What is your state of mind? Is it full of anxiety or is there peace? Are you meditating on some wrong done to you or how God has blessed you? Are you content or striving for more? Your state of mind leads either to peace or to turmoil.
Jeremiah 3 & 4
The Battle for Peace of Mind
Pray & Be Thankful
Yesterday I talked about some of my favorite passages in Philippians. Today I want to share a few more from chapter 4:
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.
“Be anxious for nothing …” It’s a command, not a suggestion.
Worry is sin! We’re to put off (Eph. 4.22) fear, worry, and anxiety. In its place we’re to put on (Eph. 4.24) prayer and thankfulness.
We know we’re supposed to pray about our concerns, but how often do we think about the second part of that command? Be thankful.
Everything in our lives is filtered through God’s hands. Our trials are uniquely designed by a sovereign God to grow us in the likeness of Christ (Rom. 8.28-29).
Are you thankful? Are you thanking Him for His work in your life?
The more we come to know Him, to trust in His sovereignty and goodness, the more His peace will guard our hearts and minds. The level of our peace depends on the quality of our relationship with Him and our willingness to humble ourselves under His hand (Jas. 4.10).
Think About This
The battle for peace takes place in our thinking. The enemies are discontent, anger, bitterness and unforgiveness. Paul goes on in verses 8 and 9:
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.
Instead of playing the video tape in our minds of that hurt, sin, or some real or imagined wrong done to us, we must learn to meditate on what God says about our situations. Instead of thinking about what someone has that we don’t or something we think we deserve and believe God is withholding, we need to think about the blessings in our lives. We need to be thankful for what we have.
Proverbs 4.23 in the New Century Version says:
Be careful what you think,
because your thoughts run your life.
What do you think about? Where does your mind drift when you aren’t busy with other things? Where do your thoughts go when you are tired, mistreated, or disappointed?
Do you think God’s thoughts about your situation? Or are your thoughts full of self-pity, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness or revenge?
Be careful what you think. Your thoughts run your life.
Trust & Contentment
11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Notice verse 13 follows God’s call to be content and contentment follows right thinking.
And, finally, verse 19:
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
If we take God at His Word, there’s no need to fret about anything. There’s no need to envy what someone else has. There’s no reason to hold a grudge. Our God has things under control.
So what’s the state of your mind and what does it tell you about your relationship with God? Is there an area where you need to repent and go God’s way? Is there a promise you need to meditate on and believe? Is there a command you need to obey? And are there thoughts you need to take captive (2 Cor. 10.3-5) and replace with God’s thoughts (Is. 55.8-9)?
Getting a handle on these truths is vital and our peace of mind is at stake.
Today’s Other Readings:
Jeremiah 3 & 4:
Return to Me!
Even in the Old Testament, it was always the heart, the inner man, which God was most concerned about. Chapter 3:
12 ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the LORD;
‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you.
For I am merciful,’ says the LORD;
‘I will not remain angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your iniquity.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD,
And take away the foreskins of your hearts.
18 “Your ways and your doings
Have procured these things for you.
This is your wickedness,
Because it is bitter,
Because it reaches to your heart.”
God wants our hearts because it’s out of the heart or inner man, including our thinking, that everything else flows (Matt. 12.34-35).
How We Should View Death
Verse 15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”
As human beings, we struggle with the idea of death. Perhaps it’s the unknown, or perhaps sin keeps us from the assurance of salvation God wants us to have.
But for those of us who belong to Him, it’s not the end, it’s a homecoming, and it is precious to Him! In fact, if we are truly His, there should be a yearning for “home.” So that when that time approaches, we should be looking forward to seeing our Savior face to face instead of clinging to this life.
Boasting & Bragging
Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
Boasting and bragging is not only unbecoming, but unbiblical.
Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety: Becoming a Woman of Faith and Confidence by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Elyse Fitzpatrick, coauthor of Women Helping Women (a GoldMedallion Finalist), offers practical advice for conquering the paralyzing emotions many encounter as they battle difficult, often overwhelming concerns about rebellious children, problems in the workplace or home, health issues, financial difficulties, and more.
In the Bible, God gives guidance and offers the true solution to our anxieties and fears. Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety accesses this information to help—
•Identify the source of fear, worry, and anxiety
•Transform fearful thoughts into peaceful confidence
•Discover specific strategies for overcoming anxiety
Women will find comfort and encouragement through real–life examples of how others, including Elyse, cast their cares upon God and experience His strength and love.
Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow
Even though we want to be content and trust God, we can still feel overwhelmed by worry. Filled with encouragement and practical help for overcoming anxiety, this 12-session Bible study explains what God says about contentment and offers ways to apply it to daily life.
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