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Taking Charge of My Thoughts

November 8, 2019

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

In 1965 the great evangelist Billy Graham said, “Historians will probably call our era ‘the age of anxiety.’” Who could have imagined at that time what life would be like 55 years later. Anxiety is at an all-time high, and more and more people are even despairing of their lives. Suicide continues to increase, as many decide they would rather die than face another day of anxiety.

Mr. Graham also identified a reason for the shape of our world. He said, “Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us.” The smallest result of anxiety is that it distracts us from our relationship with God and the truth that He is God over everything.

At its best, anxiety distracts us from our relationship with God and the truth that He is “Lord of heaven and earth” (Matthew 11:25). At worst, anxiety cripples our mind and spirit, and spirals us downward into darkness.

God doesn’t shame us for our anxiety. But He doesn’t want us to spend our lives full of fear, worry, and anxiety. He does more than tell us not to worry. He tells us how to overcome it. One of the keys is our focus. Philippians 4 tells what merits our focus . . . and it’s not fear, terrorism, illness, lack of money, evil, or death.

Paul tells us whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. That means keep our thoughts and focus on what is good. Then he says that his example is worth following: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Spending time with role models who can give us good input is a second way.

The first step to an anxiety-free mind is to give your life to Jesus Christ. Once you’ve taken that step, it’s important to fix your thoughts on Jesus and the life He has planned and prepared for you.

  • Pray: Lord Jesus, help me fix my focus and my life on You. I know as I do that my anxiety will lower and my faith will grow. Amen.