Instead of thinking about all the most irritating, unfair, ridiculous things in our lives, how about thinking of the good things. We can think about a cool drink of ice tea after the work is over. We can think about the time we felt despair but someone told us that he or she loved us just at the right moment. We can think about baking a cake, buying a gift, our favorite race car driver who is improving every year. We can think about hunting and guns, flowers and peas, coffee and eggs over waffles. The movies we watch and the thrill we get from being scared. The people who have loved us in our darkest moments. Our friends who say things we like or our spouses who love the Lord and listen to his Word.
Why should we think of those things? Because it’s better than getting angry and staying that way. Because it’s better than pulling out the lawn mower and cutting the grass while we get mad at the time our boss didn’t appreciate our work. Because it’s better than getting angry at what someone might do in the future, even though that person hasn’t done anything yet. It’s better than dwelling on sorrow or sadness or pain months after the cause. Because the Lord asks us to.
Is it so easy to simply butt out the bad thoughts and let the good thoughts roll in? Not always, but I can tell you this. Prayer will clear our minds and make way for all the thoughts that are excellent, pure, loving, generous and kind. Thinking about the generosity and security and good ways of Jesus Christ will open a path for peaceful thinking. The Holy Spirit will help us if we say to Jesus that right now we choose better thoughts, help me Lord. Help me calm down and help me see all the marvelous things in front of me. Help me see that my faith in Jesus Christ and my work, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, to stay in the same mindset as the Lord will not only secure me when I pass away, but will secure me as I walk through trouble.
All of this stuff on earth, all of this trouble and heartache and disaster is nothing compared to the security that we have with the God of all, who will get us through it and lead us to a better future. We may be stuck in the middle of a storm today, but even so, the peace of the All Mighty God living in our lives will allow us to work out the problems calmly, will help us forget about the annoyances we face and put us in serenity, will open up doorways to put excellent thoughts in our spirit and our minds as we think about the beauty of the Good Shepard, the hope of today, the hope of peace and the hope of a loving future.
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that”” (James 4:13-15).