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Friday, January 2, 2009

Are you going to freak out or FAITH out?

So I’m writing this on Christmas afternoon. Due to sickness, I was not able to go to the family dinner (which is usually at my own house), so I’m home drinking hot tea with honey and writing.
I’ve been tempted to throw a pity party for myself. Maybe even freak out a little because I am so upset that I can’t enjoy this day. After all, it is Christmas Day and I am all alone. It could be a little or even a lot depressing to be alone at Christmas if I let myself “go there”. (Let me clarify to save Mark’s reputation, he wanted to stay home with me but I didn’t want the kids to miss time with Grandpa, Grandma and family, so I insisted they go without me.)

That’s what brings me to my thought for today.
Life is not just about what happens to us, but also what we do with those
happenings and where we let our thoughts go in light of them. I can choose today
how I will respond to these circumstances.

Have you ever been alone with a thought that spirals out of control and before you know it, your mind has you in a state of sadness, confusion, fear, anger, anxiety or even depression?

It is easy to do. In fact, I can almost guarantee it will automatically happen if you do not make the choice to take control of your thoughts. It is our human (sin) nature to see the cup half empty instead of half full.

Thankfully though, it’s a condition we can change.
We can choose to respond and react in a way that is hopeful instead of dreadful.
We can change out those thoughts for God’s thoughts, but let's call it "faith out" those thoughts.

I am reminded that the first and greatest commandment is this:

Matt 22:37-38
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest

With “all your mind” is a pretty powerful command. That means that in light of all else we may think on, first we are to love the Lord with all our mind. Well, it’s pretty hard to put out the streamers and fill the punch bowl at a pity party when we are loving the Lord with all our mind. I don’t know about you, but when my mind is on Him, it is filled with peace- no matter what is going on around me. And I’m so glad that joy and hope are never far behind that peace!

Maybe that sounds really difficult and far reaching for you. Some of us were raised in a very negative atmosphere and that carries over into our lives today.

However, this next verse shows me that no matter how what our natural tendency, we have a choice.

Look at this:

Rom 12:2
2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God
transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Now in the New King James Version:
Rom 12:1-2
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and
acceptable and perfect will of God.

The word transformed is to “change.” And the word renew is to “renovate.”

God’s Word would not tell us to do something that was too far reaching for us to achieve.
Therefore, we have a choice.
We can follow the pattern of this negative thinking and responding world, or we can renew our thoughts and thought patterns by surrendering them to God.

I agree with the principle that 10% of life is made up of what happens to you and 90% of life is decided by how you react.
I believe that thankfulness is a key ingredient in a well balanced mind. When we
are thankful instead or regretful or disappointed, it will produce a healthy and
happy attitude towards God and this life He’s given us.
I’m choosing not to freak out today. Not to dwell on the fact that I’m sick and not spending time with my family right now, but instead being thankful for so many incredible blessings in my life. Instead of freak out, I’m going to "faith out" the thoughts.

I love this picture of Job choosing to respond to awful, horrendous circumstances with hope:

Job 19:25-27
25 I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he
will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes-I,
and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Let’s pray,
Father we come to you, with so many reasons to have anxiety, fear, anger and depression, but we know that none of them would be beneficial to us or the people around us, so we lay down these things at Your feet and surrender our thoughts and minds to You.
Lord, help us to see things through Your eyes. Help us to see hope in hopelessness and joy in sorrow. Whether a huge trial or a momentary displeasure, I pray that You help us to change the way we think and compel us to love You with all our heart, soul and minds. Help us to walk by faith and not by our feelings.
Thank you for so many ways that You bless us Lord.
In Jesus name, amen.

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Blogger Denise said...

Amen, faith out sweetie.

January 2, 2009 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Gail W. said...

