Today, we live in a culture inundated with negative headlines that spread images of despair and defeat around the globe in a matter of seconds. Every day we are bombarded with more and more despairing news.
Often we become far too comfortable accepting the unacceptable and begin viewing our world our lives and ourselves in a very negative or defeated ways. This is opposite of our calling to be a joy-filled and faith-filled people of the Father.
I was recently asked what I am doing personally during this time. It is a good question. Honestly, in the moment I thought, well I’m doing what I’ve always done. I know that didn’t really help, but frankly it took me a few hours to think through that question.
Most of us realize that it is essential that you consume certain foods and drinks (and refrain from others) if you want to have a vibrant and healthy physical body. Very simply, you need to eat this, and not that (or at least that is what my doctors have told me for years.)
I believe the same is true if we are to live the type of lives that we have been promised.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4:6-9 NKJ)
“THINK THIS AND NOT THAT”
We are free to choose what we think about, and we have millions of options. I often ask myself these questions:
- What specific thoughts would increase my spiritual and mental health?
- What specific thoughts should I not think?
- What specific thoughts bring distress into my soul?
- What kinds of thoughts nourish and refresh my soul?
Solomon wrote; “As a man thinks in his heart so is he….” Proverbs 23:7
Over the years my personal prayer time has become more and more about meditating on specific things: “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
THINK THIS AND NOT THAT
Gratitude is a choice!
It is a concious and deliberate choice to FOCUS on the blessings rather than the problems. When we focus on God’s Goodness and His blessings you will experience an increased awareness of His Presence. His Peace! His Joy!
When you focus on what’s missing or what could happen “if”this or that happens… life will overwhelm you. It is your choice! The power of gratitude is undeniable.
THINK THIS NOT THAT
Thankfulness is a must if we are to enjoy an abundant life, a Joy-filled Life. And as we all know “the Joy of the Lord is our strength.” The more things you find to be thankful for today, the more things you will notice to be thankful for tomorrow.
I grew up hearing my Grandparents sing:
Count your blessings, name them one by one Count your blessings, see what God hath done Count your blessings, name them one by one And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done
Paul is reminding us that we have a choice. With God’s help we can control our thoughts.
What are you doing, Pastor, during these times? What are you doing to prepare for what is coming? Great question! After some thought this is my encouragement; whatever you do, pour God into your morning before you expose yourself to the headlines and heartaches of this day
First thing every morning, before your minds starts racing:
UPLOAD YOUR GRATITUDE AND DOWNLOAD HIS GRACE
THINK THIS NOT THAT!!!
What are you doing … the same thing I’ve been doing for a long time. Focus on the good and not the evil.
THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS…..