It’s nice when the things you’ve spent your time, money, and energy studying turn out to be really useful. Over the last few weeks on this blog I have been sharing with you the things I’ve learned from reading the book by Tommy Newberry, 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life. During that time, the world has gone topsy-turvy with the domination of the Corona Virus Pandemic over the landscape of life. These lessons have reminded me that I am a child of God. That I can trust him in any situation—even and especially– one like this. Most of these lessons can be summed up by Philippians 4:6-8. This passage bears repeating:
“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. In conclusion my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable” (GNT).
Last night I woke up just an hour or so after having fallen into a deep sleep. My mind was very disoriented, and it swirled with the latest virus-related news. The most disturbing to me was that people can have the virus who are asymptomatic They walking around infecting everyone else to their possible destruction. What? An enemy that kills some can hide silently in others? That was all most too much as one of my biggest concerns has been unknowingly infecting the people I love. In my twilight sleep it became even more troubling. Then I remembered! Newberry said that you can’t think two thoughts at one time. Even half asleep, I grasped that concept. Immediately I changed my thinking from doom and gloom to thanksgiving and praise! I turned the situation over to God and began to thank him for his love and care. It worked! You really cannot think two thoughts at once. I went back to my peaceful sleep.
The point of each day’s lesson has been that the amount of joy we have in our lives is determined not by circumstances, but by our reactions to circumstances. Philippians 4:6-8 is not the only place God’s Word instructions Christians to take charge of their thought life. It encourages belief, faith, hope. It says that the Kingdom of God is within you–meaning your mind and your heart. God looks on the heart, the intentions of men. He’s all about your thoughts! Jesus told the Pharisees that it is what’s in the hearts of men that comes out in their words and actions. Paul again admonishes us to control our thoughts in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) when he states, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The world situation and the teaching of Tommy Newberry during this time are really driving this point home for me and forcing me to consider ways I can incorporate right thinking into my life.
What have you learned lately that’s been helpful to you?