Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 7.26.11

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TUESDAY — “Mr. Negativity” The Perpetual Pessimist
Big Point: Many of us battle A.N.T.’s (Automatic Negative Thoughts) on a regular basis. The key to overcoming them is to focus on God’s eternal Truths.

The power of positive thinking– have you heard of this? Most self-help gurus, like Tony Robbins and Stephen Covey and highly notable business leaders like Jim Collins, would say that having a positive attitude is one of the most important keys to success in life and in business.

So let’s do a self-check: what is your attitude towards life like? Is your cup half full or is it half empty? Do you live with automatic negative thoughts, also known as A.N.T.’s, or are your thoughts automatically positive?

Jeremiah seemed to live with his cup half empty, with a big ole’ hole in the bottom, and lots of A.N.T.’s in his pants and everywhere else. The great news for Jeremiah and for us is that God is big enough to hear and handle our negative attitude. Our attitude does not affect His goodness and grace at all. Too often we treat God as one we can fool into thinking we are better than we know we are. But a key to overcoming a negative attitude is to admit it. “The revealing of your feeling is the beginning of your healing” is a statement worth trying. Reveal your true feelings, frustrations, and joys to God. He is big enough to handle it. Your day may seem dark–tell God about it. A positive attitude could be just around the corner.

READ…What does the Bible say?
Jeremiah 15:10, 18 (NLT)
10Then I said, “What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay—yet they all curse me.” 18Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.”

Jeremiah 20:14-18 (NLT)
14Yet I curse the day I was born! May no one celebrate the day of my birth. 15I curse the messenger who told my father, “Good news—you have a son!” 16Let him be destroyed like the cities of old that the Lord overthrew without mercy. Terrify him all day long with battle shouts, 17because he did not kill me at birth. Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb, that her body had been my grave! 18Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

THINK…Find the answers
List out some of the A.N.T.’s (Automatic Negative Thoughts), those complaints that Jeremiah uttered to God and had swirling in his head as described in Jeremiah 15:10,18 and 20:14-18.

LIVE…What will you do now?
Not that you’ve listed some of the complaints Jeremiah uttered to God, compare his complaints to your own. In telling God your complaints do you experience guilt or shame?

Do you feel dirty and unclean? What would a healthy way of processing these complaints look like?

If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, ask God to cover your guilt with His grace. It’s safe to safe to discuss your feelings with God since He already knows them. Perhaps you can find a friend who is a good listener and share your complaints with him or her. List out who you may wish to contact:


Attitude of Gratitude
Instead of asking “Why Me?”
Try asking “Why Not Me?”
When cancer strikes a spouse…
Not, “Why me?”
but “Why Not Me?”
When divorce papers come…
Not, “Why Me?”
but “Why Not Me?”
When an accident happens…
Not, “Why Me?”
but “Why Not Me?”
Because, no matter what,
God is GOOD…ALL the time!

PRAY…God, What do You want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you to pray honest prayers about how you feel; to help you grasp His grace to replace your guilt; to give you a heart to have an attitude of gratitude; and to use you to bless those around you today.

Daily Bible Reading Commentary: Jeremiah 27-31
Ch. 27: Those refusing to serve “the God who made them” may justly be made to serve the very enemies who sought to ruin them. God has an indisputable right to dispose of kingdoms as He pleases. v2: “Yoke” symbolizes captivity or bondage.
Ch. 28: Those who tell sinners that they’ll “have peace”, in spite of their contempt for the advice in God’s Word and from His true prophets, have a great deal to answer for. It’s no new thing for lying prophets to father their message upon the God of truth, but they will surely be brought to shame.
Ch 29: As long as we have God’s sure Word before us, it is our own fault if we’re deceived, for by it we may be undeceived. If vengeance shall be taken on those who rebel against God’s Word, much more on those who teach rebellion by their destructive doctrines. v11-14: What God planned, He also gave the people opportunity to participate in by sincere prayer that He would answer (1 Jn 5:14-15).
Ch 30: Summary of Israel in the coming great tribulation. Israel, after many years of wandering among the nations, is to be finally purified in a season of tribulation such as the world’s never known nor ever will know again. The purposes of God’s wrath will all be fulfilled, and then Israel shall be gloriously restored as a nation. The time of Jacob’s trouble is a period of seven years coming at the close of the present age, followed immediately by the return of Christ in glory to set up His kingdom. See Christ’s own Word: Matt 24:15-31.
Ch 31: God will again, at the end of the age, take Israel into a new covenant relationship, from which they’ve been cut off for hundreds of years because of rebellion against His Word. At that time, all shall come to the knowledge of God, and the earth shall be filled with songs of joy. vv33-34: This can be applied in the Gospel age to those who’ve accepted Jesus Christ, those who are yielded to the Holy Spirit to have God’s will revealed to them, and have the assurance that their sins through Christ are remembered no more.

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