Tag Archives: Encouraging Thoughts

Be Still

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“…Be still,

and know that I am God…”

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

How often do we ask God for help or guidance, but we don’t stop to listen and wait for His response? The act of being still means more than simply remaining in place, it also means to be free from sound or noise, and free from turbulence or commotion. Yet in the busyness of life, it is challenging for us to carve out quiet chunks of time being still. The world requires action from us, yet God asks us to simply be still and spend time focused only on Him.

Not only is it difficult to come to a complete rest from motion, it’s also nearly impossible to quiet our thoughts. Silence can be intimidating because that’s when our anxious thoughts seems to kick into turbo speed – “What if something bad happens? What if I fail? I’m not smart enough; I’m not good enough; I’m not successful enough; I can’t handle this; I’ll never get through this; I’m a failure; There’s no hope; etc..”  If we fill our time with endless activity, non-stop work, mindless television, internet surfing, or social media browsing, it’s easy to dodge our concerns and block any worries. Silence can force us to face issues that we might be trying to run away from, yet God wants us to bring those cares and apprehensions to Him. In Mark 4:39, Jesus quieted a raging storm with these word, “Peace, Be still!” Ask Him to quiet the tempestuous thoughts in your mind with those same words. He will shine the light of His truth into your life and replace those fears and self-doubts with His peace.  Both your mind and your strength will be renewed through this process.

On a recent trip to Central America, our group came upon the sloth pictured above.  We were enthralled with this unique creature and thrilled that we were able to experience this rare sight! During the entire time I watched him hanging by his shaggy arms, he remained motionless and seemingly oblivious to the chatter and activity below from our group of observers. As I stood viewing this fascinating animal, the Lord gently reminded me that His slow-motion-creation provides a great example of what it means to be still.

So when you need strength or help from God, or when your anxious thoughts are overpowering you, learn a lesson from the sloth.  Cling to Jesus and rest in His unending love and care for you. Block out the distractions and noise from the world and meditate solely on His voice. Simply, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

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Focus on the Finish Line

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RUNNING RACE

For our light and momentary troubles

are achieving for us an eternal glory

that far outweighs them all.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,

but on what is unseen,

since what is seen is temporary,

but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:17 – 18 (NIV)

Hard times in life may make you feel that you are at the end of your rope, but you are never at the end of your HOPE.  When you face troubling circumstances, it’s easy to focus on the pain you are experiencing, but this verse encourages us to refocus our thoughts from what is happening around us to the One who lives within us.

Our problems should not dilute our faith or cause us to believe the delusion that God has abandoned us.  When your trouble seems overwhelming, it’s easy to lose heart and want to quit.  In the same way that athletes focus on the finish line and ignore the discomfort they endure, we should fix our eyes on the eternal reward for our faith.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”   2 Corinthians 4:16 – 17 (MSG)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,the pioneer and perfecter of faith…, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  (Hebrews 12:1-2 ,3b NIV)

Think This…Not That

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV1984)

Think This b Not That
Whatever is….. Whatever is…..

True

False

Noble

Dishonorable

Right

Wrong

Pure

Unwholesome

Lovely

Dreadful

Admirable

Disgraceful

Excellent

Inferior

Praiseworthy

Blameworthy

What we put into our minds will eventually come out in our words and actions. If we feed our minds on a diet of thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy, there will be marvelous results in our outward behaviors. A continual feast of rightful thinking will transform your thoughts and lift your spirit. Your heart will become so full of goodness that it will eventually spill over into your communication with others around you; it will show in the expression on your face, and will be evident in your attitude and deeds.

If you have problems with negative thinking, examine what you are feeding into your mind through websites, social network sites, text messages, email, television, magazines, books, radio, movies and conversations. There may be people you gravitate toward who bring you down with gossip. Purposefully replace any harmful input with wholesome material. Don’t leave room in your mind for thoughts that are false, dishonorable, wrong, unwholesome, dreadful, disgraceful, inferior or blameworthy.

Ask God to help you focus on what is good and pure. Feast upon His Word and pray throughout your day. At first it may be difficult to wean yourself away from a diet of inferior thoughts and negativity, but eventually you will feel a refreshing transformation in your mind and spirit which will be evident in your countenance, conversations and conduct.

Think this…not that!