Our thoughts contribute to how our body handles disease. “Depression, anxiety, stress, anger, and fear all have widespread and well-documented physiological effects which can affect essential aspects of our biochemistry, from hormone production, to our perception of pain.”1 Negative attitudes may actually determine if we are to become infected in an epidemic or if some mild illness becomes severe.
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Tangible things, like nutrition and exercise, are important of course, but intangible factors like proper thoughts are also important. If people are kind, honest, calm, and have a humble attitude, they are normally healthier. They tend to have a stable mind and better health and don’t easily become anxious or depressed.2
For instance, if deceitful information or fake news is brought to light, or the suppression of free speech and persecution of whistle-blowers is enforced, people produce elevated stress hormones which can damage their immunity to disease.3 Whereas those of us who are calm and slow to anger in facing propaganda and associated problems, can get through it without it affecting our health as much.
Some people today believe global governments have been withholding information about the serious side effects and death caused by the Covid-19 vaccinations during the past few years. And anyone trying to publicize that knowledge to those being deceived is labeled as perpetuating conspiracy theories. Being unable to expose evil intentions and acts, or realizing you have yourself been deceived, can cause the depression, anxiety, stress, anger, and fear mentioned above.
And some evidence does indicate that a distressed person who has received all their Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters has a higher chance of vaccine-related sickness and death, than that of a person who has never been vaccinated for the disease.4 That information alone is stressful and confusing to vaccinated people as they finally come to realize they have been deceived by institutions they trusted. (I encourage everyone to investigate this, as there are ways to help fight the injection damage.)
Covid-related factors are not the only things causing confusion and disorder. Recently there has been increased religious persecution against Christians worldwide. And what about the effects of anti-police riots, the flood of gay and transgender activities, and the rumors of unjust military hostilities? The list of current Godless activities is long. The truth behind this morally objectionable behavior will be even more evident during the coming Great Tribulation period, when more lawlessness is uncontrolled. (We will focus upon this tribulation period later in this discourse.)
On top of trying to understand this present illogical world, some people may be going through personal rough times, or they may have had to take a detour off their chosen path to happiness. Sooner or later, we all face at least some of these things.
So, how do we keep a positive outlook in such a world that is crushing down upon us? Whatever the problems we may face, any true happiness we seek can only be found through God who, despite what we don’t like about our life, has given us much. So, to be content we must start by having faith in God and appreciating what we already have, not focusing on that which we don’t.5
Because of my own experiences I know such an attitude is sometimes difficult to have, but God has promised an end to the terrible tribulations we face and I now have the faith to believe him. The dawn of a new earth will arrive with the eradication of all evil influences. It will be a paradise in which we can live, just as the first human couple had in the Garden of Eden before evil entered our world. If we are practicing Christians, we can expect to receive God’s promise. This won’t be the new world order that corrupt politicians speak about today, but a return of the historic world order first originated by God.6
How to separate ourselves from those causing the current evil.
The primary meaning of ‘happiness’ in most global languages seems to involve the notion of good fortune or of being blessed.7 So, researching ‘happiness’ for information in the Bible isn’t easy, unless you search for verses that contain synonyms, like cheerful, content, gladness, joy, pleasure, or blessed.8
Jesus used the term ‘blessed’ a lot, especially in the Beatitudes during his Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5:1-11).9 He wasn’t necessarily telling everyone they were happy at the time, but that they would be. And that is part of the answer to happiness here on the present earth, the fact that we can all be blessed if we reach out to obtain it.
Many people confuse happiness and pleasure and it is important to understand this difference. When we do meaningful things, we are left with a deeper sense of well being and contentment. But when we chase after happiness in this modern society, we many times end up feeling unhappier, since it makes us feel lonelier.10
So we need guidance in separating happiness from pleasure. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we humans can be easily swayed by what is pleasing to our eyes. Sometimes, navigating our complex road through life can lead us astray and we may find ourselves unknowingly following the wrong god.11
Love is a primary example highlighting this thought. To “make love,” or have sexual contact can easily bring physical pleasure, but outside of marriage or in wrong circumstances, it may bring stress, unhappiness, and eventual loneliness. That is a ‘taking’ love, not a ‘sharing’ love. But to have the same connection within a solid relationship of mutually caring can bring true happiness on a spiritual level with our partner.
But there are many other kinds of love, besides that of a sexual nature. One is the love of caring about humanity — that neighborly or brotherly or sisterly Christian love — which brings true happiness and meaning into your life. Just treat others as we would expect to be treated ourselves (see Luke 6:31). We should all renew ourselves in knowledge according to the image of our creator (see Colossians 3:9-10). Basically, we should put on a new ‘self’ and become new creatures, by growing more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ. That will bring us true happiness and pleasure by giving us a meaningful life, one of purpose.
