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How to stay positive in a negative world
It’s unavoidable. Everywhere you look, people are fighting. They’re throwing punches and they’re saying hurtful things. There’s rioting, looting, screaming and yelling. And there is hatred. How on earth can we stay positive in a negative world?
We all believe in what we are doing, and we want to force our opinions down our opposers throats. And then, of course, there’s illness and death. Our friends and family are sick, they’re dying and we’re distancing ourselves because we don’t want to get sick too.
Walmart is open, but the churches are closed. There’s no toilet paper on the store shelves and people are in a state of panic. So they’re hoarding at the expense of those who really need it. Our world has become survival of the fittest and we are definitely not being positive in a negative world.
The devil is having a field day. God is not surprised. Of course, He’s never surprised. He knows and He’s just waiting for us to wake up, stop all the noise, turn to Him and say, “forgive me Jesus, I need you to save me.”
10 ways for how to stay positive in a negative world
I know you’re wondering, how do we get through the tough times? Do hard times make you stronger? Do hard times last forever? What do you say in difficult times? How do you get hope in hard times? Well keep reading, my friend. We are going to address all these questions, and more.
I polled many of my blogger friends and I asked them to share their secrets on staying positive in a negative world. You’ll find their quotes on staying optimistic scattered throughout this post. So let’s get started. First, starting with the how. How do we get through the tough times?
Pray without ceasing and keep working for the Lord
1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV says to Pray without ceasing.
Keeping an open line of communication with God throughout the day is the best course of action. Prayer is the answer for how to stay positive during difficult times.
Ultimately the Lord is in charge. But He wants to hear from us. We can pray that He changes the hearts and minds of those people that are making the noise and doing the damage. But shouldn’t we also be praying that He keep our hearts and minds focused where they should be, away from the negativity and onto Him?
We must also pray for God’s people to rise up, stay optimistic and strong in our faith and be great witnesses for Him. I feel encouraged when I see our brothers and sisters in Christ doing their jobs. We have missionaries from our church, living in the Philippines who are witnessing and souls are being saved…regularly, and through the crisis… with masks on! Praise the Lord!
Keep on praying and keep on working. The Lord knows what’s happening. He has a plan. Although we see things one way, rest assured that God sees it another. And in the end all things will be done for our good and His glory. So stay optimistic, my friends. Being positive in a negative world means turning your worry and concerns over to God. He can handle it.
When times are tough: Quotes about staying positive through prayer
Maree from Embracing the Unexpected says “Starting my day with God. – a little scripture, prayer, journal writing, and music.”
Diane from Worth Beyond Rubies says “As a Messianic Jew, I find peace in praying the prayers from the Siddur (the Jewish prayer book). Praying the same prayers my ancestors prayed and that Jesus Himself prayed gives me peace in knowing that He is still in control and that although we have gone through difficult times in our history, our faith is alive, He is still there and His Word is still active and true in the world!”
Monica from Kingdom Tea with Moni says “My “secret” is communing ALL throughout my day with the Holy Spirit. There are no shortcuts in building a relationship with the Lord. It takes consistency learning to apply the Word of God to every area of our lives. Positivity comes and goes, like our moods. But the Word is a firm, sure foundation!”
Turn off the news and remove yourself from all things negative
Let’s face it, how often do we get anything that makes us feel good when we turn on the news? Social media has gotten so political and divided as well. Staying positive in a negative world means turning off the noise and finding something better to do with your time.
I don’t know why all the news channels take such a negative spin. I cannot believe for one minute that they actually believe they’re helping us. There’s always an agenda and apparently the only way to get your agenda across is to throw rotten tomatoes at the people who are trying to make a difference.
