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God's cure for the deadly disease of negative thoughts
Reaching Out and Touching Jesus

God's cure for the deadly disease of negative thoughts

It is a proven fact: One negative thought gives birth to another, and another, and another, until your life spirals out of control. Think with me about this for a moment. Have you noticed how uptight you feel as a result of entertaining negative thoughts?

You’re rushing to get to a luncheon appointment on time. You’re already late. You begin to tell yourself this is not good. The person you’re meeting with will be upset. You will obviously look bad and possibly lose face. So as you’re trying to arrive at a time that’s not too late, you get upset at the slow driver in front of you. You honk your horn and say under your breath, “Come on!” And then as you pass, you give the driver in the car a dirty look.

You find yourself speeding, blazing through stoplights as they go from yellow to red. Every time you have to stop at a light, you say to yourself, “I can’t believe this. Stupid lights!” When you get ready to make a turn and have to wait for a pedestrian to cross, you think, “Come on! What’s the matter -- is your leg broken?”

You pull in the parking lot of the restaurant and discover that it is full. More colorful metaphors invade your thoughts. Finally, you get a spot. Carefully rehearsing the lie that you’ll offer as your reason for being late, you rush into the restaurant looking for the person you’re supposed to meet. At first glance, you don’t see him. So you ask the front desk attendant. She says, no, the person you described hasn’t arrived.

You are escorted to your table, sit down and take a deep breath. Drink a glass of water and immediately begin to relax. Less than five minutes later, you’re appointment shows up, LATE!

He says, “I’m sorry for being late. I was stuck in traffic.”

You tell him, “Hey, don’t worry about it. I’ve been just sitting here going over my schedule.”

Sound familiar? I won’t tell you where I got that illustration. You’ll have to guess.

For so many of us, there’s no limit to how long this type of scenario or “thought attack” can go on. We tend to allow our minds to lie to us over and over again, only demonstrating in due time the fallacies of such thoughts, yet for some reason we allow them to continue.

We allow our minds to do this to us when we try to call a person and get no answer. Or we write that email and don't get a reply. Our thoughts tell us that the other person is avoiding us. There is something that the other doesn’t like about us. Or we must have done something wrong, or we’re just not good enough for them, ad infinitum.

The solution to this is to know what’s happening in your head before your thoughts have a chance to build momentum. The sooner you catch yourself in the act of thinking wrongly, and feeling agitated as a result, the easier it will be to stop.

You can't force yourself to STOP THINKING. To do so would be like asking yourself to stop breathing. No, your brain was created to think! So let it think. But WHAT should you tell it to think about?? God offers several suggestions in Philippians 4.8...

Finally, brethren...

  • Whatever things are true
  • Whatever things are noble
  • Whatever things are just
  • Whatever things are pure
  • Whatever things are lovely
  • Whatever things are of good report
  • If there is any virtue
  • And if there is anything praiseworthy

-- meditate on THESE things.

Philippians 4.8 [emphasis added]

And then what will the result be? Look at God's promise in verse 9...

...and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4.9b

“The God of peace will be with you.” What does this mean? It simply means that the God who is known for His peace, will make Himself known to you personally by giving you His peace (v. 7).

Isn’t it much better to live your life in peace? Not simply at peace with others, but at peace with yourself as well? We tend to become so upset with ourselves because we’re not like someone else that we compared ourselves too. Don’t do that. You have your own race to run, therefore YOU run it. Don’t do something unorthodox and run someone else’s race. You’ll fail and feel even worse about it.

Your thoughts are an important part of what feeds your emotions and drives your will. But if you take the time -- as often as you must do along life's way -- to stop yourself from thinking negatively and replace bad thoughts with positive thoughts, you will demonstrate to others as well as to yourself, that having the presence of the God of peace is much more important than your schedule of things to do.

Reaching Out and Touching Jesus

"I am willing; be cleansed" --Mark 1:41

In the beginning, God spoke: “Let there be. . .and there was.” What is it about the spoken Word of our Lord that reveals His good Will? If something wasn’t, it was spoken into existence. If something was wrong, it was spoken and made right. Words, not just mere words, but the very words of Jesus have such a profound impact on its intended target.

Isn’t a sinner more miserable than a leper? Yet Jesus spoke the words, “My son, your sins are forgiven” and it was so. What then was the outcome? Was it not to exercise what little trust he had and “Arise, take with you your pallet and start walking?” Every time Jesus speaks, something, or someone, somewhere is being restored, cleansed, or made into a new creation. At one time God declared: “My Word which goes forth from My Mouth, it shall not return to Me empty without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11-12).

If the spoken Word of Jesus can bring so much good and blessing, then the most miserable existence imaginable is to be the recipient of the “silence of Jesus.” I cannot possibly imagine what must have been in store for Herod who questioned Jesus at some length, only to hear NOTHING (Luke 23:9).

All who come to Jesus are made better in some way. It may not be the way we want or expect, but if God speaks, it will be something better than we could possibly imagine.

The leper didn’t command Jesus, nor try to remind Him of some promise He made in order to corner Him and twist His arm into doing what he wanted done. He simply and humbly said, “If you’re willing, You can make me clean.”

Notice that before the actual words were spoken which sealed the leper’s healing, came first the “touch” of Jesus. Why did Jesus touch him? Because the leper had touch Jesus with his humility and simplistic request. It was a touch that moved Jesus with compassion.

It is as if Jesus said: “Because you have reached out and touched Me, I will reach forth and touch you.” How we so crave for the touch of Jesus; and how He too must crave for our touch as well. We touch His heart when we are humble and simplistic before Him in prayer. He is willing, but are we?




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