I pressed my hand on my belly, nothing. I tried moving around, drinking something cold, nothing. My unborn child had either been quiet for quite a while or something was wrong. I had two choices ― panic or faith.
Perhaps you have the same choice right now in dealing with a situation in your life. I discovered in the fourth chapter of the letter to the Philippian church, (verses 4-9), a formula that can help us beat anxiety if we accept its words by faith and put them into practice.
Paul invites us to rejoice in God, not to be anxious, and to bring all matters to the Lord in prayer. Next he tells us to make it a habit of choosing where we place our thoughts, and on what we feed them. Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy — that is to be our focus.
When my baby went quiet, I decided to believe that my baby would “not die but live, and would proclaim what the Lord has done” (Psalm 118:17). Then I went to the doctor’s office and was happy to hear her beautiful heartbeat coming through the machine. I am aware that the outcome could have been different, but I decided from then on to deal with things as they came from the point of view of faith, not panic. One step at a time is more than enough for me to handle.
For you, it may be choosing to remember the good in someone who’s hurt you, and choosing to make peace with them. Maybe it is deciding to trust that God is holding the airplane you are about to board in His care and has commanded His angels to watch over you. Or perhaps it is accepting that He loves you beyond what you could ever imagine. So, if you’ve messed up, you can choose to believe it’s not over and turn to Him again, knowing He is not finished with you yet.
Father, I come to you because I need your help. I want my thoughts to be aligned with yours. I want my mind to be transformed. Teach me to choose faith over panic. Remind me of your truth when darkness fills my thinking. Remind me of your love when I cease to believe it. Hold me close to you. I love you, Lord. Amen.
Go deeper — don’t let your thoughts defeat you. Write out Philippians 4:4-9. Put the verses somewhere where you can see them, and when a bad thought shows up, fight it off with the truth of God.
Need help with training your thoughts? We all do. Read Rejoice and Be Glad.