The Second Key to Peace
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:6-9 NLT
Yesterday, we talked about the importance of prayer as a key to overcoming stress, worry, fear, confusion, doubt, depression, and anxiety. Today, we take a look at the second key Paul gives us—“fix your thoughts.”
It is one thing to pray and ask God for help and to take time to worship Him. But then comes the hard part of the process—fixing my thoughts.
Our thoughts are messed up. We live in a world that the sin of man has messed up. There are so many things in our world that create stress, anxiety, and a lot of other bad emotions that try to rob God’s peace in our lives.
Our brains are like computers—garbage in gives you garbage out. Your thoughts are a combination of the information you allow into your mind.
Our brain’s function is why it is so important to focus on the truth of God’s Word. Paul tells us to focus our thoughts on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise.
When I find myself dealing with stress, it is almost always because I am focusing on the wrong stuff. My mind goes to the negative—I make a mental list of bad things about others, and I make a mental list of bad things in my own life. I have to force myself to think of the good, not the bad.
Our minds are amazing machines. If we begin to go to the negative, we can create a script that reinforces the negative and justifies our bad feelings. But at the same time, we can fix our thoughts on the positive, and we begin to create a script that reinforces positive thoughts and releases peace in our lives.
It is a practice that we grow better at as we work on it. But, unfortunately, fixing our thoughts doesn’t come easy. Some people struggle more because they grew up in an environment where the default was to go negative. It takes consistent work to change that default.
This default is why it is crucial to practice the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As we listen to the Holy Spirit and learn to pray in the Spirit, we discover the peace of God. A peace that is beyond human understanding, nor is it based on present circumstances.
Holy Spirit, help me fix my thoughts. Help me separate from my life the people and things that feed negative, stressful thoughts into my mind. Help me discover the fullness of Your peace.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.