What is the price of happiness?
How can I find me love?
Where do I sell my Heartache?
And what do I pay for Love? Lloyd Price
Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we seek to understand the attitude of the spirit.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Attitude of the Spirit
"I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John,
Chapter 10, Verse 10.
Brothers and sisters, today we consider the attitude of the spirit. We shall look at the origin of these
attitudes, and discern why these attitudes are supernal, even when operating in the material
environment. The attitudes of the spirit are that which is displayed when we face material upheavals.
These spiritual attitudes reside in our minds and souls and are designed to propel us, with assurance
and comfort, through the short intriguing life in the flesh.
We have an attitude towards the things that happen to us in this life. This attitude is based upon the
emotional reactions that occur in face of the things that beset us. These things can be positive or
negative based on our perceptions of them. When we perceive an experience to be good, we display
a favorable attitude. If we perceive a situation as negative, we display a negative attitude towards it.
In this sense the attitude that we display parallels the emotional response to the events.
When our attitudes are linked to the temporal events, we are like straws in the wind. We have no
enduring anchor to stabilize us during the downside of life. We must hang on for dear life. The only
comfort we can receive with such a temporal attitude is to prepare ourselves for the worse and carry
on despite our perceptions. Or we take to the skies with our emotional highs, only to crash when
events take a downhill turn. We can be optimistic or pessimistic. The attitude that we display is
important not only because of the negative emotional consequences, but because our attitude plays
a major role in the decisions we make. Our attitude determines the reach of our lives, our goal
setting. Just because we are walking in the mud does not mean that we can't look up and see the light
of the stars.
We are not blind to the real material consequences that are a part of living this life. We are not blind
to the moral and spiritual problems of being imperfect. Our experiences are real and result in natural
emotional responses. If we are afflicted with some illness that is lifelong, say, and interrupts the
quality of our lives, then we realize this will cause some kind of emotional reactions in us. We don't
expect to rejoice with laughter when something terrible happens. But there is another dimension to
the mortal life, the spiritual dimension. We can embrace the attitudes of the spirit. The spirit's
attitudes are eternal, indestructible, and always victorious. These attitudes faithfully guide the feet
of our souls.
Unlike the animals, we are self consciously aware of the meanings of our experiences. If we break
a leg, for example, we are aware of the implications. We have been handicapped and will have our
material life interrupted in some fashion. If a loved one dies, we know the meaning of this event. An
animal has no such self conscious awareness, and therefore does not react with depression, anger or
other emotion. The fact that we are self conscious also makes us aware of other persons, even the
supreme person, God. Our self consciousness allows us to develop a spiritual nature and justifies the
bestowal of the spirit of God in our minds and souls to infuse and transcend our purely human
The attitude of the spirit is more than the human attitudes of optimism or pessimism. Optimism and
pessimism are ingenious emotional creations designed to antidote the ups and downs of living on
our world. And they are serviceable to a certain extent. But the attitude of the spirit is not based upon
our emotional constructs but on the reality of an eternal existence. This spirit hails from the very
source of reality, and faithfully reflects the prevailing attitudes existing there. It has come down from
Paradise to inspire our struggling souls with the certain knowledge of obtaining another and spiritual
existence. Even though we are not yet a spirit, the spiritual attitude of that future existence is made
available to us to comfort, inspire, and to give hope, and pull u--as it were--towards the new life.
The attitude of the spirit is first of all faith. Faith displays for the soul the ultimate triumph over the
vicissitudes of time and space. This faith permeates all states of our human existence. No matter how
lowly our existence is, we can look forward to the day where we shall live in glory in the embrace
of our heavenly Father. No matter how depressed we may be or how sick; no matter how miserly we
fail in the material state, we can look forward to the day where the circumstances of time and space
that are arrayed against us in this life will vanish before the timeless and spaceless abode of our
Paradise home. With this faith pervading every aspect of our human existence, it is easy to show how
it allows hope to function.
Hope is the next attitude of the spirit. This hope is eternal and does not necessarily apply to material
circumstances but more to eternal existence. This hope is based upon the forecasts of faith. If faith
is a true reality and represents the future aspects of life, then hope is justified as it carries us through
the ups and downs of life, knowing through faith that the object of our hope is a eternal reality and
thus justified. Hope is the eternal spiritual energy that propels our souls from crisis to crisis, until
the final crises, death, liberates us.
Now without trust, this hope would evaporate. Trust is not the blind trust applied to the affairs of the
material world, where wisdom and judgement must always temper its application. It is instead the
goodness and love of the all powerful and merciful Heavenly Father who is the source. This trust
says that no matter what happens, no matter to what emotional levels we descend, no matter how
difficult the material life, or lack of material rationale for its continuance, we will continue to have
faith in the forecasts of faith. Hope says "hold on". This attitude is so essential to a spiritual peace
Spiritual peace is the absence of spiritual turmoil in the soul and mind. This peace is not based upon
the reactions of the self to its internal or outer environment. It is based on the actual eternal quality
of peace. It transfuses the soul and mind and displays that peace that passes all understanding. This
peace is actually the attitude that is found on Paradise in the soul of the Heavenly Father. It bespeaks
the absence of all spiritual turmoil and disharmony. It is a state of perfect rest for the soul. Spiritual
peace can best be seen in adversity. It is in adversity where it can be contrasted against material
peace, which vanishes when the storm clouds of life loom.
And the reaction to all of these spiritual qualities is patience. Patience--or more correctly,
forbearance--is the quality of a soul which has tasted the realities of the eternal life and looks forward
with gusto to its eventually occurrence. It knows that the wait is worth it. It is a guaranteed faith
certainty. The priceless goal of perfected spiritual existence is worth every minute of waiting: even
that takes on eternal significance. Fully conscious that no amount of time passing will change its
attitude towards its future existence, patience undergoes the terrible testing and growth as the soul
cries in every crisis, "not my will but your will be done." It easily and naturally seeks the Father's will
when stressed. And when such an attitude is embraced wholeheartedly, the soul fills with
But how shall we describe this joy to the material mind, to our brothers and sisters? How can we
make plain these qualities that exist even in the most painful and disappointing episodes of mortal
life? Words really cannot describe it, and a comparison to the temporal quality of joy is really
grotesque. But this spiritual joy is real and brings smiles to the soul. It is a real pleasure to experience
the joy of the spirit. It is like being under a death sentence and then discovering that you have been
pardoned, and not only pardoned but given eternal life. Such is the reaction of the soul when it
embraces the attitudes of the spirit. Spiritual joy is the reaction of the soul to the discovery of the
Father's love; it is a pleasant tonic and an exquisite stimulus to the discovery of the divine values and
meanings of the Heavenly Father. Such discovery penetrates the soul with joy. It is the discovery of
This concludes today's message on the attitude of the spirit. We hope you find something in this
message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.