I don’t know about you but I am having a hard time these days watching or listening to any type of news. I just don’t want to hear the political stuff or what is going on in the world because frankly it is too depressing. I would love to have a channel that reports all the good things that are happening because there are good things and I would much rather hear about that than the other news. Because I am a sensitive person, things in our world really trouble me. It is so easy for me to get discouraged when I look at the bad news and all the violence out there in the world today.
Since I have had so many struggles in my life, God has really had to work on my mind. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” I have always had a hard time keeping my emotions in check and remembering that God is in control in the heat of the moment. It has been a battle to get my mind in the place it needs to be in order to receive the truth of God’s word.
I love reading “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young when I have my coffee in the morning. It is a devotional that really helps me start my day off by looking at God’s word. The entry for March 30 says, “Before you arise from your bed in the morning I have already arranged the events of your day. Every day provides many opportunities for you to learn my ways and grow closer to Me. Signs of my presence brighten even the dullest day when you have eyes that really see. Search for me as for hidden treasure. I will be found by you.”
If you struggle with being affected by what is going on around you, God has an answer for all of us. We need to keep our minds focused on Him. Now I know that is easier said than done. I have struggled so much with this most of my life and right now I am struggling again. The events of the world are very scary but God tells us over and over that He is our rock, our refuge, our strength, our shield, our stronghold and our salvation. 2 Samuel 22:3 and Psalm 18:2 Life is so much better when my mind is focusing on God and His promises.
Here is the truth: “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” 2 Chronicles 20:6 No matter who is technically in charge of our country, God is still in charge. He wants us to know that fact. No matter what happens, He is in charge. It might not look like it, but He is. That is when we have to have the faith that He is bigger than anyone or anything in our lives.
I was journaling one day and I was struggling with keeping my eyes on the Lord and not my circumstances and I came across this gem of truth. Genesis 16:13 “So, she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen Him who looks after me.” WOW!!!! A woman named Hagar said that to God right after she had been discarded and sent away by Abraham. She realized that God sees her and cares about her.
One of the reasons why I want to keep my eyes focused on God is because He tells us we will be in perfect peace. I don’t know about you but I desperately need peace in my life. I have a terrible habit of letting other things distract me from keeping my focus on God and His word. So, I have to pray more than ever for God to help me do it. This is an excerpt from my journal.
“I want to be this person whose mind is stayed on You. I trust you. I don’t trust man. But, I need to remember that You are over man. You have overcome the world. I need to ask You to help me focus on You. Please take care of the details of my day. I am a caregiver by nature, so it is hard for me to ask You to take that over. I need You to be my caregiver because I am not good at taking care of myself. And, please could You take care of everyone else too because I am realizing I am not very good at that either?! Help me to focus on what You are doing in my life. I want to live in peace. Calm my heart and help me to live each day in Your presence and notice what You are doing in my life. AMEN!”
The struggle is very real when it comes to keeping my mind focused on God. If you struggle with this too, I have some suggestions that might help. I have to start my day with God praying and looking at what scripture says about Him. A great devotional to use is “Jesus Calling”. I also make 3×5 cards that have scripture on them and I carry them with me. I also try to write down three things each day that I consider gifts from God. This helps me look for the things He is doing in my life. (I wrote a blog about that a few weeks ago if you haven’t read it yet.) I journal and that really helps me get my feelings out on paper and then I write down things I am learning and seeing in my life.
One thing that has helped me immensely is talking to God throughout my day. I have to speak out loud to Him! I need to speak my feelings out loud like I would to a friend. I do this because He is my friend and my confidant. I try to tell Him everything. He knows it anyway, but I think it really helps to verbalize it. Now, here is the tricky part for me. When I pray, I really want to see change. Usually I see myself changing, but I don’t always see others changing and that discourages me. I shouldn’t be discouraged, but I have a tendency to do that. So, here is where the trust comes in. I have to trust God to continue to work in that person even though I don’t see it. Because I care so much about people, I really struggle in this area. So when I pray for someone I have to remember that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 I have to trust God to do His thing in people. It is up to me to pray, but it is up to Him to work in their lives. (SO HARD WHEN YOU CARE SO MUCH!)
So, when things are happening in my life, I need to remember that He is saying to me, “Are you looking at me? Keep your eyes on me. I am working in your life and in those you are praying for even if you don’t see it. You can have confidence in me. My timing is perfect and I have a plan. You can trust me because I know what I am doing. I care so much about you too and I care so much about those you are praying for. Remember I am listening to you and springing into action. You can completely trust me.”
I am going to leave you with this verse that I want to be able to say one day with complete confidence. I am still a work in progress and I still fear, but I strive to have complete faith and trust in the Lord. I want to be like this person in Psalms. “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7 Until next time dear friends…