Journal Entry ~ 12/03/19
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. - Romans 8:18
If you think about where most of our suffering takes place in our present time, you’ll discover it isn’t with our circumstances or with people - most of our deepest suffering is in our minds. We don't just suffer our suffering in this world, we suffer how we're suffering. We let the possibility of what may happen haunt us more than what's actually in front of us, or we’ll brood over when has happened, trying to live our different responses. In that sense, we are responsible for so much of our present suffering, aren't we?
We are told in scripture to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ. We control what we think about, and we can choose not to dwell on those negative thoughts. Far too often, we find His peace and His strength in our quiet times with Him, but then as we move into our day, the peace and strength are chipped away by our thinking. We cannot simply watch what we say or do as we move through life, we have to watch what we think. If we let the thoughts in, we let the enemy have a foothold and the spiraling will begin. Once the thoughts enter, the words and actions will follow. How many times have you been caught snapping at someone who doesn't deserve it because you're anxious about something? We all know the battle for our thinking is real, but it's a battle we can win - not in our own strength, but in His alone.
The question is what does that look like - how do we capture our thinking? We have to begin by thinking about our thinking - we have to pay attention to those negative thoughts, and we have to commit to not holding on to them when they come. And when they do, we must be armed and ready with a way to capture the thoughts: crank up the worship music, get on your knees in prayer, work on a memory verse, open scripture make a list of all those things you are thankful for, call a believing friend for prayer.
I live by the rule that there are only two times I can pick up anxious thoughts - when I am in prayer, and when I am with believing friends. That's it. Any other time, I have to put them down when they creep on.
And finally, we can remind ourselves that He promises grace only for the moment. Just the moment, my friends. His grace for whatever I face tomorrow will be new in the morning. He hasn't given me grace for tomorrow yet because I'm not there, so when I'm picking up thoughts about tomorrow or what may happen in my future, I'm trying to manage them on today's grace, and today's grace is only for today's struggle. I don't have enough grace for tomorrow because I'm not there yet.
Whatever you have to do to battle those thoughts, do it. The battle for our thinking is real, some days it means we are in this fight multiple times a day, or even multiple times an hour. But the battle can be won, there is victory in Him.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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