Author: Ron Graham
This lesson continues on from the previous lesson, in which we looked at three of seven certain truths within the Christian mindset from which we can form a right mental attitude. Now we look at the other four.
Peter asks a question, "Who is there to harm you, if you prove zealous for what is good?" (1Peter 3:13-14). If we are on fire for Jesus, positive and enthusiastic about our faith, then there is no room for fear of those who oppose Christ. We may suffer at their hands, but we do not fear them. They can harm and even kill the body, but they cannot harm the soul (Matthew 10:28). "If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name" (1Peter 4:16).
Some people think it's arrogant to claim you are right and have the right answers. They think it's cool to reserve judgment on truth and to be agnostic about it. In his second letter, Peter refers seven times to "the knowledge" of God that has been given to us through Christ and through revelation. One of the power points of Peter's teaching is "knowing that you were redeemed... with precious blood" (1Peter 1:18-19). We are not know-it-alls, but we are "knowing". It gives us confidence to know that we have information from God. Yes we do have the right answers to the key questions. If you don't, and think you can't, then why would Peter tell you to "be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you" (1Peter 3:15)? The gospel does give the right answers to anyone who wants them.
Perhaps the worst form of negative thinking is guilt. We cannot do better than to get rid of guilt. Now you don't do that by deceiving yourself into thinking that you do no wrong and any wrong you might have done is somebody else's fault. The only person "who did no sin" was Jesus Christ (1Peter 2:22). I do not mean to say that Christians are sinners. It is possible, and it should be, that we live "no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God" (1Peter 4:2-3). We all have sinned however, and a hundred days of doing good do not cancel out one moment of doing evil. Only the "precious blood of a lamb unblemished and spotless" can do that (1Peter 1:19). Christ died that "we might die to sin and live to righteousness" (1Peter 2:24). It is in baptism that Christ brings us into his death, and that is why baptism is "the answer of a good conscience toward God" (1Peter 3:21). So all of you who have been baptized into Christ's death, have "purified your souls in obedience to the truth" (1Peter 1:22). Your guilt is gone, and your conscience is clear. That's a positive mental attitude for sure.
Few more powerful assurances are given in scripture than Peter's most beautiful statement, "The Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you" (1Peter 4:14). Peter states that in another way: "When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory" (1Peter 5:4). That is true not only of the shepherds of the church, but those in their keeping. It is true for every faithful Christian. If you are such, there's no better way to start each day than with this thought. Even if it turns out to be a bad day, at least you can start it well. You can smile and say to yourself, "The Spirit of glory and of God rests upon me". Then you can say to God, "Thank you Lord". Now you can face the day strong.