Sue, I loved this post. I was sick and my heat pump died in the days leading up to Christmas, so I felt like you'd been reading my mail! "It's hard to put out the streamers and fill the punch bowl at a pity party when we are loving the Lord with all our mind." I want a plaque with that thought on it! Thanks for sharing:)

January 2, 2009 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

I just want to update and tell you all that I am feeling MUCH better now and very thankful that I don't have any regrets about my attitude (this time!) :)
Much love,

January 2, 2009 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

I found myself nodding in agreement as I read your post. I guess God could have created little robots who would automatically love and obey Him. But He chose to give us a free will. Sometimes, that gets me into trouble because I choose indulge myself by allowing the world to seep into me. But I know I belong to Him and He gives me the power, wisdom and the strength to not give in to sin. Instead I can choose to allow Him to sit on the throne of my heart. And then I don't freak out because I have His peace, despite my circumstances in life.

I hope you're feeling better. :)

A big hug to you, Debbie

January 2, 2009 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger Norma said...

Very encouraging Sue..
I think we all have been there and found it easy to "feak out", but to Faith Out is the answer to pleasing God.
Heb.11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please Him(God)...KJV.
So lets all "Faith Out"!
Love ya!

January 2, 2009 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Thank you so much for reminding me of a few important things. It's a lesson I need daily, it seems. I really enjoyed, appreciated and needed this devotion!

January 2, 2009 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

What an awesome message!!!

January 2, 2009 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Betsy Markman said...

Great stuff here...
Yeah, that negative upbringing you mention sure can have lasting effects. Now my kids are getting a negative upbringing, I'm afraid. I'm praying and working on changing that, but it's going to take radical God-changes on the inside.

God brought one interesting idea to mind last night. I was feeling bad about the fact that I had been impatient with my kids for interrupting my reading, and God reminded me that, if I spent more time doing things I'm not wild about doing (you housework), then I wouldn't mind interruptions so much. "You want to be more patient about interruptions? Give them more opportunities to interrupt housework, and fewer opportunities to interrupt your pleasures than they normally get. The problem is, you devote too much time to indulging yourself!"


I don't really know why your post brought that to mind, except maybe how much I love to feel sorry for myself for having to do nasty housework. Whatever it was, thanks for reminding me of this perspective.

January 2, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger keeper of the chocolates said...

truly God used you in my life today Sue :) thank you.

..i really needed to read this. as a matter of fact, i am going to refer to this post more than a few times for some encouragement. Sorry to hear you were sick and i hope you are doing better.

hugs and God bless you today,

January 2, 2009 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Wonderful message, yes we do have a choice. . . Thanks:)I love the Faith out!!

January 2, 2009 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

Great post and very timely as this time of year can be challenging for many.
Blessings from Canada!

January 2, 2009 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Awesome post Sue! Happy New Year!

January 2, 2009 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger A Stone Gatherer said...

I am so good at having my own pity party though! Thanks for the reminder of how I am to react and think in tough situations. I wish I could carry so many cards right in front of my face to remind me daily, hourly! That what visiting blogs is good for. I always get wonderful reminders and encouragement in my walk. I hope you are feeling better!

January 3, 2009 at 4:35 AM  
Anonymous Sandra Hersey said...

You are always so encouraging and real, and I love that about you. Thanks so much! What a blessing!
Sandra Hersey

January 3, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Just Mom said...

Love this, Sue.

My New Year resolution is to surrender; surrender my selfish tendencies, my need to be right and all fears, etc. to God.

January 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Mary Lou said...

I really needed this today. I really want to faith out and not freak out. I love your heart. You have spoken to me so many times over the past year. Blessings on your new year. Glad you are feeling better and prayerfully even completely well.

January 3, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Regina Baker said...

Bless the Lord! I choose to faith out. Thank you for imparting this very special message.

May your health be restored in Jesus name.


January 3, 2009 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Accepting the truths you offered here and taking them in...thank you!

January 3, 2009 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I had myself a big time freak out yesterday and this morning, I was reminded of this post of yours and came back to it to read it again. Grabbin onto the faith this morning!

January 4, 2009 at 8:15 AM  

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