One evening while I was out, I called home to check that my daughter was back at the time we agreed. When I couldn’t get through to her, I assumed she was still out and started to stress about it to my husband.
He responded, “Stop the unnecessary emotional energy!” I checked myself and changed my attitude. Calm was restored. When we managed to speak to our daughter, we discovered that she had been home ahead of time but her phone battery had died. This issue was trivial but I learned a hugely helpful lesson.
Philippians 2:5 says, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” That tells me that we can choose our attitude. We can also decide which emotions we allow to take hold inside. This applies to all sorts of situations but I will pick three.
Again and again, the bible tells us not to be afraid. When Jesus was talking to a man whose daughter was seriously sick, He said: “Don’t yield to fear. All you need to do is to keep on believing.” (Mark 5:35 Passion Translation).
When fear tries to grip your heart, you have a choice. It might be a health issue, it could be a deadline, it may be financial or family matter that is worrying you. Either way, you and I can choose not to fear.
When fear thoughts come, we can grab our emotions and say, “No, I’m not going to be scared. Instead I choose to believe God.” As you take your eyes off the threat of what could go wrong and instead remind yourself of the promises of God, fear will start to leave.
Remember, fear gets us nowhere. In contrast, stopping and choosing to believe God can move the mountains in our lives. Not only does faith restore our peace, but it also changes things.
Recently I was feeling bad that I had asked a big favor of someone I hardly knew. I felt terrible. Then I remembered my husband’s words and told myself, “Guilt will get me nowhere. I need to believe God instead.”
I chose to change my reaction. Instead of feeling bad, I started to believe that God would bless the people who had helped me. Romans 8:28 says that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called.
Instead of churning inside, I started to believe God for them to be abundantly blessed. Negative emotional reactions are at best pointless, and at worst destructive. Let’s stop them in their tracks.
Philippians 4:8 says, “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.” We can even choose to kick out sadness.
I have now done this many times. When my heart is starting to hurt about a current situation, I stop myself and instead thank God that my life is in His hands. I dwell on the promises of God and remind myself that this trial too shall pass. I focus on God’s faithfulness.
P.S. DON’T FORGET…
If you’re carrying old pain, you need to be healed. Pour out your hearts like water in God’s presence and ask Him to restore your soul. Even while we are being healed, we can choose to kick out sad thoughts and focus on God’s infinite ability to turn our lives around for good.
If you’re in the UK, it’s just two months until FIXING THE FOUNDATIONS (September 21st). God will heal hidden hurts that have been holding you back & bring restoration to relationships. Book before it sells out. If you’re in the north east of America, join us in NJ on September 14th for REFRESH. God will do more than you can imagine.