Is it just me, or does there seem to be group of people inflating a black cloud above us, creating sort of an “atmosphere of despair?” Granted, it is quite easy to be caught up in the “never this one or that one,” but in a few days the election will be over and all of us will have a new president. Some of the people believe their candidate is the only hope for our country, and if their candidate is defeated, then we better pack up our bats and balls and head home. We have forgotten that God has been, and always will be, on His throne, and none of our current events or happenings are a surprise to Him.
I doubt God is saying, “I cannot believe my people are behaving like this? What am I to do?” No, God knows everything, including our thoughts before we think them. Psalms 139 is an eye opening chapter in the Word, and it reminds us that God is God, and regardless of what is happening, nothing is a surprise to Him. God knows the next President intimately; after all, He breathed them into existence. For His reasons, and beyond our understanding, he created the next President for his Kingdom purposes.
Yet, even though we know His plans will prevail, and it is His hands on life’s eternal clock, we still must be reminded that this is not the time to be weary or in despair, but rather a time of praising God and thanking Him in advance for His plans; plans which give us a hope and a future. Isaiah 61:3 asks us to “put on the garment of praise for the spirit of despair.” Ask yourself, “am I praising God, or, am I grumbling, complaining, and talking ugly about my fellow man?” Perhaps we are internally abusive or think horribly about ourselves? Here’s the bottom line, we cannot praise God and talk ugly at the same time, and this is addressed in James 3:10. “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
Here is another example. While it is quite important to include Biblical principles in the political arena; it becomes detrimental to the cause if we do not demonstrate a loving attitude during the process, or as a part of our daily life. With this type mindset we are only offering religious rhetoric and not operating with a heart for Jesus Christ.
When we sincerely praise God the supernatural happens; we stop fretting over our future. We stop analyzing every single news item and the frustration of those futile follies. We stop venting about every bad encounter or poor service experience from our daily lives on social media. Instead, we see others the way God sees them. We talk about the joy in serving others and the positive impact they have made on your life. Most importantly, God is elevated and placed in the center of the discussion, instead of an afterthought, or rescue device.
There are several popular television shows about making a great profit through flipping a run-down house and making it look better than new. Couldn’t we use this same concept and flip the way we think about things? Wouldn’t that be profitable? Flipping our thinking to God’s way is quite rewarding with benefits such as; eternal life, joy, peace, and abundant living, just to name a few.
Our thoughts impact the flow from our heart, which in turn, impacts our words and actions. If you continually tread water in the negative end of the pool then you can expect to give and receive the same from others. Proverbs 4:23 warns us “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Our thoughts can be a powerful elixir or a slow killing poison, because we become what we believe. Others feed off what we think because we give out either positive or negative energy.
Our emotions are also impacted by our thought life. Have we let a few bad experiences with people hold us emotionally hostage, living rent free in our heads? We have the power to stop the squatters and the rent-free nonsense! Yes, it is time to kick out the things that bring your life down, in Jesus name. We must realize how our thinking applies to everything and everyone in our life. It is time to “flip our thoughts” and get our minds in gear with the Word of God.
Romans 12:2 is a great first step in flipping your thoughts. Keep in mind it is a daily exercise. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Now is the time for America to place a laser like focus on God; the ultimate problem solver! Our circumstances and the shape of our country are in His hands. Praise God and thank Him for everything. Bring His light into your conversations and in everything you do. Pray, vote, and pray for the victor, whomever it may be. God is the God of the oppressed and those in despair. Part of flipping our thoughts is taking our hope and expectations off people, and placing them wholly and completely on God. When we place our confidence in Him you will discover your thoughts are no longer toxic, but instead, filled with the joy of the Lord.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians 4:8-9.
This Column appeared in the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer November 5, 2016