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Changing thoughts can change the way we view our problems


Devotional
Sean Jackson

Thoughts guide us to action. Positive thoughts can lead us to accomplish wonderful things. Negative thoughts can lead us to commit acts we didn’t know we’re capable of. Thoughts play a pivotal role in our life whether it is our relationships, attitudes, or actions. It is imperative then that our mind is focused in the right direction.

Most of us have times in our lives where we can’t escape thoughts. They’re like lurking shadows hiding outside our window waiting to take us. It can be thoughts of a past hurt, it could be stresses of a job, or it could be from a traumatic event. These thoughts haunt us, blinking a neon sign in the dark corner of our mind, a constant reminder they’re there.

These thoughts can manifest actions we do not want. Instead of focusing on the problem head on, we run away. We’ll drown out the thoughts with whatever we can. If it’s alcohol we’ll consume it, if it’s anger we’ll stir it up, we’ll hold on to these emotions and actions because it’s safer to harbor them than to let them go. We’re afraid if we let them go; they’ll somehow hunt us down and punish us more severely.

This cycle can lead to depression, desperation, even worse. We’ll try everything we can and then we fail the cloud of hopelessness mounts over our heads. The weight of the world presses on our shoulders until we can’t take it no more. When we try we add weight to the issue because our perceptions haven’t changed. There is only one way to change the situation we’re in… turn to God.

When I retrace all the times I failed in life I can recall one constant reason, I focused on myself not God. The reason I failed was I thought I had it all figured out, I thought I knew the answers. If I could hang on just a while longer somehow I would manage a way. It’s like taking a bucket to spoon out the water when the boat is already sinking. It was when I turned my attention back to God that my perceptions of the situation changed.

Remember God has seen it all before. He knows what is going on in our hearts and yet He is willing and wanting to help. If God knows all our failures, all our negative thoughts and loves us unconditionally shouldn’t that free us? Shouldn’t that set off some flag in our minds that says, “I don’t have it altogether, but I don’t have to. I have Jesus; He’ll show me the way.”

Remember when Jesus was sleeping in the boat and the disciples were freaking out because they thought the boat was going to sink. The disciples saw the situation in their own way. They saw trouble and immediately thought the worse possible scenario. Jesus saw the situation in a different light… it was a storm. He rebuked the waters and they moved on. Simple as that. Jesus knows the troubles we encounter but He views them differently than we do and it is in this illustration an important lesson is learned.

When we focus on God, He’ll guide us through our storms. He’ll show us the other side we hadn’t seen before, the side that shows that when our minds are directed on God, we view our problems differently. Nor do our problems look like something we can’t conquer; in fact we do not worry about conquering them. We leave that in the hands of God. It is our faith in God that provides us with the peace we need.

So now it’s up to us to choose. Is it going to be that bottle of Jack, naked pictures, or anger? Or is it going to be peace through faith? The choice is up to us. We can continue to live in the cycle of fear or desperation, but God offers us another way.

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If you have any article ideas, prayer requests, or just want to chat about religion feel free to contact me at sjackson11@student.cscc.edu


 


 

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