On Day 34 of 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, Tommy Newberry tells us that thinking like God thinks makes us more joyful.
Isn’t God angry? Isn’t he hypercritical, watching us closely to catch us messing up? Isn’t he ready with his lightning bolts to strike us down when we fail? We know he is plotting his revenge for our bad behavior because “Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19 KJV). If God is good, why doesn’t he fix all the problems in the world? How could he let so many people suffer from the Corona Virus and its fall-out?
Angry, vengeful, destructive. Is that the path to joy?
Even as a Christian, it is easy for us to be influenced by this popular view of God. In this time of the COVID 19 pandemic, it causes us to doubt God’s promises to save and keep us. Will he heal? Will he provide? Is the whole catastrophe designed by him to punish the world for our disobedience? How can we trust him to carry us through this if he caused it? If he is angry with us, we can’t count on him to come to our rescue. Can we?
If we want to be truly joyful, we need first to know who God is and how he thinks about us. Our culture has painted a cartoon character of an old man with a white beard, riding on the clouds, chasing us with thunderbolts. If you’ve bought into that lie on any level, it’s important to realize it and work at changing your mind. Romans 12:2 (NLT) states, “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.
God’s will for you is good and pleasing and perfect. That is amazing!
How can you start to believe that? We learn in Romans 10:17 (NLT), “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” If you recognize that there is any remnant of that negative view of God in you, commit to learning the truth about him. The verse Newberry used as the premise for this entire book, Philippians 4:8, is a good place to start. It is a beautiful picture of our God: “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” (NLT). The Apostle John told us that God is love (1 John 4:7). Paul provides a beautiful description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT): “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It doesn’t demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
When we know and accept THIS God, we can rely on him. We can trust him. And emulating the way he thinks as described in these verses will certainly lead to joy. Fix your attention on God.
What have you believed about God?