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. But more importantly, what does it say about your relationship to God.
Jeremiah 3 & 4
Is your state of mind tied to your relationship with God?
Pray & Be Thankful
Yesterday I talked about some of my favorite passages in Philippians. Today I want to share a few more:
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 …” is a command, not a suggestion.
Worry is sin! Ouch, that hurt since I have a couple of things weighing on my heart right now.
We’re told not to be anxious, worried, fearful and fretful about ANYTHING! Instead, we are to pray about everything and be thankful, and when we do, the peace of God, which often makes no sense to the world, will stand guard over our hearts and minds. What a great promise! But it’s a conditional promise—dependent on our faithfulness to choose not to worry and to pray and be thankful, instead.
The more we come to know Him, to trust in His sovereignty and goodness, the more His peace will guard our hearts and minds. In other words, the level of our peace depends on the quality of our relationship with Him.
Think About This
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 your mind about that hurt, that sin, or that wrong done to you, meditate on what God says about your situation: how He’ll use all things for good (Rom. 8.28-29), how He takes care of His own, including any retribution that needs to happen (Rom. 12.17-21), how we can be joyful in trials (Jas. 1.2-5), and how, out of His love for you, He died in your place so you could extend His love and mercy to others, even your enemies (Matt. 5.43-48).
So how do we grow in our ability to trust in Him and to live the way He’s called us to live? It starts with our thinking.
You’re probably familiar with Proverbs 4.23 which says:
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Look at that same verse in the New Century Version:
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 and other people? Or are your thoughts full of self-pity, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness or revenge?
Once again we see that our state of mind is greatly influenced by our relationship with God, including the choice to take His commands and promises seriously, starting with our thoughts.
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.
God expects us to be content in whatever circumstances He has allowed us to be.
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Notice this verse follows God’s call to be content.
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. 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)?
Today’s Other Readings:
Return to Me!
Even in the Old Testament, it was always the heart, the inner man, which God was most concerned about. We see several examples in these two chapters. 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
God wants a relationship with us, not just obedience:
20 Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband,
So have you dealt treacherously with Me,
O house of Israel,” says the LORD.
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 that everything else, including true worship, 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,” not by sinfully wanting to end our own lives, but 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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