Do you know what today is? Of course you do. It’s Thursday. Some call it tiny Friday, akin to gray Thursday that slam dunks shoppers into Black Friday. To me … well it’s just Thursday. Creative, huh? It’s a day to be …. be what? A mom. a dad, a computer programmer, a manager, a dental hygienist, a nurse, an assistant, a teacher dragging your feet because summer is coming to an end, you might be an invalid. Whatever you be today, be joyful.
Did you know that what we feed our minds directly feeds our hearts and that becomes our fuel for action? Philippians 4:8-9 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things….put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Practice deciding that whatever comes – we will not let circumstances rob us of our joy. Armor up! When negative thoughts start worming their way inward – fight back with what is right, lovely, admirable. Be willing to be willing to replace that dark thought with something from the light.
Here’s something I’ve learned. Maybe you’ve learned it too. Emotions are fickle, they become a habit, and habits become our reality. Our circumstances can certainly be cruel and we can justify discouragement, but dear friends, allowing discouragement to be our companion changes nothing. Not one thing. I’m sure the reason the Apostle Paul spoke in terms of an athlete at times is because this really is a marathon race we’re running here and there are few prizes.
Feeling overwhelmed is the constant state of many of us today. Life is too busy, it’s too expensive, there are too many things that go wrong – at least that’s how it feels if that’s what we think about. We become what we think about. Into the mind, into the heart, out in the act. “Whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable …. whatever is noble and right”…..invest every thought there and it will multiply itself into joy. Not easy? Right! Not easy — but oh so necessary.
I woke up with a song on my heart this morning -This Same God – The same God who protected his children in the past, is protecting us today. We need to pray out our fear and doubt. From my Bible reading this morning. I was in the Message translation getting fired up for the day ahead. Psalm 28:6-7 “Blessed be God— he heard me praying. He proved he’s on my side; I’ve thrown my lot in with him. Now I’m jumping for joy, and shouting and singing my thanks to him.” And in Psalm 33:20-22 “We’re depending on God; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got— that’s what we’re depending on.”
Here is the best way to send you off this morning – Philippians 4:1 “My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God.”