do you feel worry, anger, depression, confusion, fear, guilt, or doubt? are your thoughts generally about things you fear or worry about...or feel guilty about? there is a way out from under it...a way to replace the negative thoughts with something good.
the bible speaks about the importance of what we think and what we speak... as in proverbs 4.23... "be careful what you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts." making the choice to think about things that are good, that deserve praise, things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honorable (philippians 4.8) is up to us. controlling our thoughts and imagination...choosing what we hold in our minds is our own responsibility. if we allow our thoughts to follow everything going on around us...then our thoughts, moods, and ultimately our lives are controlled by the input of images, voices and situations around us, or by the past that we keep replaying in our minds. but by disciplining yourself to focus on thoughts of hope, good memories, dreams and all good things, your life will change dramatically.
In 2 corinthians 4.13 it says "i spoke because i believed. in the same spirit of faith we also speak because we believe." in mark 11.23..."i assure you that whoever tells this mountain to get up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him." proverbs 18.21 says "the tongue can speak words that bring life or death. those who love to talk must be ready to accept what it brings." and in proverbs 4.23, "be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts."
so letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. but letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. romans 8.6
i've read that one can not feel faith and fear at the same time...and that we choose one or the other. well...first...i have two points:
1. i have tested this often...and actually i think that one can feel both faith and fear at the same time...at least in life & death situations. but it's choosing MORE faith than fear that tips the balance towards a more faith-filled positive life. with the ordinary stresses of life, one must choose to stay in faith by not allowing thoughts of anxiety, anger, resentment, regret, fear, or basically any negative thoughts, to infiltrate your faith-filled thoughts.
2. most people don't consciously decide what they feel...that is they don't intentionally decide what they choose to think about or envision in the future, and consequently what they feel is a product of their thoughts. and there it is...the source of the problem.
most of us kinda float through our day...following routines...listening to the news or the conversations around us...and our mood or our feelings seem to bounce off whatever is happening around us. whether it's traffic or the weather...or something more serious like arguing with your spouse or your kids, your thoughts are setting your feelings...changing your mood...and actually setting the direction of your day.
if you are not accustomed to checking on your feelings regularly try this for a day: write down - at regular intervals... such as every hour - your primary thoughts or feelings. what were your first thoughts when you woke up? what were you thinking about while you were getting ready for the day...while eating breakfast...while driving to work? you get the idea. when writing your thoughts down...analyze what the majority of your thoughts & feelings were since the last time you wrote them down. at the end of the day...review and check your tipping point. were most of your thoughts faith-filled and positive, or were they negative or filled with fear?
if you find you need to shift your tipping point to a more faith-filled positive frame of mind...no worries. in our fear-based culture it's the new normal. but it's easier than you might think to make the shift! in luke 17.6 the apostles asked the Lord to increase their faith...so can we! remember the recurring theme you will see in this blog: ask...believe...receive! ask for the Lord to increase your faith...to turn your mind, your thoughts and your feelings toward Him and to the hope of Him in every situation. you can start by simple affirmations of faith in general...such as: thank you Lord that i have a roof over my head, that i have food to eat, that i have clothes to wear, that i am forgiven, i am your child, i am loved. if you are concerned about a specific situation, start by praising God for the best possible outcome...such as: thank you Lord that my boss will see my value, thank you that my good intentions will be made clear, that you will speak through me today, that others will see me differently today and wonder why. thank you that you have the perfect solution and place for me to be, and i just have to wait on you...staying in faith that you will work it out. thank you Lord that i don't have to figure it out for you...my job is to trust you...the CREATOR of the universe! thank you for giving me peace over my situation...thank you giving me the hope that my situation will improve.
every time your thoughts start heading down a negative direction...repeat your positive thoughts. repeat again...and again...until you FEEL hopeful. until you feel thankful. until you believe. then there it is: ask...believe...receive.
stay in the faith that God's got your back...cuz he does!