The enemy is having a field day. We know he won’t win and so does he. But for now he’s trying to discourage us and turn God’s people toward his way of thinking, and a lot of that is coming through the news. Resist the enemy. Turn to God and choose to stay optimistic, positive and thankful.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When times are tough: Quotes about avoiding the negativity
Summer from Life is a Vapor, says “Lately, I’ve been trying to stay away from cable news since there’s been so much going on that is so negative in the U.S. and around the world. Watching the news can be very discouraging sometimes! Our family has regular devotional times in the evenings which helps us to inject God’s Word into our circumstances. We sing and spend time in prayer, expressing gratitude for God’s goodness through dark times. It makes a world of difference in how we perceive all that is happening around us.
Michelle from Truthfully Michelle says “I think Jesus and Moses knew what they were doing when they removed themselves from the business of life and people to just go spend time with the Lord. I definitely find spending a couple of days solely dedicated to speaking to Godly friends, reading the Bible and in prayer to be so helpful to my positivity when I am feeling lost, lonely or confused. And removing yourself from that negative environment or situation can allow you to see God’s light on the situation.
Focus on gratitude to stay optimistic
And now we get to talk about another one of my favorite topics, gratitude. I believe that you can turn everything around with faith and gratitude. If you want to know how to stay positive during difficult times, pull out your gratitude journal and go through all of your blessings.
There is always something to be thankful for. If you need help, be sure to grab my Count Your Blessings Gratitude Calendar. It contains 40 different gratitude prompts to remind you of what you have to be thankful for.
Truly, by focusing on being grateful, it’s a wonderfully effective way of shifting your focus from negativity to joy. Isn’t joy a better use of your time and energy than negativity? Also, thankful people don’t see as much negative. They have the tendency to stay optimistic and to be more positive. Plus they’re way more fun to be around.
When times are tough: Quotes about gratitude
Stacy from Radiant Pearl Living says “I reflect on the things I am grateful for and journal the things I am handing over to Christ as I plan daily to accomplish the vision He has given me in the current season I am in and it helps that I tune out the noise to audibly hear the voice that matters. Jesus reassures me as I spend time worshiping in His presence and meditating on His goodness found in His Word and all around me in my home.”
Vickie from the Watering Can Blog says “Choosing to be thankful in the small things.”
Finding a healthy distraction is a great solution for staying positive in tough times
If you’re looking for how to stay positive in a negative world, you need a healthy way to distract yourself when you start to feel discouraged and pessimistic. Do whatever you can do to take your mind off of things. Pray, read, exercise, call a friend, spread kindness. These are all great ways to redirect your negative focus onto something positive.
What kind of hobby or activity do you have to distract yourself and help you stay positive in a negative world? Some of my favorite hobbies are in this list. They include things like blogging, gardening and cooking.
Regardless of what kind of distraction you choose, avoid the negativity. Don’t get sucked into things that influence your mindset to anything other than good, positive and Godly thoughts. Pray for strength. Pray for the Lord to increase your faith and keep you from things that will discourage you.
When times are tough: Quotes about finding a great distraction
Valerie from Victory Through Surrender says “Jesus all day. Music, reading, social media, whatever I can do to keep my mind upward rather than inward or outward. Limiting the news and noticing the little gifts God sprinkles in my day.”
Carissa from Faith and Felt Obsession says “When I have had a lot of stress to deal with, I found that directing my energy and thoughts into a project really helped. That’s how the Bible Quiet Book Project was born (see her link) – it gave me something else to think about besides my problems and something to do physically to release tension.”
Step back and look at things from a different perspective to stay optimistic
Sometimes we can be so ingrained in our opinion that we don’t take the time to listen to what other people are saying. I think that’s half the problem this world is facing right now. We all want to force our opinions down the other guy’s throats.
But what if we actually took the time to listen to what the other person is saying? What if we put ourselves in the shoes of the other person? There’s an American Proverb that says “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” This means that until you’ve been in their exact situation, you can’t really know for sure what they’re going through. So don’t judge them. We need to remember this quote more often.
Looking at things from a different perspective won’t always change your mind or the mind of someone else. But it will probably give you more compassion. After all, we’re looking for more positivity in a dark and sin-cursed world.
A different, and better perspective is one that chooses love over everything. Jesus said to love God first, then love everybody else as ourselves. That love He’s talking about is the Godly love of Christ.
