The early morning fog had lifted. It was going to be a beautiful day. The cushions on my swing felt damp, but I didn't care. My dog, Oden, picked wood pieces from the woodpile and happily scattered them around the yard (again). It's our daily ritual. I swing. He makes messes.
Being on my swing in the morning is where I order my thoughts and prayers for the day. But, my mind kept wandering to the overwhelming problems we are facing in this nation, to the trials my friends are facing, and how "bad" things are getting. It wasn't long before I felt discouraged. My thoughts were becoming fear driven and set on the negatives instead of God.
I picked up the devotional book and read:
”To affirm is to make firm. An affirmation is a statement of
truth that you make firm by repetition.”
They were talking about the affirmation of our faith in the face of struggle. It really impressed me, and made me realize I was focusing on the negatives instead of the God who knows the answer for every problem we face.
What thoughts are you affirming through repetition? Filling our mind with the negatives will not secure a victory. The Bible admonishes us to set out minds on: whatsoever things are true, noble, right, whatsoever is pure, lovely, admirable, if there is anything excellent or praiseworthy--think on these things. (see Philippians 4:8)
“These things…affirm constantly” (Titus 3:8) ”Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
Your faith becomes effective by acknowledging every good thing that is in you in Christ Jesus (see Philemon 6)
So… HOW do we affirm our faith?
The only way to turn your thoughts around is to replace them with something different. Look at the blessings. I'm not talking from the positive thinking platform, or the exaggerated "name it and claim it" soapbox. This is not a superstition or a self-help thing, it's believing that what the Word of God says it true and investing your everything in that.
Our fleshly thoughts tend to act just like water they naturally drift to the lowest point, to old patterns, and ruts. That is until we take control.
When my thoughts are rogue, what works for me is to speak the Truth out loud –why?- because I need to hear it! And, it pleases the Lord.
His Words are “life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh…” (Proverbs 4:22-24)
I’ll never forget when I was in the midst of discouragement and the Lord whispered, ”Tell me what you know to be true.” He wanted to hear me say it – out loud. The cares of this world were swallowing me alive, but as I spoke the truth, about how big God is, and my position in Him, the heaviness dissipated and my entire mental state improved.
I don't want to serve fear, worry, anxiety, or discouragement by affirming the negatives. I want to serve Jesus in all of my life--including my thoughts.
”I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
Lord, help us pay attention, to "hear" the repetitive negatives that we are entertaining. Help us to keep our minds on whatsoever things are true, noble, right, and pure, whatsoever is lovely, admirable--all things excellent or praiseworthy (see Philippians 4:8) Help us to lay our burdens at your feet and let You sort them out. Give us revelation of the power of Your Word. In Jesus name, Amen.