I hear a common theme these days. When we look at a situation in our lives that challenges us, and we can’t see a solution, fear sneaks in to the back door of our heart without being noticed. Starting with thoughts in our mind, we tell ourselves that it is impossible. Because we can’t see the outcome working out, it must not be possible… or is it?
The subtle thoughts of fear roam the hallways of our hearts almost without being noticed for what they are. Disguised as common sense or wisdom. But I have learned to distinguish fear from truth, because there is such a huge difference!
Truth is found in God’s word, and is always full of hope. Fear is always approaching the future or the current circumstance with the opposite of hope. God’s word is His living voice, tested by time and proved true in every way. It can be trusted because HE can be trusted. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things-including our future and destiny. In addition to being all-powerful, he is all-loving.
Have you noticed that once fearful thoughts take up residence in your mind, it is difficult to be thankful?
“Thankfulness is the simplest way to inoculate myself from fear because I can’t “feel” gratitude and “feel” fearful at the same time.” Kris Vallotton
Growing in thankfulness doesn’t happen accidentally. If I want to start a vegetable garden, it will need me to roll up my sleeves and arrange all the supplies and seeds beforehand. A few gardening tools are a must, and already I am beginning to make a plan and set aside some time! This is the same with gratitude – it is a cultivated lifestyle that involves daily lifting your voice, speaking out what God has done for you. It may seem awkward at first, but it will become natural the more you do it.
Hope is the fruit of thankfulness! It is the sun that shines on your fledgling garden and the rain that saturates the soil, bringing life to each small seed that you plant.
Hebrews 11 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
When you face a situation that seems impossible because you can’t see it working out, keep the door shut on your fearful thoughts and pull on your gardening gloves. Sow thankfulness in your heart by dwelling on gratitude. It will amaze you how God works that situation for good in your life, taking what seemed impossible and turning it completely around to be a display of His faithfulness. Stand back and watch! Because you are filled with hope, you will have the perfect vision to see it come to pass.
Philippians 4:4-9 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Romans 12 “I appeal to you therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Psalm 18:30 “The Word proves true and the Lord is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:19 “My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 15:13 “The God of Hope fills you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Spirit.”