We need to have the kind of love so that they will know we are Christians by our love. If others can tell we love Jesus by the way we treat others, then we have Christian love. That is the best perspective of all.
When times are tough: Quotes about taking a step back for a new perspective
Julie from Mom Remade says “Each trial is an opportunity to release your will over to the God of the universe and believe He can work on your behalf. If He can set the planets in orbit, balance the galaxies, create the heavens and earth, breathe life into a man and animals, create the oceans…He can manage your little world. Remember this when you think, “God has abandoned me.” Have faith in these five truths no matter what.”
Alexandra from Coffee with Pixie Dust says “Take one step at a time, and focus on one positive thought.”
Look for the blessing or the silver lining in the dark cloud
Staying positive in a negative world means that you look for the blessings in the challenges. When times are tough, don’t take the woe-is-me route. Pray for faith and strength, gird up your positive mindset and get dirty.
Learning to walk with two prosthetic legs and creating an independent life as a quad amputee was no cake walk. But by the glorious grace of God and the help of my incredible family, I rebounded and got to work.
Where is the silver lining in a life-altering illness and amputations? I was blessed with the first-hand understanding that if your challenges don’t kill you they can definitely make you stronger. You just have to want to grow from it. From my experience, I have learned to look for the blessings, not the curses.
When you look for the silver lining during the tough times, it changes your mindset. It makes you more positive. And we definitely need more positive thinking in the world today.
When times are tough: Quotes about finding blessings in the hard times
Miranda from Miranda Rejoice says “I quote bible verses (a few of my favorites are John 14:27, John 16:33), pray often throughout the day, and focus on serving those in need while simultaneously thanking God for my blessings and that I have it better than many.”
Spend time with positive people, doing positive things
We all know how depressing it is to hang out with negative people. I often wonder if they realize how much of a Debbie Downer they really are. In fact, I’ve been known to tell people “snap out of it, you’re bringing me down.”
I get it. We can’t all be happy-go-lucky all the time. But, when we’re with other people, it’s important that we’re not the most depressing person in the room. I like to be the most optimistic and hopeful. I think it’s important to set a great example for our friends and family.
I don’t believe that Jesus was pessimistic and negative. So as Christians, our job is to follow His example. He led the way by sharing His love for God and others through service.
So what kinds of positive things should we be doing? I believe that everybody should have an agenda for spreading positivity everywhere they go. Because when you’ve got a happy, optimistic outlook, you will get that in return.
When times are tough: Quotes about staying positive in a negative world
Jennifer from Why Give Online says “Choosing to engage in actively loving others. It focuses my mind on being part of a positive solution, instead of feeling powerless to the overwhelming negativity.
What contribution can you make to help the situation?
There are so many ways to encourage and bless others. I would start by spending time with positive people and treating others the way that you would want to be treated.
We can be encouraging to others by simply putting their needs before ours. Ask yourself, “what does this person need most from me?” Then give it to them. You can encourage them with words, a simple compliment, or simply listening to them. You can even give them some of these Bible verses about encouragement.
I’m a huge fan of spreading kindness and looking for opportunities to help people. If you’ve ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness, you know how awesome and encouraging it is. So take every opportunity that you can to touch the lives of another. Whatever you do, blessing others and learning how to stay positive during difficult times is your objective.
When times are tough: Quotes about showing kindness to others
Nita from In the Whisper says “When I find myself becoming annoyed with a situation or someone I ask myself “why”. Why is she grumbling at me? Why is the clerk moving so slow? I’m not going to get an answer most likely but the why question reminds me there is much I don’t know. I also try to remind myself that Jesus died just as much for this person and loves them just as much as He did for me.”
Stop and smell the roses to stay positive during difficult times
In our busy lives, we often neglect to appreciate the wonder and beauty that surrounds us. The phrase “stop and smell the roses” is a great reminder of what we miss on a daily basis.
