“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.” Ph 4:8NIV
A family member totally changed in attitudes, issues of the heart, familial accord, moral characteristics, and personal esteem. I tried to talk to this person and ‘help’ them ‘see the light.’ My efforts were met with hatred and disdain.
Unable to control, change, assist, or cause my loved one to see truth, I worried, cried, prayed, and worried some more. The worry negated faith, rendering it useless. Nightly, I awakened at two or three in the morning, thinking, praying— mediating on the problem. Kenneth Copeland says ‘seeking the answer in the mind’s filing cabinet doesn’t work. Don’t look in there! The answer isn’t there! It’s in God’s word.’ Copeland is right.
Peter charges us: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” 1Pet 5:7NIV. When you’ve tossed all of your worries on the Lord, you’re to think on true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things.
Casting our cares and controlling the thoughts erupting from the heart is difficult. What we’re thinking about or focusing on will have a huge affect on our attitudes, our health, even our facial expressions. Faith doesn’t come from our minds, but our thought life and attitudes have a great effect on our faith. The devil’s goal is to overwhelm us by his evil work on the earth and undermine our hope. Ultimately what we’re thinking can weaken our faith.
In the throes of worry, I left hope behind. According to Jn 10:10 satan’s a thief, destroyer, and murderer, who had come to destroy my loved one. I couldn’t see Christ as the solution, because I kept missing the other half of verse10ESV, “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
After nearly two years, I came to realize I had to change my focus. Holy Spirit led me to meditate upon Ph 4:8— to help me “…take every thought captive to obey Christ” 2Cor 10:5ESV
Everyone faces challenges. Sometimes the problems, like mine, are very personal and heart-wrenching. Those problems then affect the lives of people close to us. I’ve had no recourse in problems which overwhelmed me— I MUST FOCUS UPON AND REMAIN CONVINCED OF GOD’S OVERRIDING GOODNESS, and the abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.
As God’s power, through His Word, became more convincing, than the situation, I overcame. “…thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” 2Cor 2:14NIV.
My loved one’s heart has changed towards me. Although there’s nothing visibly different in all other areas. I believe one day God will remove the heart of stone and give a heart of flesh to replace it. In the meantime, I’m free and rejoicing.
Mercy Me’s song ‘Even If’ reveals a heaviness of personal pain. Standing in the midst of pain comes forward the choice the writer’s made, on the deepest personal level.—
“They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t
It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is in You alone”
King David said, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him…” Psm 43:5NIV.
What about you? Is the nightly news killing your view of Christ? Do you see the disharmony of the nation as bigger than God? Is your financial dilemma bigger than hope? Could God restore your marriage and family?
When I meditate on the goodness of God, and direct my thoughts according to Philippians 4:8, ‘Even If’ becomes my theme song. I will hope in Christ instead of ‘facts’ as my earthly eyes sees them. Do you have your hope in Jesus Christ alone? You can. It’s your choice. You choose.
PRAYER: Sovereign God, I have decided to follow Jesus. My choice is made. Multiplied thousands haven’t made it across the hot desert of trials and tribulations and their decisions hangs in the balance. Help them to set their faces toward the throne and not turn back. Let them view You for all You are, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
For more articles from Debbie please click on this link: Its Your Choice Devotionals