A Crisis of Thought

Well, this year has been a bit on the terrible side as far as world wide crisis, politlcal drama, and injustice of all kinds. It’s a lot to think about. A lot of have an opinion about. A lot to discuss. Throughout the course of the year, I found myself for the first time in my life becoming cynical and prone to prolonged negative thinking.

I say for the first time because I’ve always been a positive person. It just comes natural. I assume people have the best of intentinos. However, a few months ago I briefly found myself wanting to give up humanity. I didn’t like the negativity and the heaviness of the accompanying emotions. I decided that something had to change. I decided that I would fight to be the postivie person I always have been.

I can’t blame the internal struggle I was having on solely 2020. The truth is there were some thought patterns I had begun to entertain even prior to the start of the year. However, when we identify fruit being produced in our lives it is time to change what we are planting. Our thinking is SO important and there is a reason that scripture gives us such clear instructions on thought.

Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

There is a lot going on in our world and if we’re not careful we can let it consume our thinknig. There is a lot of division in our world and if we’re not careful we can let it divide us. However, we must remember that our thoughts should be firstly saturated in God’s Word and in His presence. I suspect that we sometimes end up in converations- arguments- we were never meant to be in because our thinking was transformed by our political party rather than the Word of God.

I believe many people, and even churches are missing the will of God for them simply because they are being changed by the world around them rather than allowing the God within them to change their world.

Philippians 4:8 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Fix yout thoughts. I love the term FIX your thoughts. This means to set them on a subject and be unmovable from that subject. I love even more that the first thing we should fix our thoughts on is what is true. There is so much false information in our world that is more challenging than ever to discern truth. I see so much misinfirmation or misattributed quotes spread on social media that I can’t even believe. Real truth though, God’s truth is easier to find. We need only to turn to His Word.

Simply put, we need to spend more time intentionally focusing on the good. Focus on the positive. Intentionally look for things we can encourage and celebrate. There will always be negativity and things that could weigh us down, but we get to choose what we fix our thoughts on.

My challenge to us today is simply this: Let’s spend more time thinking about the Kingdom of God than the kingdom of the world.

Thank you for reading! I recently made a video about maintaing a positive mindset. In it I give three additional ways we can try to stay positive. If that could help you then you can check it out below.

The Battle Between…

Recently I’ve realized my faith isn’t as strong as I thought it was. That statement isn’t an easy one to make. We have perceptions of who we are and occasionally we have difficult moments where we truly see through our own web of self deception and see reality. Too often we only see our intentions and overlook our lack of action.

That’s the key right there, because to have faith is to know without doubt that what you believe will come to pass. When we are pursuing God’s will for our lives, we should live boldly with no doubt that our plans will succeed, because God is on our side. If you have this kind of faith then ACTION will be the natural byproduct. It’s easy to act on what we know, it’s hard to act on what we doubt.
GettyImages-489748108_master.0.jpgI will sit in a chair with confidence, because I know it will hold me up, but if you ask me to walk across a bridge made of  glass, forget it! I will be filled with fear and as a byproduct be filled with inaction. Frozen.

Frozen is where I have found myself on more than one occasion. I fully believe God’s ability to accomplish what He has put in my heart and in my life, yet many times when it comes down to it, I am filled with doubt.

Things don’t always work out the way we expect, these are the moments that test the genuineness of our faith. It is the trying times, when circumstances seem to tear apart our dreams that we will either stand firm on the promises of God or give way to fear.

In the latter half of Mark 5 we see such a moment develop. Jarius, a leader in the local synagogue came to Jesus full of faith that Jesus could heal his dying daughter. I am sure he was in a hurry and was frustrated by the great crowds following Jesus. As a father, worried over his dying daughter he must have been feeling very anxious when the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus and he stopped to interrogate the crowd.

The woman confessed that it was her who had touched Him and Jesus told her, in verse 34 “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” Jesus knew she had faith because of the corresponding action, she fought her way through the thick throngs of people and was just barely able to touch the bottom of His robe.

Jarius must have felt encouraged, again seeing Jesus has the power to heal, and full of faith that Jesus would do the same for his daughter.

Then everything changed.

Mark 5:35-36  (NLT) While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.  But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”

We know how the story ends. Jesus goes to the little girl and performs a great miracle, but what if Jarius had listened to his companions? What if he had set his sights completely upon his physical reality instead of having faith in a spiritual reality? It would have been easy to listen to this news and completely despair, but Jesus intervened.

There will be times we have to choose to look past our fears, look past our doubts and look to Jesus, trusting in Him completely. David understood this.

Psalm 38:13-15  (NLT) Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me. Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me. All day long they plan their treachery. But I am deaf to all their threats. I am silent before them as one who cannot speak. I choose to hear nothing, and I make no reply. For I am waiting for you, O LordYou must answer for me, O Lord my God.

I want to encourage you today, don’t listen to the negative voices that would have you believe your dreams are dead. Be like David and choose not to hear them and definitely don’t respond. Instead wait on the Lord.

Continue to have faith that He will make a way.