At a Time of Fear and Dark Thoughts, Sweep the ‘Night’ Away Through Spiritual Discipline
Keys to the glorious struggle called life on earth.
Faith can do anything and lead anywhere. Where faith begins, fear ends.
As with every other attribute, the way to increase faith is to practice it constantly. It is never wasted. We toss it like seed and some of it takes great root. As Scripture tells us, developing faith is like planting the seeds of the mustard tree. Those are among the tiniest seeds, but when nurtured they grow into an awesome plant, the bark impenetrable, the branches reaching heavenward, the roots able to split rocks. If you want to crack open a mountain – if you want to move a rock -- listen to what God has to say.
Any time we have faith we get blessed and any time we plant there will be a harvest, somehow, in some way. The better we become at it, the larger the harvest will eventually grow. Even if some things don't pan out -- even if certain prayers aren't "answered" -- we still receive benefits. The Lord may not answer precisely the way we designed, nor right away, but if so, it's because it is not what is best for you and your mission at that particular moment. Still, it goes into a spiritual “bank account.”
God keeps track of our faithfulness and adds "interest" each time we exercise it. Satan tries to rub our noses in the negative. We have to always reject his “evil reports.” Don’t listen to him. Don’t listen to the store clerk who makes a comment that causes an unintentional sting, that mentions something that bothers you, that brings something to mind that you are trying to forget. Don't listen to a doctor who offers no hope (he can never know for sure).
When we practice faith in both small and large things, when we are constant, and when we never allow in discouragement, we can expect a harvest or series of harvests. Sometimes, they come gradually; sometimes, it takes a while. But it comes because it’s inevitable. No exercise of faith is wasted. If we maintain trust in all things -- if we keep exercising it, if we keep tossing those seeds, relentlessly -- it's only a matter of time before a big prayer is answered by signs (followed by rewards).
Once we clear our thoughts, we have an opportunity to maintain a pure conscience. This is important, because besides exposing us to evil, negative thoughts infringe on the simplest miracle in daily life, which is happiness. We may not notice it, but a good day often takes a turn toward a bad one with a single bad thought, and so it’s at that very moment that we have to sweep away the seed.
Praise and thanks to God throughout the day makes it a blessed day even if it doesn’t happen to be an easy one.
Fruit will come of it. Note that Ephesians goes on to tell us that thankfulness keeps away the “fiery darts” of the enemy. It tells us to wear the helmet of faith. When we pray "without ceasing," this is the "helmet" and safest route through the journey of life because Satan wants nothing to do with our thoughts.
Nothing quashes the miraculous like negativity. Why?
The dictionary tells us that negativity diminishes the positive.
When we’re involved in negativity, it reduces the blessings that God has earmarked for us. God is positive and (like cables between car batteries) we have to be positive to connect to Him.
Negativity is a lack of gratefulness and that ingratitude separates us from God.
To be negative is to detract, to criticize, to look for the bad. It is a lack of love. In mathematics, it’s symbolized by the “minus” sign, and we see a clue right there.
It is less than nothing, below zero; the minus sign is an incomplete symbol whereas the “plus” sign is complete (and forms a cross).