Take a few seconds and think about all that happened yesterday. Take a few more seconds and think about all that happened this past week. Take a few seconds and think about all that has happened in the past year. Are you done? Did a lot come to your mind? How much of it was negative? How much of it was focused on all of the things that went wrong or that did not play out as we had hoped? What was your mindset when you finished doing this? Are you feeling more negative? More down in spirits? Or did you have positive thoughts and memories of the good things that brought you joy?
Most of us would tend to focus on the things that were overwhelming, heartbreaking, or that went wrong in that time frame. We as humans usually gravitate towards the opposite of joy—yet that is the one thing everybody seems to say that they want and the one thing you find everyone chasing. If we want joy and peace and positivity so much, why do we seem to be so captured by the wrong and stress and negativity? In two words: THIS WORLD.
We live in this world, and Jesus boldly told us, “I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.” (John 16:33 VOICE). We were told straight from the mouth of the Perfect One that we WILL have continued times of lacking peace, strength and security. But did you catch that second part? He is triumphant! The victory has always and will always belong to Jesus! He gave his life to ensure that truth and promise.
You see, when we accepted Jesus into our hearts, we became a new creation. We strive to be different, live different and think different. But the problem with that is we still live in the old world and among old creations. We try to follow the light that Jesus brings to our path … in a world filled with darkness and corrupt natures. Morals, values and desires are completely off-track and people are lost. No matter how we fight it, we all still have human nature and instinct in us, whether we are saved or not. That is why we sometimes gravitate to the things we know in our hearts we don’t even want to think or do. The Apostle Paul knows this struggle all too well. He tells us in Romans 7:15, 18-19, “15 Listen, I can’t explain my actions. Here’s why: I am not able to do the things I want; and at the same time, I do the things I despise. … 18 I know that in me, that is, in my fallen human nature, there is nothing good. I can will myself to do something good, but that does not help me carry it out. 19 I can determine that I am going to do good, but I don’t do it; instead, I end up living out the evil that I decided not to do.” (VOICE)
Unfortunately, when Eve took that apple off the tree and Adam chose to partake in the eating of it—they changes the entire course of history for human beings and the world we live in. Which makes it all the more hard for us to stay the course and keep on the true path. We must intentionally keep the Truth of God’s Word in our minds and KNOW His character so that we can strive to be more like Him each and every day. God gives us His Word, Jesus gave us a human example. It takes effort, it takes time, and it takes a deep heart “want to”. Though hard at times, it is not impossible. We know the end to the story—we win! So press on, train your mind to think on the things above and on the blessings each day brings to your life, instead of what this world or those in it may have tried to take away. Here are some versus of encouragement for you today to remind you that it is all going to work out beautifully—if you stay the course and fight for your place in God’s Kingdom.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2:11-12 NIV)
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4 NIV)
“How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.” (Psalm 31:9 NIV)
“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:4 NIV)
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17 NIV)