Joyce Meyer Daily Devotional- Consider What You’re Thinking About
Some people are extremely unhappy, and they’ve been that way for so long that they’ve forgotten there’s another way. I can recall being like that. I blamed my unhappiness on the actions of others, believing that my husband and children were the most unhappy. I was certain that if they changed and became a little more sensitive to my needs, I would feel better. I knew I’d be happy if they helped around the house more, volunteered to run errands, or simply asked how I was doing. Of course, I never said anything to them to express my feelings. I reasoned that if they were sensitive and caring, they would be able to see how they could assist me and make my life easier.
I prayed about it, telling God how much happier I would be if they cooperated more, but they didn’t.
God spoke to me one day, but not in the way I expected. Think about what you’re thinking, he said. I had no idea what God was talking about. In fact, the words made no sense. How was I supposed to think about what I was thinking about?
Then I realized what was going on. My mind was racing from one thought to the next. That was bad enough, but the majority of my thoughts were focused on myself and my needs. I used to believe that if they—the other people in my life—changed, I would be content. I eventually admitted, reluctantly, that even if they changed, I’d find something else to be upset about. I was just unhappy, and I didn’t need a reason; it was just one thing after another.
As I considered my situation, I remembered Philippians 4:8, where Paul presented a list of the kinds of things we should concentrate on. If God didn’t want me to think about the things I had been thinking about, I needed to know what I should be thinking about instead. I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn. Despite the fact that I had been going to church for years, I couldn’t recall anyone ever telling me how important my thoughts were to God and to my overall quality of life.
We will be built up, spiritually grown, and strong in the Lord if we focus our thoughts on good things, as Paul mentioned in that verse.
The more I thought about God’s message, the more I realized how my thoughts influenced my attitude, and how this is true for all of us. God only instructs us to do things that are beneficial to us. He wants us to be happy and fulfilled, and the only way to be happy and fulfilled is to live our lives according to God’s plan. We are unhappy if we are filled with negative thoughts. That is not just a theory; it is based on my personal experience as well as God’s Word. I’ve also learned that when we’re unhappy, we tend to make those around us unhappy as well.
Since then, I’ve made it a habit to take a regular inventory of my thoughts—to examine how I think. What was I thinking about? I think to myself.
I emphasize this because, as I have learned from personal experience, Satan deceives us into believing that the source of our misery or pain is other people or, in some cases, our circumstances. He tries to keep us from acknowledging that our own thoughts are frequently the source of our unhappiness. I’d venture to say that it’s nearly impossible to be happy while thinking negatively, critically, or depressingly.
We will begin to overcome the enemy in the battle for our thoughts as we take action by intentionally redirecting our thoughts to the types of things God told us to focus on and inviting Him to help us (see Romans 12:2; Philippians 2:13).
Dear Jesus, please teach me to think about what I’ve been thinking about and to intentionally redirect my thoughts to things that align with Your Word. Thank You for promising to give me the grace I need to do exactly what You’ve called me to do, and for assisting me in thinking more like You. In the name of Jesus, amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind – by
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