I’m a child of the ’60’s and 70’s, so as I sat down to write this moment an old Journey song popped in my head, “Don’t stop believing”, which immediately reminded me that where I choose to place my faith makes all the difference. We’ve been talking about sowing and reaping. The apostle Paul encouraged us to persevere: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)
It’s important that we are good stewards of our thoughts in order to persevere in our obedience to the Lord. God the Father perfectly captures, in a simple one-line sentence from the Bible, the secret to being able to have good mental health in this life. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7a) The key word in this verse is the word “thinks.” The word “thinks” is telling you that God is targeting your thought process – what you think about on a daily basis.
Most things we view on TV can get our minds on earthly things: world events, what he/she did, politics, and living for pleasure–for ourselves–without thinking much of those around us. And many of these things can cause discontentment in our lives, which leads us to seek earthly things to make ourselves feel better. That’s where the devil can gain a foothold (1 Peter 5:8). If we sow seeds of discontentment, we will reap grievances, unhappiness, resentment, envy, and irritation, to name but a few.
We need to ask ourselves if our minds are set on what the Spirit desires or our own desires. “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” (Rom. 8:5-7)
We are to have the same mindset as Christ (Phil. 2:5-11), who humbled Himself, thought of the needs of others before Himself, and humbled Himself to the Father’s plan, no matter the pain He knew He would endure. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col. 3:1-2)
When we no longer have our minds set on earthly things, but instead on what the Lord wants us to do, how to behave, and give thanksgiving to Him for all that He has done, we will not be chained to thinking only of our own earthly pleasures. We won’t grow weary while doing good. As Christians, we all have God Almighty Himself on our side to help us take on any storm clouds that may come our way in this life.
When life feels too much for us to handle, we can lay our burdens down at the cross of Jesus: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) He will help us to put our minds on things above, and overcome our negative thinking by taking our thoughts captive to Christ–in HIS power (2 Cor. 10:5)! We can trust Him with our thoughts because we can trust in Him. “So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” (Gal. 3:9)Don’t stop believing!