Image by Roush images via Flickr"Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to actions. Actions leads to results." - T. Harv EkerIt's easy to allow difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves to influence our thoughts. Although it may be challenging to turn off these initial thoughts, it is certainly possible to control the thoughts, feelings, and actions which follow.
God's Word contains valuable wisdom to help us in controlling our thoughts:
- Fix our thoughts on Jesus. Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess (Hebrews 3:1, NIV). The focus of our thoughts should be on Christ alone as we navigate difficult circumstances. Our Lord can help us through any trial.
- Allow God's Word to penetrate our thoughts. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). Consistent, daily reading of God's Word will penetrate our heart and mind, allowing us to think and feel differently about our circumstances.
- Be stimulated by God's Word to wholesome thinking. Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking (2 Peter 3:1, NIV). In this verse, the Apostle Peter reminds his readers that the purpose of his two letters (God's inspired Word) was to move them to wholesome thinking.
- Take every thought captive and obedient to Christ. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have the divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NIV). The world's way of thinking is a spiritual battleground for a believer that can be overcome with divine power. The Apostle Paul depicts this worldly thinking as soldiers that need to be made prisoners of war. In order for this to happen, Christ must reign supreme in our minds.
- Prepare your mind for action (be proactive). Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled... (1 Peter 1:13, NIV). We must prepare our minds in advance for action as well as practice self-control in our thinking.
- Think like an adult. Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults (1 Corinthians 14:20, NIV). In this passage, the Apostle Paul encourages believers to be naive like children when it comes to sin, but in our overall thinking to think like an adult. Adults formulate a plan of action and follow through.