Whether feeling, facing, or full of anger, bitterness, confusion, depression, emptiness, frustration, grief, helplessness, …(the alphabet goes on)…we have the option, a choice if you will, to stop and turn our focus from ourselves and our own circumstances, and instead look up and fill our minds with thoughts God has for us.
When feeling overwhelmed with worldly stresses, we want help NOW! I wanted help NOW! And I cried out to Jesus for help NOW! He reminded me to change my focus and change my thoughts. Only then could I change my attitude, emotions, and behavior. If we want our heart lightened and our mind at peace, then we must change our thought life!
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, 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.” (New International Version of the Bible)
Let’s learn to “think about such things” and learn what those things are.
Change takes more than desire. It takes discipline, effort, and hard work to rein in thoughts and think in a manner that would please our Lord. The apostle Paul encouraged believers to live as an athlete in “strict training”, making our body our slave (I Corinthians 9:24-27). This includes our thoughts.
The foundational premise of these devotions is: With God’s help, we can control what we are thinking! Of course, as believers, we have the power of God and His Holy Spirit living and working in us to help make us holy as He is holy. We simply cannot change on our own.
So, where do we begin? First, we learn to stop and think about what we’re thinking about! Ever thought of that? Once we realize what we are really thinking, we choose to either continue with that line of thought or think about something else. For example, if in the middle of the afternoon, I realize that my thoughts keep reflecting on a nice-looking actor I saw interviewed on TV that morning, then I have a choice. I can continue with that thought pattern or remind myself of what is true and pure. I am married to and have a covenant relationship with my spouse and I choose to think about their “hotness” instead!
When I find my mind awash with thoughts that do not belong, what can I pour in to replace them? Is there something better on which to focus? Can I raise my standard of thinking? That is what I want to explore in these devotions. Let’s find out what it is God would rather see in our mind and put it there!
The devotions in this section of the website will focus on the eight virtues listed in Philippians 4:8 (quoted above): whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. I believe it is significant that “whatever is true” is listed first so that is where this study will begin.
I pray that you will join me on this “thought-changing” adventure! ~ Arrow