Hey there, hope your weekend has been good. For me, I am pleasantly surprised to say I actually got a lot done this weekend, which is not always the case. But with starting to work again full time, it was a must that I used the two days off to get some necessary things done. I tried some new recipes, grocery shopped for the week, did the laundry, wrote a letter to a friend, exercised, talked on the phone to the parents…phew. And I’m not even tired. How?… the Lord’s grace, that’s for sure!
Today I want to talk about a wonderful sermon I saw this morning on how your mind affects your physical and emotional health. Paul had a study session this morning so I stayed home and watched a Joyce Meyer’s sermon on youtube. I didn’t realize how desperately I needed to hear someone speak truth to me this morning until I started listening. Sometimes I get caught up in the thought that I’ve already heard all there is to know about God and the bible, but that is such a lie! I was wonderfully reminded of God’s promises to us on this earth when we live a life that honors Him.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
What is the pattern of this world?
Well, there’s a lot that would define what the world is, but here I think about the on-going business and worry and anxiety that so many people struggle with. Anxiety and depression are more common in Americans than any other country in the world. Why is that? Because we busy ourselves too much, and worry too much because of it. Our thoughts are not given to the Lord in every circumstance and therefore we become filled with anxiety and stress in our circumstances.
Worry is something I’ve struggled with a lot! You can ask Paul…he’s so good at pointing out when I’m worrying for no reason. But it’s so hard to get out of that state of mind, even though I know that worrying about a certain thing won’t make a difference to the situation (Matthew 6:27).
Joyce Meyer’s stated, “You can add power to your life by the way you think…or, you can weaken yourself.”
So what is it to renew my mind?
I can make the choice to not worry, you can make the choice to not worry. Our only objectives each day, with each situation we’re in is to 1) PRAY and 2) TRUST GOD. How hard is that!?
Actually, its harder than just that for me. For most of us. But we’ve been given power to be at rest in whatever comes our way. Another great quote from the sermon I watched this morning was, “Rest is not a cessation of work, it is resting in God, trusting Him.” How true! We don’t have to stop all that we’re doing to worry, and worry, and worry. God wants us to just keep on going on with our lives in the same manner but to pray and keep working, knowing that God’s at work and we have no need to stress out about what will come. This is what renewing our minds is. Actively choosing to live a life free of stress and worry and instead, trusting our Lord.
This is the “God’s will” part of Romans 12 that we miss out on when we stress and worry ourselves unnecessarily. Perfect peace. Perfect rest.
I know you’ve probably heard the effect of stress on your physical health before, but it’s so true! When I was stressed out with that time when everything was happening so quickly in my life…aka wedding and big move to New York…I was chronically tired, grumpier, had more frequent stomach aches, reflux, a recurrent cold that wouldn’t go away. I wish I could go back and remind myself that God is in control. I wish I’d practiced what I knew to be true and just renewed my mind every morning and not fall into the trap of worry and stress.
Ok, so I hope that you don’t relate with me, but I bet a lot of you also deal with unnecessary stress and worry that you put on yourselves. How can we speak out with power against worry and stress? Here’s some ways to daily commit our minds to the Lord and not give in to worry.
- Start every morning in prayer. There’s power in actively speaking to our maker.
- Just say no! Say no to giving in to stressing in those “stressful” situations. Your circumstances don’t force you to stress, you do.
- Find a way that you enjoy to be active. Distract yourself with physical activity instead of stressing.
- Talk about what’s stressing you with friends in a healthy way. There’s a way to be unhealthy in sharing your stressors, one in which you just egg each other on to more worry. But sharing your struggles and having the other person pray for you can be great support.
- Get adequate sleep. It’s a vicious cycle if you fall into chronic lack of sleep, and that can lead to a multitude of other problems and just exasperate whatever was worrying you.
Just to let you know, I need this reminder all the time. When things are going well I find that I don’t turn to God like I should, and then when something goes wrong I turn to worry to try to “feel better”. I fall into the trap thinking that by worrying I’m making things better. That sounds so silly saying it now.
So let me know what you think…have you had any experience in choosing not to worry about a situation? How did that go, and what action did you take to not fall trap to worry? How do you daily renew your mind or, if that’s not a thing you do frequently, what do you think of starting that practice? Let’s all try this week to work on renewing our minds each morning and see what changes in our day to day. I look forward to hearing how God uses this practice in your life.