The apostle Paul gives us examples of loving acts and attitudes, those he terms the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’, the things that are evidence of having and expressing God’s Holy Spirit. He said, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things” (Galatians 5:22-23, NRSV).12
Paul also gives evidence of those attributes that do not express God’s spirit. Those that emulate Satan’s character express an opposite outlook, what he terms ‘Works of the Flesh’. “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
So, it is fairly easy to understand if someone is filled with sinful thoughts. Those works of the flesh not only define many common people, but also many politicians, celebrities, and business leaders, too. And Paul points out the obvious: “Do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want” (Galatians 5:16b-17).
Should we follow Old Testament or New Testament Commandments?
Old Testament laws were given to a nation of sinners and it was to demonstrate that it was impossible for the people to fully obey them. Those Israelites were, in fact, hopeless sinners demonstrating the unworthiness of humankind to receive any blessing, unless by the grace of God. Although they continually failed, they could always depend upon God to find a way to fulfill his own promises.13 They did not know at the time the law was given, that it was but a temporary measure until the later coming of a Messiah as liberator from our sinful nature and death itself.
Paul the Apostle explained to new Christian converts that the Old Testament law was no longer needed, for the fruit of God’s spirit establishes a new person in the image of God. Now the apostle was writing not only about the Ten Commandments, but all 613 commandments which cover a wide range of social demands, as well as the treatment of animals, the environment, and much more.
Those 613 laws included positive commandments for humankind to perform, as well as negative ones from which to abstain. They are scattered among several books of the Bible (a link listing all of them is in References & Notes).14 These ancient laws were only meant to be a starting point for moral and ethical human advancement — a guide, so to speak.
True Christians believe that Jesus Christ put an end to following all those laws about two thousand years ago, not because he eliminated them, but that he demonstrated it is the spirit of the law that must be obeyed and they could all be summed up quite easily. It was radical at the time when he stated, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34). He actually compacted the whole Mosaic Law down to a single word: love.
Our education is still in progress. Many have graduated from the physical Old Testament Laws of our primary schooling to the higher spiritual Laws of Jesus Christ. And the coming new age is when we should graduate from God’s high school. That is when we will find out if we have passed the final exam needed to enter eternal life. Not everyone graduated from God’s primary school and not everyone will graduate from secondary school, either. God allows us to use our free will to learn the lessons necessary for living in a renewed paradise; we need to transition from our old self to a new self.
Putting on a new self refers to our new position as children of God; we become new creatures, by growing more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ; we are born again. He is our example and the spiritual guide for our lives.15 “In a coming day, when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, we will be judged not by how much better our lives were than others but rather by how our life measured up to the life of the Lord Jesus Himself.”16
What is this Great Tribulation that Approaches?
What is called The Great Tribulation is a short but intense seven year period of distress and suffering occurring at the very end of this current age. As it commences, it gets more intense as it unfolds, like a pregnant woman’s birth pangs. That is how it will be before the new age emerges — painful before birth. Is this the period we are now experiencing? (See Matthew 24:3-8.)
This end of the age event will affect everyone with worldwide hardship, persecution, various earthly disasters, war, disease, famine, and heavenly events. Many believe that during this period, the Antichrist appears. And there will be an establishment of a one-world government, a one-world currency, and a one-world religion. It is a time when Satan will take complete control of the earth. If you are a believer in a Rapture of the Church, it will occur just before, during, or after this seven-year period, depending upon which flavor of Rapture you choose to believe in: pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation. (This website has an article on this subject; see the link in References & Notes.)17
The Book of Revelation is filled with prophetic images of these grievous conditions. One can perceive the starting of the occurrences and relate them to current events, just from reading the last book of the Bible. This author also has several articles about this subject; see References & Notes for a list.18
Using the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the advice of his apostle Paul, we can set our mind and spirit upon perfecting the attributes of our spiritual self. And through faith, we can rely upon the approaching fulfillment of God’s promised perfect society and live in his new restored paradise. God is a giving God — the more you give to him and do for him, the more he will give and do for you.
Song selection for this article is “You Can’t Beat God’s Giving” recorded live back in 1994 and features Billy Preston (1946-2006) performing on an iconic Hammond B-3 organ. Preston played keyboard with the Beatles for several sessions and John Lennon once proposed the idea of having him join the band. And he starred with other greats such as Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, The Jackson Five, Barbara Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton.19
Completely self-taught, Preston’s musical roots began by playing organ on stage at age 10. As a child he backed several gospel singers, including Mahalia Jackson.20 The video of this Gospel performance demonstrates his unique keyboard abilities. Selected lyrics are below and a link to the music video is in References and Notes.21
You can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try
And just as sure as you are living
And the Lord is in heaven on high
The more you give, the more He gives to you
But keep on giving because it’s really true
That you can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try
Copyright © 2023, Dr. Ray Hermann
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References & Notes
- Dong, Yuhong, “Why Some People Never Become Infected With COVID-19″, (The Epoch Times Newspaper, 23 January 2023), https://www.theepochtimes.com/edition/why-some-people-never-become-infected-withcovid-19_5036250/4999931
- Adams, Mike, “CDC data reveal that multiple covid jabs can knock up to 24 years off a person’s expected lifespan” (Natural News, 9 February 2023), https://www.naturalnews.com/2023-02-09-cdc-data-covid-vaccines-24-years-aging.html
- Caraballo, Sophia, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” (Woman’s Day Magazine, 2 October 2019), https://www.womansday.com/life/inspirational-stories/g29249196/bible-verses-about-happiness/
- Hermann, Ray, “The Bible says: Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 6 December 2020), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/the-bible-says-dont-worry-be-happy/
- Herbermann, Charles G., et al., The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, (New York: The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1910), vol. 7, article: “Happiness”.
