It has been said that if a man believes that he will succeed, he is right. And if he believes that he will fail, he is also right. In other words, success and failure are both determined by what a person believes to receive. Believing is a law; as one believes, he receives. And did you know that there are two types of believing? These are (1) positive believing, which brings a positive outcome; and (2) negative believing, which results in a negative outcome.
Positive believing brings positive results. It is inspiring to read records in the Bible that describe faithful men and women acting on the promises of God and receiving the positive results of positive believing.
In Acts 27 there is a powerful example of the Apostle Paul believing positively, even in the midst of dire circumstances, and receiving positive results. In this record, Paul was a prisoner on a ship being ravaged by a fierce storm. Things had gotten so bad that even the rugged sailors on the ship had given up hope of surviving the storm. But Paul didn’t give up. He continued to believe positively for God’s deliverance and confessed his believing to the entire crew.
And now I [Paul] exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Can you just imagine the Apostle Paul in the midst of this seemingly hopeless situation encouraging the crew to “be of good cheer”? Paul’s positive believing of the words that the angel of God spoke to him gave him the confidence to speak for God and encourage the rest of the people on that ship. The result of Paul’s positive believing is seen in Acts 27:44, “…And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.” It came to pass just as Paul had said it would because Paul believed the positive words of God that the angel had delivered.
Just as positive believing yields positive results, so negative believing yields negative results. We see this in the life of Job, who spoke of the consequences he suffered as the result of the fear—the negative believing—he had allowed in his life. According to Job 1:5, Job feared that his children were not properly respecting God. So he offered burnt offerings continually for every one of them.
…Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all [his children]: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Job was afraid that his children might have sinned and separated themselves from God in their hearts. Job allowed this fear to take root in his life, and he suffered devastating consequences as a result of his negative believing (Job 1:13-19). In Job 3 the Word tells us that Job recognized that he received the result of his fear.
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
Fear—negative believing—is believing in reverse. Rather than appropriating to ourselves the blessings and benefits that our heavenly Father desires for us, when we believe negatively we bring to ourselves consequences and negatives.
God’s desire for His children is that we have life more abundantly (John 10:10). So how do we receive the wonderful blessings and benefits that our heavenly Father has made available to us? By believing the positive words of His Word. God has given us great and precious promises in His written Word. As we practice positive believing—believing the positive words of God’s Word—we will receive the positive results that God desires for each of us.