Change is inevitable, but growth is optional. So what can we do to make sure we are growing during seasons of change?
Directing your thoughts means you are directing your life! What you habitually think about is prophesying your future. On the other hand, letting your thoughts run wild each day will result in a life lived by default. Unfortunately, editing your thoughts takes effort, but the reward is a life full of peace and joy.
Thankfully the Bible offers us a clear directive on how we are to think.
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9 NLT
You were meant to have peace in your season – even it’s a season of change!
God’s word doesn’t give any room for confusion, especially when it comes to making decisions. We were called to live with peace in our season! So, is it possible to edit our thoughts and truly overcome the temptation to feel confused and even overwhelmed? Can we actually be free from downward spirals of thinking that we’re failures, we’re not good enough, we’re rejected, we’re alone, we’re in lack and we are ultimately unlovable? Can we refuse to judge others when we’ve been unfairly judged? I say, “Yes!” When you catch yourself thinking negatively, realize that the thought has already developed an emotion, and it’s building up the steam the more you meditate on it to send you into action! In this moment not only do you need to bite your lip but take notice and later identify the lie that you believe in your heart.
Just a couple of hours ago I received a phone call from a precious friend of mine who is in her twenties. Last week her heart was broken, as the man she has loved put the brakes on their relationship. I listened as she poured out her emotions of confusion and heartache. I carefully unfolded this idea of “thinking in patterns” and how she will need to resist the temptation to think as she always has, and form new pathways in her mind. Instead of thinking about the boyfriend, what he’s doing, how he’s doing, what he’s thinking about and even wondering if he has a new girlfriend, there has to be a new line of thought pattern. She is in a season of change, and with it comes an opportunity to grow.
As we take this to our Father in heaven, our thoughts become a prayer: “God, thank you that you are my source in every single area of my life. I am deeply loved by you, and nobody can ever take that away from me. I don’t have to worry about my future, because you have my best interest in mind. I can trust you with my heart that feels broken, and I believe you will make me whole and happy.”
As we continued, my beautiful friend chuckled and said, “That will be a lot easier said than done.” I don’t minimize this for an instant. But we must be intentional with our thoughts, and continue on with zeal and confidence. Together we decided that forging new pathways in our brain is like grabbing hold of a machete and facing a jungle rainforest. Thick and treacherous as it is, it will soon become a new pathway of thinking, eventually becoming effortless. I visualize this as forging ahead towards new territory! That very challenge motivates me, for if we begin to think differently, we will live differently.
If you let your emotions drive your thoughts, you will not be in agreement with your dreams of your future. The message we are embracing is that we all want “new”, but there are many things that won’t be new! I will still have the same wife and kids, , the same task, but in the midst of that routine, there are changes that I can make to benefit from the newness of this day.
- I can engage in life, rather than being carried away living life I default mode.
- I refuse to allow the hurts of my past dictate me or determine my future.
- I’m going to take my thoughts captive, and I’m going to use the gift of the new day to begin seeing myself differently.
- I’ll embrace the truth of God that I might experience the grace of God, which is His enablement and power in my life for change.
RESULT: My tomorrow will be different.
God has the power to impart truth to your heart that enables you to be assured, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is your source.
- Your source of comfort
- Your refuge when you feel like escaping
- Your unconditional love when you feel unlovable
He is everything you need.
Our prayer is that you will know and experience peace in this season that you are in. We love you dearly and are praying for you.
Love in Jesus,
Bob and Audrey