Do you ever read the Bible and look at verses and say, "That's impossible!" God can't possibly expect me to do that? That's not something I have to be obedient to, Lord, right?
We know that God promises us peace. Do we feel like we have peace every day? How about once a week or month? Maybe you can't remember the last time you felt at peace with the world around you ... at peace with God, our Father.
Why? God's promises are always true. He never changes and He doesn't promise something He doesn't deliver. However, we generally have a part in applying it to our lives. As with most gifts, the giver can hand a gift over to us, but we have to reach out and take it. We choose to accept it or not by our actions.
Many times in the case of God's Word, we choose to accept a promise or not by the way we choose to think. So much of our lives depends on our thoughts. An action never occurs without first thinking about it.
There's plenty of research on how our thinking affects our health. Plenty of people out there that were told they were going to die and they believed it to be true and they did. Others with the same and even worse health condition refused to believe it and thought differently, and to the amazement of medical science, they live.
What about peace? Consider this:
Philippians 4:8-9 says, "Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. These do, and the God of peace will be with you."
Uh oh! There's our part of accepting the gift. God has peace for us if we choose to keep our minds filled with what He tells us to think about.
What do you think about? We don't even realize what we are thinking about because it's so automatic. Even inherited! Many of us have parents that modeled worry and/or negative thinking before us the entire time we were growing up. We never learned how to think good thoughts. Our minds instantly swirl with thoughts of what can go wrong, what is going wrong, what already went wrong that will make the rest of our life awful.
Live with a timer for a few days and set it for 30 minutes and when it dings, write down what you were thinking about. You may have to ask the Holy Spirit to help you remember because so much of it goes on subconsciously.
Psalm 31:10 says, "My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my guilt, and my bones grow weak."
What an example of what happens from our thoughts of guilt and events of the past. Our bones grow weak, not to mention what heartache does to the heart.
God has forgiven us of the past and each day we are promised a fresh new start. Why do we get up and relive our most awful days of the past when we can begin again and have peace and joy?
Take an inventory of your thoughts and then grab hold of some Scripture youlike and renew your mind, with one healing moment at a time. For me, it's thoughts of my garden or any forested land. The Blue Ridge Mountains. I shut down the negative thought with a vision of something I love. I'm a visual person. Perhaps you are more verbal and it would be good to speak something out loud or have a song that makes you happy that you can sing and sing. You know how you can't get a song out of your head? Well, this would be a good thing if you are overcoming negative and stinking thinking.
Please begin today! Don't let your thoughts rob you of the peace God promises!
Donna L. Watkins lives in Central Virginia with her wonderful husband enjoying birds, wildlife, gardening, forests, nature travel and her cat, Squeek. More articles can be found at TheHerbsPlace.com and a free subscription to her mailing, A Healing Moment. http://www.theherbsplace.com/ahm.html