Here's something interesting, according to Steven Furtick of Elevation Church, learning to NOT JUMP to BAD conclusions will change your life for the better.
When you hear of bad news (or uncertain news) do you jump to BAD conclusions? If so, you should stop listening to the secret thoughts of doubt that lurk deep within our mind... you know, the thoughts WE ALL JUMP TO and cling to when we are hurt, disappointed, or lack understanding.
During times of uncertainty, we ALL tend to jump to conclusions, and Steven is very convincing about his belief that we can choose to jump to GOOD conclusions just as easily as we jump to BAD conclusions.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
In other words, under pressure, we have a tendency to jump to BAD conclusions when we don't have to. The funny thing is, we can just as easily jump to GOOD conclusions if we try.
Fun Fact: We all can learn to jump to GOOD conclusions!
The Book of Luke Gives us a Great Example of JUMPING TO GOOD Conclusions:
"Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:39-45
Can you imagine what Elizabeth went through when the Holy Spirit informed her of her mission? Of her son's mission? What kind of conclusions do you think Elizabeth and John jumped to? We actually know... Elizabeth and John's response is recorded for all to see and learn from (see Luke 1 39-45). When life's circumstances got really weird for Elizabeth, Elizabeth JUMPED TO GOOD conclusions and was blessed!
When in Doubt, Exercise faith and JUMP TO GOOD Conclusions
In the Book of Philippians, Paul calls us to automatically dwell upon, and focus upon, and dwell upon good things, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8
When the accuser attacks us we should expect the attack to come through our thoughts. You know exactly what I am talking about. Therefore, as Paul suggests, we should be prepared for the battle to be in our mind, and protect ourselves from the relentless thoughts of doubt and unworthiness. I say, JUMP TO GOOD conclusions and reject the negative BAD thoughts and receive and cling to the truth instead.
All too often our doubtful thoughts are unhealthy conclusions about us (you and me) and they are meant to undermine our confidence and ruin our boldness. Doubt is ugly and causes all kinds of havoc, and you do have a choice on what to think and dwell about.
Put on the Full Armor of God
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:10-17.
According to the Bible, God already knew us before we were even born. In fact, He formed us and made everything about us to fulfill His will, and He will be faithful to complete His purpose in us. If he knows that much about us, He also knows our thoughts and He is inviting us to swap out our BAD thoughts for His GOOD thoughts.
Here's a thought for you to consider. "Don't trust your thoughts, especially the thoughts of doubt and despair and discouragement." Instead, on purpose dismiss the doubtful thoughts inside your head and instead purposefully choose God's thoughts about you.
Here's what God says about your thoughts compared to His:
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
Why We Should Jump to GOD's Conclusions
We jump to GOOD conclusions because God is faithful, and in the exercise of our faith God promises to bless us and everyone associated with us. We are actually invited to have the mind of Christ and to allow God to renew our mind so that we are imitators of Christ. Let's agree, if we are going to jump to any conclusion, let's agree with God and jump to GOOD conclusions.
"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:45
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Or Him, in love Him. In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6
Jump To A New Conclusion - Hopeful Thinking
God's word would suggest that it's in our best interest to jump to CHRIST's conclusion of our lives and our circumstances. The Bible suggests there are two ways of looking at everything, one is "inward" and self-centered and the second way is "outward," or others-centered. Or, the "flesh" and the "spirit."
Stop Trying To Figure Out How
Whenever we try to figure things out we limit God. Any time we are uncertain and need CERTAINTY it inhibits our ability to experience the fullness of God's goodness. Any time we seek certainty, we skip over faith and typically we jump right into a BAD conclusion. In our flesh nature, we jump to BAD conclusions out of self-protection. But our best and most mature choice would be to reject the BAD conclusion and stand on the truth in faith.
"And we know that One early ms reads all things work together for good. God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
The reason we seek CERTAINTY is no mystery. We doubt and we fear the unknown and we want to overcome the uncertainty. The fact is, we've already jumped to a BAD conclusion and now we are attempting to reset ourselves.
Therefore, it's best if we learn to instinctively jump to GOOD conclusions in the first place. Why not? If we do, we are trusting God at His word. We are standing on His promises and therefore we stop trying to figure everything out. Let's see what happened to Zacharis when he doubted the angel's proclamation about his unborn son, John:
"Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1
Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
It’s Based On The Belief You Start With
What do you believe and why is it important? The conclusion we JUMP too is based on the belief we START with. If we have faith, we can start with the RIGHT conclusion. If we believe God, and we trust His word, and we store His word in our heart, we can TRANSFORM our mind. As a matter of fact, we are promised that we can have the mind of Christ.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2