When I was in the hospital with cancer 46 years ago, the doctors told my parents I was going to die and that I had zero chances of survival. However, rather than just give up hope, my parents continued to pray for me and to have a positive attitude around me, which in turn helped give me a positive attitude and I believe that is one of the reasons I’m still alive today, and I face life with a positive outlook. What we think about has a profound impact on our lives. If we constantly dwell on the problems we may be facing or the difficulties and unknown which lies ahead, we can ruin and destroy our lives.
Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Notice he tells us not to worry about stuff, but instead to pray and trust God. And then, he adds verse 8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” In other words, don’t worry about stuff – turn it over to God and trust Him. AND THEN – think about good stuff.
If we say we’re not going to worry or fret about things, but then all day long all we do is think about the stuff we’re not going to worry about, we will quickly begin to worry and fret about the stuff. And likewise, if we say we are going to give up the sins and things which seperate us from having fellowship with God, but yet all day long we dwell on those sins and think about what we “can’t do anymore”, soon we’re going to find ourselves right back where we don’t want to be.
What we spend our time thinking about will either help or hinder our lives and our relationship with Jesus Christ as well. The more we focus our thoughts on God and His Word, the happier we will be. However, if we continue to focus our thoughts on this world our thoughts will drag us down. What we think about is VERY VERY important. That’s one of the reasons I seldom read the news – it’s mostly bad news about bad things. If we spend our time focusing on the bad stuff happening in this world, we will soon forget that God is in COMPLETE control of everything, and we will begin to worry about stuff going on around us. However, if we focus our attention on God and how great and awesome He is, we will find peace even in the midst of life’s storms.
Now, that doesn’t mean we just stick our head in the sand and live oblivious to the world around us. No, we can spend a few minutes reading up and being aware of what is going on in the world. However, we must not focus our attention on that stuff. If there is something we can do to make a change for the good, then do it – however why sit there and worry about stuff we can do nothing about? Especially when we can pray to ALMIGHTY GOD who CAN do something about it.
As Paul wrote in Philippians – “BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING!” Don’t spend your time worrying about stuff. For example if we’re facing a test or exam. Well naturally we should study and prepare ourselves. But we then TRUST GOD to guide and help us. Don’t spend all day worry about whether or not we’re going to pass the test. If we’re interviewing for a job, dress appropriately, be honest in our answers to questions, etc., but DON’T spend all day worrying about whether we got the job or not. If we’re faced with temptation, RUN from it, don’t spend time thinking about how much pretend pleasure it may give you if you give in to it.
Proverbs 23:7 warns us, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is…” What we spend our time thinking about affects who we are and what we do. J. C. Ryle said, “Guard your thoughts, and there will be little fear about your actions.” What we spend our time thinking about is CRITICAL, because it effects who we are and who we become!
What do you think about?