Monday, April 27, 2009

I was introduced to Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking, many years ago and its principles have had a profound effect on my life. Dr. Peale emphasized applying faith in daily life in order to overcome life’s problems and to seize opportunities. Peale confessed that as a youth he had "the worst inferiority complex of all," so he developed his positive thinking/positive confession philosophy just to help himself. You see, he found hope; he held on to hope; then he handed out hope. He said, “The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.”

He was a possibilitarian.
How can we hand out hope? How can we become possibilitarians?

I’d like to share 5 S words that will help us to hand out hope:
Share, Smile, Speak, Send, and Show

S #1 - Share Love
Christ gave us 2 very important commandments. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” The greatest form of love is agape love, a love that is from God and is meant to be shared. It is an empathetic love.
You may be familiar with the song, "Share the Love."
So many people hopeless, so many live in fear,
They wander in darkness, they cry a lonely tear.
So many people hurting, and it seems nobody cares;
But you can be the difference with all the love you share.

The following list of S words will show us how to share love.

S # 2 – Simply Smile
Proverbs 15:13 tells us, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful.” We can begin handing out hope with a smile A smile is the universal symbol for happiness or joy. A smile crosses all language barriers.

I have experienced much joy and much sadness in my life through cancer, divorce, an injured child, the death of my brother and then the death of a spouse. I know that behind many smiles lie a thousand sorrows. Yet giving a smile has been a way I’ve chosen to spread hope. A smile can give you a happiness boost and others a happiness boost.

S #3 - Speak Encouragement:
Ephesians 4:29 tell us, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
Athletic teams have a home court advantage when they hear thousands of fans cheering them on. We’re like that too. Sometimes we need the home court advantage. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us “Go!, You can do it! Run to the finish line! You can score! You’re the one! You’re special!, You’re important!” To encourage is to inspire someone with courage. Mark Twain said he could live 2 months on a compliment. When we speak a word of encouragement, we are giving someone extra courage to do something, try something, or find hope in something.

S #4 - Send Notes:
I received a note from a really new friend not too long ago with this scripture, Psalm 16:9, “I’m happy from the inside out and from the outside in.” Don’t you know that brightened my day!
Tell someone you’re praying for her. You can write a specific Scriptures as a prayer. Romans 15:13, "[I pray that] the God of hope [will] fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

S #5 - Show Kindness
We can take the advice of John Wesley
Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can!
Kindness may mean a warm hug, quality time spent with someone, a home cooked meal, or a book of stamps. I’ll never forget that after my husband’s death, my sweet neighbor who had been a widow herself came to my house with a roll of stamps. “Honey, she said, you’ll need them.” A simple, but meaningful act of kindness.

It's an interesting fact of history that the Romans confused the Greek word "christos" (Christ), with the word "chrestos," which means "kind". They sometimes said the word for “kind” when they meant the word for “Christ.” What a beautiful way to transpose words. See how many people you can confuse this week with Christ and kindness.

We have a choice each day. We can put on the glasses of hope or the glasses of despair. We can choose to look for a future good. Or we can live in the darkness and gloom of the present. Ladies, let’s learn to heal our brokenness with hope. Let’s hold on to that hope through good times and bad. Then let’s handout that hope.

In the words of Norman Vincent Peale, "Hope! What a wonderful word it is! Write it indelibly on your mind. H-O-P-E. It is a bright word, shining and scintillating and dynamic, forward looking, full o courage and optimism. With this word, let us begin tomorrow."
This devotion is a portion of a speech I gave at a ladies luncheon. You may hear the speech by clicking on this link - http://christplace.org/pdfs/CathysTalk.WMA
To post a comment -- Click on the title of this blog, "Hope," at the top of the page. When the new page appears, scroll to the bottom and make a comment.


Cheri Bout said...

Cathy! I loved this blog on HOPE! I am going to send it on to several I know can use your wonderful words! Many blessings to you this day! Cheri

Tracy Thompson said...

Cathy, I always look forward to receiving your blogs each week, but I must say the one on HOPE was so inspiring. It just makes me want to be a better person. Thank you for all your efforts each week that help me with my spiritual growth. Tracy

Elaine Erwin said...

Cathy, You really bring these 5 S words to life! This weeks message SPEAKS LOUD AND CLEAR! Thanks for the encouragement. Elaine

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