What ever we suffer, it is all in the plan of God for our lives. That can be very hard to take in. God’s Word says….
“He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore, I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
These are the faithful words of a faithful saint of God. Christians are different and their lives are lived for another person. Our lives do not belong to us, but to the Lord Jesus Christ. He gets a greater and greater part in our lives and we decrease…
Let us look at the situation of how our minds work and how God has made us in a particular way..
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.
For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith.”
Romans 12: 1-3
Our minds are precious. If our mind goes a bit wrong, it effects every part of us. Our minds are not just the physical organ of the brain. We are not computers. Our minds can grow and shrink. What we do with our minds is crucial. Our minds, like our souls, must be given over to God and daily renewed and put on the altar of sacrifice.
As part of our bodies, we are urged to give our whole minds over to God. This is true worship. It is not the 30 minutes on Sunday morning. Every Christian is urged by God to give their bodies as “living sacrifices.” Our bodies and everything attached to them are to be holy. We are to be godly and holy in mind, body and soul. As Christians our souls are alive to God and we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We should be so earnest about this, that we daily seek the filling of the Holy Spirit, to live our lives fully for God.
Maybe you are not a Christian. Your body works and your mind works, but the soul is not alive to God. This makes a gulf between you and God. It affects your mind and you do not think as God thinks.
If we do not know God, we don’t understand the Bible and we find all sorts of stuff pouring into our minds from the outside world. If we are to know God, who knows our thoughts even before we think them, there must be a complete turn around. We must face our sins and see our need for forgiveness. As we seek God and to be forgiven for our wrong doing, so we are made new and we get a new heart and mind and our soul is made alive in Christ.
“That you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.”
We only make progress in spiritual life with the daily renewing of our minds and the daily devotion of our hearts to God. Only the deliberate and ruthless putting to death of the desires of the flesh will enable us to grow as Christians and become closer to the holiness that God requires of those who love Him. It is a battle with the old sinful self that must be overcome and the putting away of the desires that are so deceitful. The old sinful self loves these things, and it must be denied them. Self must die daily to the desires of this life and the human heart, and the new person in Christ must be encouraged to make us increasingly like the Lord. We fight this fight in our minds and therefore fill our minds with the love of God and His holy Word.
“Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.”
What we let into our minds is so important. Our frame of mind should be rejoicing because the things in our mind do not oppress us and are full of positivity and purity. If we want pure minds, we must fill them with the good things in these verses. Lovely things, pure, virtuous and praiseworthy things. There is so much out there that is not praiseworthy and our conversation should be tempered with the good things God gives, and not the gossip and slander that our minds come up with. We are to be gentle and rejoicing people, and not striving and harsh in our judgments of others. It is too easy to lose our peace in God and fall into worry, doubt and anxious thoughts. We should be identified as praying people, and not as complainers and people who moan about our troubles. We keep short accounts with God and a thankful heart that rehearses its blessings and keeps the mind busy with the gifts God has given it. Our thoughts are then guarded by the Lord and His Word. It will be so wonderful, we will know it is from Him and be glad, and our Christian assurance will be full.
“My son, attend to my words. Turn your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to their whole body. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life.”
We are to so treasure the Word of God, that it is always close to us and infiltrates our minds and hearts so that we think of it often. It is the very centre of our psyche and the bedrock of our thought processes. When we are in trouble, we think of it. When negativity strikes, we have the Word of God in our minds to help us to fight the wrong thoughts. The Word of God will bring health to our body and mind and we guard our minds for they are the well spring, the fountain of our lives.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”
We entrust the thinking of our minds to the Lord. We do not trust our own thought processes, but simply commit our way to the Lord and He will guide us. It is He who sees the way ahead and we do not know the outcomes of our lives, but we know God is in control. He will make our paths straight and not our own planning. If we lean on our own thoughts, we will surely go wrong. We can think that something we are planing to do is a good idea, but God might not think so. We should be guided by Him and not ourselves. Being wise in our own eyes is just pride in thinking that we can work out the right way to go and the right decisions to make. We fear God and humble ourselves under His mighty hand and turn our minds from all evil.
“Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.”
We are to think of the things of God always. We are to be conscious of Him and His Holy Spirit at all times. The things of this world do not have a hold on us any more, and we settle our thoughts on God and His purposes. We are to be heavenly minded people and people who love God with all that we are – heart, soul and mind.
“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”
So, with all this encouragement and instruction for the Scripture, we set about guarding our minds and keeping them in the love of God. We allow in no unwholesome thought, or allow any ungodly thought, to take root in our minds. We commit our way to the Lord and trust Him to give us the strength to follow His pathway.