Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7).
Our eyes, our ears, and all of our senses are sensitive. Some of our senses have been adapting to what we hear, taste, and see. But over time, this adaption has been desensitizing us. We can probably blame social media for all of the fear hype that is blasting through our devices every day. We can blame anything or anyone if we set our minds to it. We can even end up blaming ourselves because we should “know better.”
Blaming ourselves does us no good either. Instead of finding a reason to blame why all of this is happening, let us find a reason to thank God for everything He has given us. Let us fix our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, morally excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
Give Your Thoughts to God
Our thoughts can be powerful and overwhelming. We give so much attention to our thoughts, and not all of it is bad. But, when we constantly and consistently give into our thoughts, we are giving the enemy leverage to cause more fear and anxiety. The news, social media, our friends, family, and ourselves can be very convincing. So how do we counteract this? We use the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). God gave us our artillery.
So, why don’t we use these weapons in times of heightened anxiety? Because we are so afraid of the unknown. Everywhere we look, everywhere we go, we are full of worry, fear, and anxiety. We can't even go to the grocery store without anxiety pumping through our veins. God did not give us a spirit of fear, and He never will. He gave us “...but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
How do we self-discipline our minds? Our thoughts? In Colossians 3:1-4, Paul wrote, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Our life is hidden in Jesus Christ. So, why would we seek anything but Christ alone? I'll ask you this, what is the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning? Do you open your social media apps like Facebook or Twitter? I know I have been. One of the many things God has been teaching me is to start my day with Him and end my day with Him.
But also, throughout the day, meditate on His Word and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I’ll be honest too; I have not been great at practicing and doing these things either. Anxiety still overcomes me, but I know in my mind that God is still with me guiding me along the way, renewing my mind daily (Romans 12:2).
Controlling What We Speak
Have you ever been around a group of people for a certain amount of time and have noticed how your thoughts, decisions, and the way you speak changes? Today, during all of this quarantine, we are surrounded by people who we live with, and the media we watch, read, and listen to. Our thoughts and actions change along with this learned behavior. This can be good or bad behavior.
These days, it's hard to not say what our fears are telling us. Day by day we are fed with numbers of fatalities. We are fed with so much negativity. We should not ignore these things, but we should be wise (Proverbs 18:21), with what we are watching, listening to, and reading. Our words should be gentle, full of life, rather than full of deceit (Proverbs 15:4).
What Does God Say about Controlling What We Speak?
Let’s see what the Word of God says about negative talk:
Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening? Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water (James 3:7-12).
What we communicate to people can either bring life or death to our mental health and even physical health. This virus, COVID-19, seems to be controlling the majority of what we think and speak. Proverbs 21:23 says that “whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Let us be aware of what we say to each other and to ourselves. God loves us more than we can ever fathom. He doesn't want us to fear, worry, or be full of anxious thoughts. He wants our attention, our hearts, and minds to be about Him and what He is doing.
I pray that each of you ask God what His will is for you during this time. I pray that everyone uses their mouths to bring the brokenhearted and the lost back to Jesus Christ. Lastly, I pray that every anxious heart is filled with the peace of Jesus Christ who gave us everlasting life through His sacrifice. In Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen.
©iStock/Getty Images Plus/fizkes
Rebecca Mashburn (Gordon) has a wonderful husband named Joseph. She has a blog, Trust. Lean, Seek and is working on becoming what God is calling her to. She has a bachelor's in psychology and hopes to one day pursue a degree in biblical counseling. Rebecca loves to be in nature, especially in springtime, and she loves to travel. She has a loving family and hopes one day to have children of her own.