If you’re wondering how to stay positive in a negative world, make the effort to appreciate what is around you. I believe this is known as mindfulness. Use your five senses. Savor the taste of your ice cream, your coffee and your dinner. Take in the sight of the flowers, trees and mountains on a beautiful, sunny day.
Feel the breeze on your face as you absorb the sunshine, while sitting in the lounge chair on your back porch. Listen to the birds sing and the river flowing and the sound of your kids laughing. Smell the flowers, the food cooking on the grill, and brownies baking in the oven.
Basically use your five senses and pay attention to everything around you. Be mindful of things and enjoy those things that are so often taken for granted. Savor the things that happen in your day. When you do that, you’ll find so much more to be thankful for and your positivity will grow.
Find joy and contentment with Jesus to stay positive during difficult times
Joy comes when you put your faith and trust in the Lord, Jesus Christ and accept Him as your savior. As your faith grows, you get that peace that passes all understanding. Put your faith in the Lord because He is the only way to true joy.
Joy is an internal emotion that doesn’t change when things get tough. It won’t matter if you get sick or have a bad day. You’ll still have joy and contentment because you know you have your eternal security.
Happiness, on the other hand, is a surface level emotion that can change in an instant. Your mood can go from happy to sad just because someone cut you off in traffic. So if you’re going to choose, choose happiness and positivity. But for true joy, choose Jesus.
When times are tough: Quotes about finding joy
Riley from Motherhood is a Ministry says “Seeking answers AND JOY in the Word of God. So many times we seek answers in ourselves, tiring our brains out as we hammer these thoughts over and over. But the Bible has all the answers. It also has stories of JOY. There’s so much positivity in the Bible that we overlook, but these are stories we can hold onto while our own lives feel like chaos. Plus, a few dance parties.”
Colleen from Rest and Chaos says “Listening to worship music helps me to stay positive and remember who is really in control.”
Do hard times make you stronger?
This is one of those common questions that might arise when thinking about staying positive in tough times. I believe that the answer to this lies in your own personal constitution. I have heard of people who, when faced with a major challenge, give in to it and just don’t fight back and they let it consume them.
However, my guess is that most people are fighters. The old adage, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, really is true. In my own experience, I have learned that challenges are God’s way of purifying us. Like gold in a refining fire that strips away the impurities and makes the gold pure. That’s what challenges do for us. They test our faith. The more our faith gets tested, the more it grows.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Do hard times last forever?
Sometimes it sure feels like hard times will last forever. But they don’t. Just think back to previous challenges that you’ve been through that you thought would never end. But now you realize, Hey…that was ten years ago. Time really does go fast.
So, pray through it, build your resistance, strength, patience, and hope. For through it all, you’ll grow your faith.
James 1:3-4 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Roman’s 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
What to say in difficult times?
Obviously, when someone else is going through trials, it can be hard to help them stay positive. Many times it’s not even what you say, but just being there for them is what they need from you. Encourage them through listening, offering to help with chores or errands, take the kids off their hands for a few hours. These are just a few things that will help your friend who is going through trials.
Other ideas can be found in the following posts:
How do you get hope in hard times?
Let’s look at the biblical definition. According to Bible Study Tools, hope means “To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.” The Greek word for hope in the Old Testament is “to trust”. Remember that hope is one of the three remaining gifts that we are left with; faith, hope and love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
It’s important to put your trust in the Lord that the hard and negative times will pass and things will turn positive real soon. Keeping a positive perspective also helps. Just remember, there is always hope.
Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
Roman’s 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Roman’s 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Being positive in a negative world takes effort, no doubt. But if it’s important to you, you’ll make it work. Use the tips given here to keep your thoughts and activities focused on the right things. Seek the Lord and His will and guidance and you will find that it’s not as hard as you thought to keep things positive and optimistic. But don’t wear your rose-colored glasses so much that you become oblivious to reality. Be aware, yet positive and practical.
What are your best tips for staying positive and optimistic? Are you discouraged or are you trusting God to see you through your tough times? Be sure to share your tips and thoughts on keeping your faith in the comments below.
***All Scripture comes from the King James version of the Holy Bible
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