The morning news cuts through my heart like the clumpy lines of my brownies as an unexperienced baker. I hear a story. Someone was robbed… Someone died... The President is doing something wrong… Congress is doing some thing wrong and the people, innocent people, suffer….The opiate crisis is out of control... Okay! Okay! I need to hear it. I need to know what’s going on in the world. I get it. But when I listen to it over and over, and over again, well that’s another thing. That does something to my mind and yours!
God’s word says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Phil. 4:8 It takes work to think on good things. It takes intentional healthy thinking. Have a bad thought? Replace it with a good one.
I have a friend who posts pictures of beautiful butterflies on her face book page. Sometimes those are my lovely thoughts… God made those lovely insects for me and you!
Our thoughts, for some reason, seem to gravitate towards negativity, doesn’t it? I suppose that’s because of our sin nature and the circumstances in our lives. But we can’t just let those things control us because what we think translates into what we do.
God has a lot to say about what we think, especially when it comes to what we are thinking about ourselves and the Gospel of Christ. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2Cor 10:5
Our minds receive many messages. Some messages are from God, some from ourselves and some from the world and lastly, some from the enemy of our souls, Satan. For example, the world tells us every day via secular TV and radio that we must be beautiful on the outside. But God sees our hearts. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1Sam. 16:7 The enemy might whisper to us that we are not good enough, not worthy of forgiveness, not worthy of heaven. Of ourselves, that would be true. But in Christ, that is a lie! See, that’s how the enemy works. He mixes a little truth with a lie and if you are unfamiliar with God’s word and what it says about you, it could be enough to trip a person up. This can have grave consequences for some people.
Beloved ones, we are accepted in Jesus. We are forgiven by His shed blood. We ARE in heaven already! The scriptures say, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:6-7 Notice the verses are written in the past tense? We are already there!
That is exciting news, the kind of news I want to hear every minute of every day! Play it over and over by reading God’s word. Listen for messages of His love, mercy, grace and forgiveness in Christ.
Are you struggling with your thoughts? The Lord says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Rom 12:2 You don’t have to fill your mind with negative messages all day long. Take a refreshing dip into God’s word, like Isaiah 43, and see what He has for you!
Instead of sad love songs, try listening to Christian music. 95.5 FM is a good place to start. It’s a station called K-Love, positive and encouraging all day long.
If you are a new believer, seek someone to disciple you and teach you the word of God and how to apply it to your life. Pray about it. Ask God to send someone. He will be quick to answer that prayer because that is His will for us all, to be and make disciples. His word says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,...” Matt 28:19a
If you are wrestling with bad thoughts, really bad ones the kind that drive you to a very dark place, let a little Son-shine into your life by learning who Jesus is, not to the world, but to you, personally.
Isaiah 43 says, “But now, this is what the Lord says—He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior, I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you,…” Isaiah 43:1-4a You are not alone. No matter what has happened, God is with you! Together, you will get through it. Think about that!