- Lentsch, Kailey, “What Does Happiness Mean in the Bible?” (Journal Owl, 21 April 2021), https://www.journalowl.com/blog/what-does-happiness-mean-in-the-bible
- Schrader, Jessica, “Are You Confusing Comfort With Happiness?” (Psychology Today Magazine, 16 October 2017), https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-we-work/201710/are-you-confusing-comfort-with-happiness
- Norman, Kyle, “ What Does the Bible Say about Worldly Happiness?” (Christianity, 18 June 2021), https://www.christianity.com/wiki/christian-life/what-does-the-bible-say-about-worldly-happiness.htm
- Scripture quotes are from The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989). Used with permission.
- MacDonald, William, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, (Ed.) Arthur Farstad, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), p. 1884.
- For the 613 laws, read: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The specific verses (including locations in scripture) are listed at the following website:
BenMaimon, Moshe, “The 613 Commandments”, (The Psalm 119 Foundation, retrieved 20 July 2021), https://www.the613commandments.com/The-List-of-the-613-Commandments.html
- Hermann, Ray, “Love: First Mentioned Fruit of the Spirit”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 24 February 2021), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/love-first-mentioned-fruit-of-the-spirit/
- MacDonald, William, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, (see above), p. 2009.
- Hermann, Ray, “What if there is no Rapture of the Church?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 2 September 2022), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/what-if-there-is-no-rapture-of-the-church/
- Some articles about the end of days and the book of Revelation by Rev. Ray Hermann.
(1) “God’s Last Plague before the End of the Age: Revelation 16″, https://outlawbiblestudent.org/gods-last-plagues-before-the-end-of-the-age-revelation-16/
(2) “The Last Days and End of the World: Are they near?”, https://outlawbiblestudent.org/the-last-days-and-end-of-the-world-are-they-near/
(3) “It is Time to Get Right with God – End of Age Events are Starting”, https://outlawbiblestudent.org/it-is-time-to-get-right-with-god-end-of-age-events-are-starting/
(4) “Christ’s Return Prophecies — the Signs of the End of this Age in Matthew 24″, https://outlawbiblestudent.org/christs-return-prophecies-the-signs-of-the-end-of-this-age-in-matthew-24/
(5) “When the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Ride — Revelation 6″, https://outlawbiblestudent.org/when-the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse-ride-revelation-6/
(6) “The Black Horse of Famine”, https://outlawbiblestudent.org/the-black-horse-of-famine/
(7) “Something Wicked This Way Comes: The Apocalypse”, https://outlawbiblestudent.org/something-wicked-this-way-comes-the-apocalypse/
- de Keijzer, Kyran, “Hammond B3“, (NRG Recording Studios, 10 July 2017), https://www.nrgrecording.com/post/the-hammond-b3-legacy
- “Billy Preston”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 January 2023), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Preston
- “You Can’t Beat God’s Giving”, Artist: Billy Preston; DVD/CD: Gospel Pioneer Reunion, (recorded in 1994, overlay of lyrics added in 2023 by Spring House Music Group); Recorded Live at Gaither Studio C, Alexandria, IN, 1994, (UMG [on behalf of Gaither Music Group], Capitol CMG Publishing, and other music rights societies). Used under ‘fair use copyright’ for teaching under Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 — MUSIC VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3F33Ni1U2E
2 thoughts on “Positive Thinking in a World Going Crazy”
I occasionally receive your newsletters and read them slowly and carefully. The writings are carefully thought out and well presented. I have been a non-denominational Chaplin at a Hospice for a number of years and have a Master’s of Old & New Testament Theology (2years) , and a Master’s of Divinity, (6 years) from Bethany Theological Seminary.
The by-line you use at the top of your Home Page is alarming. To assume your going to share with your readers what God told you to tell them is Pharisaic. Your emphasis on the end times as portrayed in the two Testaments is also curious. Pre-or-Post, let me know, because the Kingdom of God is at hand.
Thank you for writing and for your kind words. I appreciate your criticism of our auxiliary statement, too. I’m not sure what is so hypocritically pious as to be alarming, but I am always interested in how others feel about this website.
As far as the Rapture is concerned, everyone has the free will to choose a belief. Generally, all I do is give opinion rather than tell people what they must do, but my own choice has already been made on this subject and can be found in this article: