and say, "Lord, thank you for another great day. Lord, I know you're bigger than this problem, greater than this sickness, more powerful than my enemies. Father, thank you that today things are changing in my favor".
In difficult times, more than ever, make sure you put on that fresh, new attitude. Make sure you set your mind for victory, and here's the key: keep it set. When those thoughts come telling you, "It's never going to work out. It's been too long. The report is too bad," no, dismiss them, and say like he did, "My God is well able. He's done it for me in the for me again in the future".
Here's my challenge to you: keep your mind going in the right direction. Learn to think thoughts on purpose, "Something good is going to happen to me. 2018 is my year". If you'll develop this habit of having a positive mind-set, you cannot be defeated. You'll not only live healthier, happier, have more energy, but I believe and declare you will accomplish more than you ever imagined. You will overcome obstacles that looked impossible, and you will become everything God's created you to be. In jesus' name.