Friday, May 6, 2011

Peace-filled Thinking

When we center our thoughts on love, hope, and faith, we experience peace. In a world filled with messages of hate and despair, sometimes we find that we lose the sense of serenity that we seek, yet peace is available. Consider the words of Paul, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7).

Paul teaches us how to turn negative thoughts into peace-filled ones in this simple statement. Here a few tips that may help you experience greater peace and happiness as you implement Paul's advice.

Give your worries to God.

All of us have concerns and troubles at times, and when we do, we need a Higher Power to help us. We can tell God about all of our worries and fears and then give them to Him. Let Him carry them. Let Him comfort us.

Ask for help.

Life is too hard to make it on our own. We need God's help. Ask Him specifically for the things you need. If you need help on a test, ask Him help you remember the things you've studied. If you need help in a relationship, ask Him what you can do to strengthen and sustain it? If you need help in solving a difficult problem, study out possible solutions and then ask God to confirm if your choice is the right one. He waits to listen and is the best Counselor ever!

Give thanks in all things.

Many times when we find we are discouraged and disheartened, we are forgetting to express gratitude for the blessings we have. Can you see? Give thanks. Can you walk? Give thanks. Can you hear? Give God praise for that gift. Can you smell, taste, breathe, laugh, and love? Thank God for those precious gifts. As we focus on what we have--and not on what we lack--we discover that we are rich in the things that really matter.

Ask God to guard your thoughts and feelings.

If you find yourself berating yourself or others, ask Him to give you compassion. If you find yourself condemning yourself or others, ask Him to give you mercy. If you find yourself losing hope, ask Him to strengthen your faith. Then, after you ask for His help, decide to change your thoughts. Think positively of yourself and others. Choose to forgive. Spend time each day praising God and remembering His many acts of kindness and tender mercy.

God wants us to be happy. As we center on thoughts on Christ, He will show us how to experience peace. We know apostle Paul suffered throughout his life with physical infirmities, and yet God used Him as a powerful instrument for good. Paul wrote that the Lord told him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Paul replied, "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me....For when I am weak, then am I strong."

May you find the peace this day that God is so eager to give you.

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