- ABOUT US
- Calendar and News
- READING PLAN
- The Chosen
Let’s Talk About
Our minds are an amazing creation of God. They handle billions of informational bites, and process 800 memories a second. No computer will ever compare with the mind’s computing power. And what’s even more amazing is that we only use a fraction of its capacity.
Now, the Bible says, “As a person thinks in his or her heart, that is who they are.” (Proverbs 23:7 paraphrase)
It is what we think that determines, more than anything else, what and who we are. It’s not our background, heredity, or environment. It’s what we choose to think about that has the greatest influence upon our lives.
And so, if we’re serious about changing something in our lives, we have to start by changing the way we think.
Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
And so, if we want to make the changes in our lives that will help us be more of what God wants us to be, we’ve got to start changing the way we think. And the way we do this is by changing our perspective.
One of the biggest problems to thinking clearly and transformatively is our perspective about what we’re going through.
The Apostle Paul had a good handle on this.
“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NKJV)
Paul knew that while he may get knocked down, he wasn’t knocked out, and that no matter how bad it was, it was nothing as compared to what Jesus went through, and so he was willing endure for the sake of the gospel.
And so, here are some guidelines to help us transition our thoughts and transform our thinking so that we can in like manner endure to the end.
1. Think about God’s Goodness
One of the main things that keeps us depressed and down is when we continue to look at and be focused upon all the bad stuff. Instead, what we need to be thinking about and keeping our focus upon is the goodness of God.
And what this kind of tells me is that when we are depressed; a lot of it is because we’ve forgotten just how good God is.
Medical studies have shown that one of the healthiest emotions that a human being can have is that of gratitude. And so the more we can fill our minds with gratefulness, thanksgiving, and gratitude, the healthier we’re going to be.
Thinking on the goodness of God accomplishes this very thing. And it’s more than being grateful for all that God has done, but it is also keeping clearly in our minds just how good God really is.
How good is God? Well, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins so that we can live for all eternity with Him in heaven. That’s how good God is.
And so, we need to understand that God is good and has our best interest at heart. He loves us and knows exactly what He is doing. And while a lot of bad things happen, God is always good, and can bring good out of the bad if we’ll trust Him.
Consider Joseph. His brothers hated him, and ended up selling Joseph to some slave traders to get rid of him. The slave traders sold him to Potiphar in Egypt, but he was falsely accused and ended up in prison for a crime he never committed. Everything seemed be going from bad to worse.
But God had a plan, a good plan, because God is good. And eventually through these series of bad events, Joseph was raised up to the second highest position in the world, where not only was he able to save thousands from starvation, but is family to boot, even though they did him such harm.
Look at Joseph’s perspective on this whole string of events as he was responding to his brothers.
“As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 NKJV)
We’ve all had people mistreat, reject, and cheat us. But God is a good God and is bigger than what we’ve gone through and are going through.
And so this leads us to a truth, and that is, while we can’t control our experiences we can control how we choose to think about them. And so when life doesn’t make sense, start thinking on the goodness of God.
Look at what the king David said, and this through all the stuff he had to endure.
“How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19 NKJV)
And then the Apostle Paul said, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
And so the first thing to help us transition our thoughts and transform our thinking is to think about God’s goodness.
2. Think About God’s Greatness
Some of us are feeling like life just isn’t working out the way we want, and we feel like if we fall just one more time, that’s it. But here is where we need to see the greatness of God, because God’s hands are great enough to catch us every time.
“Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5 NKJV)
What this tells me is that we have to stop thinking or focusing upon our problems or what we can’t do, and instead we need to focus in upon God’s power and what God can do.
This was David’s ticket out of the muck and mire he found himself in.
“Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the floodwater overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me. Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.” (Psalm 69:14-16 NKJV)
Personally I love what the Lord said through Jeremiah.
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 NKJV)
God specializes in the impossible. And so instead of focusing on what’s wrong, start focusing upon the greatness of God.
And the last thing that will help us transition our thoughts and transform our thinking is to understand that the Lord is always there for us.
3. Think About God’s Nearness
God is always with us, He has never left us, and is always present. In fact, He is with us at this very moment.
The unfortunately reality is that this is something we forget in our dark days of despair when we feel like He has abandoned us. These are days of worry and fear, days of loneliness, illness, and financial difficulty. These are days when it feels like all our joy and energy have left.
I love what it says in Psalm 112 about this.
“Praise the Lord! For all who fear God and trust in him are blessed beyond expression … When darkness overtakes him, light will come bursting in.” (Psalm 112:1, 4 LB)
And so, the antidote to the dark days is the light of God, the light of Jesus Christ that comes bursting into the darkness of our thoughts.
And so it’s important for us to know and to renew our thoughts with this reality, that whatever we’re going through, God is with us, and we’re not on our own. God understands, cares, is aware, and knows.
And please know that it’s when we feel lost and abandoned, that is when God is nearest to us.
This is what David found when He was at his lowest.
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NKJV)
I have heard it this way, that by knowing God is near is when we start losing our fear.
Transformational thinking doesn’t ask why something is happening; instead it asks what are we to learn from it.
Let me end our time together with this; that the ultimate expression of God’s goodness, greatness, and nearness is what Jesus did for us upon the cross, as He gave His life for us. Our problem is that this doesn’t fill and consume our thoughts.
Instead what fills our minds is all this other stuff, from politics to what’s wrong with our society. But what will help us out of this darkness is to have our thinking transformed, and this happens when we start filling our minds with what Jesus did for us, and then see the goodness, greatness, and nearness of God in it and through i
Wednesday Evening Bible Study