Do you spend some of your days wishing you could change things? Do you wake up some mornings and wish you could just lay back down and start over? Does it seem that there is a cloud of heaviness covering you no matter what you try to do differently? Well… I’ve sure experienced this, and I know others have too, so what’s the answer? How do we cope?
The fist thing that we must realize is that we can’t grapple with our circumstances, we must accept them. We have to come to terms with the fact that we can’t change our circumstances, but we can change our perspective! Isaiah 26:3 tells us “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” We must keep our mind on God’s unchanging love and power. We can know peace in the midst of turmoil when our attitude is stable.
We tend to trust our feelings over trusting in God. This causes distraction and our focus shifts to the things we cannot change, instead of focusing on our Deliverer. We can never avoid struggles and strife in this world, but we can refuse to let them bring us down! When we spend time remembering the trials that we have already been through, or those that our friends and family have endured, it should invoke inspiration! When we read the scripture and see how faithful God is, we should be reminded that we are not alone. Everyone has struggles. God sees it all… and peace is available, but it is up to us to accept it!
What are we concentrating on? Are we determined to try and change our surroundings, or is our mind steadfast in “perfect peace?” Paul wrote in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Why would he say this? Because he knew it first hand! Paul was writing from a roman prison, and while many may focus on questions like, “Why didn’t God deliver him from prison?“, Paul’s trust was in his Savior, and his mind was on what he had already been saved from! His circumstances never dictated his contentment, his faith did!
When we keep our minds on Christ, our actions will follow! We are not shaken by surrounding chaos when our perspective is properly placed. However, if we begin to lose sight of our Savior, as Peter did when he looked down at the waves, we too will begin to sink! Our behavior will follow our thoughts. Look up. Looking down causes our mind to stay down, it cant help but focus on where we make it look. Now, if we look up, then our mind can now focus on the endless possibilities that were once hidden by limited vision. Where are you looking today?
I pray, “Lord, help me not get distracted by things I cannot change. Help me think good thoughts and always look to You for comfort and guidance. Help me remember how loved I am, and the unmerited favor I’ve received through the cross of Calvary! You are all I need. Renew my mind. Use me for Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.