Our minds hold a treasure trove of information....some very useful and other random information that resembles the junk drawer in our kitchen into which everything seems to go. Under the random information category, I remember quite clearly some of the old jingles from T.V. shows and commercials. Why I remember the Alka-Seltzer jingle is beyond me but the character in the commercial told us: “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is!” Of course, the company wanted us to think of their product when faced with indigestion, and it worked. Just drop the tablets in a cup of water, drink it down and feel better fast! This world offers us temporary solutions, but when it comes to long lasting relief, there is only one source that can meet our needs. We find the remedy in God’s Word. This is why we are encouraged to meditate on it day and night. While indigestion is a temporary, there are many other things like worry or anxiety that plague our thoughts keeping us from true peace of mind.
Anxiety is not a sin. It is an emotion, but left unchecked, it can lead us to sin. Emotional eating
disorders, alcohol, or drugs are often the quick fixes people resort to when overwhelmed by fear and anxiety. However, Jesus warned us in Luke 21:34, NIV: “Be careful or your hearts will be weighed down with...the anxieties of life...” He spoke these words to encourage his disciples to be ready for the Day of His return. We must face the fact that it is hard to function when we are weighed down by worry. So what are some of the signs that anxiety has us in its grip? We must ask ourselves some questions: Do we always see things in a negative light? Do we assume that something bad is going to happen? Do we dismiss good news by diluting it with our negative thoughts? Would we rather avoid being around others and instead, just want to stay in bed? How much do we laugh and enjoy life? If we can affirm any of these patterns, we may be dealing with anxiety/worry/fear. Thankfully, God’s Word has the remedy for us to meditate on.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians tells us (Phil. 4:4-8): “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, 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 anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.” We find four simple take aways in this passage that will keep us in perfect peace. First, rejoice in the Lord. Think on Him and praise His name for all He has done in our life. Second, we must ask God for help in prayer. He will hear us when we come in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. Third, we must leave our requests with Him knowing that His plan for us is good. Finally, we need to fix our minds on whatever is just, true, noble, pure, lovely and of good report. Negative thinking brings us down, but fixing our mind on the Lord will always lift us up.
While the world scurries around looking for instant relief from the stress of living (the Alka-Seltzer fix), we as believers have the promise of God’s abiding peace in our lives despite our circumstances. Isaiah 26:3 reminds us: “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.” The key is having our minds renewed daily by washing them in the Word of God. As we clean out the junk drawer of our thinking and replace it with God’s thoughts, our lives will find relief in ways that fizzy tablets cannot! Selah!