My photo taken of picnic table beside beautiful Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” (Psalm 37:7a, NIV)
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3, NLT)
I met him at the gym during one of my routine workouts. He looked healthy but, when I asked him about his work, he mentioned that he was only working part-time and was now on medication. His problem: a mind filled with conflicting voices. In this present Covid-19 pandemic situation, there are probably many people who are experiencing conflicting voices and noisy anxious minds. You may be one of them. What can you do?
First, you can look at God: fixing or focusing your mind totally on God as Isaiah 26:3 mentions above. When I experienced an anxious and “noisy” mind early in my ministry in Toronto, a precious older woman challenged me to fix my mind on Jesus through this verse. She was absolutely correct! If you listen to so much news, potentially scary stories, and to only the ideas of others, a sense of hopelessness and discouragement can easily creep into your mind. Start every day with God and His word. The need is to scan this world and everything in it through His screen and perspective. God is in control and He will have the last word. Difficult times such as this ought to motivate us in willingly surrendering our heart and lives to God who loves us and wants to not only give us peace, confidence and joy but be our peace, confidence, and joy (Ephesians 2:14; John 15:11)! Renewal of your mind and heart begins not with seeking things from God but by first worshipping, loving and continuously living by faith in Him alone (Galatians 2:20).
Secondly, listen to God—take time to thank, praise and worship for who He is, not for what He can give you. As you read the Bible, ask Him to reveal any unconfessed sin, issues, and specific needs in your life—trusting Him to fill you into overflow with His joy. See prayer as hearing from God and sharing the yearnings of your heart with Him. As you listen, be always prepared to obey and apply what you learn through His word. Experience fellowship with the Lord in a spirit of gratitude.
Thirdly, lean on God. King David testifies of his daily experience with the Lord: “He leads me beside the quiet waters” (Psalm 23:2b, NIV). The word for “quiet” or “calm” is translated from the Hebrew meaning “waters of rest”. It conveys the beautiful healing picture of a child in complete contentment laying on his/her mother’s lap. Therefore, lean on and rest completely in the everlasting arms of One who loves you and is more than willing to give you a restful mind.
Fourthly, learn of God. Hundreds of millions of people have experienced “power, love, and a sound mind” through the God-inspired teaching of one first century man — Saul who was renamed Paul (2 Timothy 1:7). During his turbulent, often difficult years of ministry, Paul excelled in communicating the Lord Jesus to the world because of one secret: he lived from start to finish with a laser-like focus on Jesus, hungering daily to learn more of God and walk in intimacy with Him (Philippians 3:7-9). Look, listen, lean and learn of the Lord — refreshing therapy for your mind today! Let your mind reflect on the above photo and trust God to hold you in the “palm” of His hand.