Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pleasant Thoughts and Mental Stability

Pleasant Thoughts and Mental Stability

I know you all have heard some idiot tell you to ‘think positive’, or ‘look on the bright side’ right when you were in the middle of some disaster. I hope you have managed to keep from giving them a good smack right up side the head for such stupid advice. The problem is that just thinking positive doesn’t do anything except push the problem to the back of your mind for however long you are able to stay focused on happy thoughts. Worldly positive thinking places the burden of changing things on the power of your thoughts. If you can work up enough positive energy, then things will improve. Whatever the situation, things will improve. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the energy to think that positively. However, there is a very helpful way of thought that brings lasting and good results. The Bible explained it in Philippians 4:8 which says:
‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things’.

These thoughts are to be in our heads and hearts all the time, whether we are going through difficult times, or whether we are on top of the mountain at the moment. Our basic thought patterns should be patterns of Biblical thinking. That definitely includes thinking on good things. Obedience to Christ will always bring about a better present and a better future no matter in what circumstances we may find ourselves.

Following these rules for thought are important in every era, every life, and every stage of life. Think about the following things for a minute or two. If you aren’t thinking on the things of Christ, then you may be thinking about some of the following things:

Civilization is declining.

Civility between individuals is declining. If you asked half the people of the world what they consider to be civil conduct or ordinary good manners, their answers would probably all relate to how they would like others to treat them. It wouldn’t have anything to do with how they personally treat others.

The economies of all nations are somewhere between total collapse and barely hanging by a thread.

The religions of the world are in decline. Instead of seeking to stand out as the truth and the right way to eternity, there is a move to blend all religions into a gray mire where everything is equally valid. It makes an awful mess sort of like my granddad’s cooking. Granddad used to make soup. He would open whatever cans he had in the pantry; dump them the same pan; stir and heat; and then bring it over to our house as his contribution to our dinner. My mother insisted that we eat what he served politely because she said he would not eat his meals with us unless he could contribute. We wanted granddad’s company, so we ate that stuff. Honestly, his burnt beans were better than his soup; but it was all just a conglomeration of things that did not go together at all. It was terrible. That is pretty much what you get when you mix all religions. You get an awful mess.

The decline in families is so dramatic that even the definition of ‘family’ is being changed.

And the list could go on. In fact, it does go on, and on, and on. It goes on in the news, television, internet, entertainment, church, and everywhere. In fact, there is nowhere to hide from the constant reminders that the world is in transition from bad to horrible.

What’s a body to do? If we think on actual dire circumstances of today, and the dire predictions for tomorrow, we just might lose our minds entirely. The line from the song ‘Working Nine to Five’ tells the truth when it says, ‘ It’s enough to drive a body crazy if you’ll let it’.

It is important to be aware of what is going on in the world around us. However, it is not wise to spend our days thinking of nothing else. The more you consider the depressing, frightening, tragic things of the world, the more you are stimulated to depression and worry. Perhaps you personally are a part of a tragedy, a sorrow, or a frightening situation right now this very minute. It is very real, and should not be taken lightly or ignored. However, it should not take all your thoughts to deal with it. In fact, you will be able to better deal with whatever you are facing if you follow the instructions in Philippians 4:8. which gives us specific instruction regarding what we are to think about.

We should think on:
Things that are true
Things that are honest
Things that are just;
Things that are pure,
Things that are lovely,
Things that are of good report.

The Bible is true. God’s word is true.
The Bible is honest and worthy of honor and respect. It is above average in every area.
The Bible tells us what is right and just.
The Bible is pure in every way. It is undefiled and clean.
The Bible is lovely. In reading it you are ‘won over’ to a better way of thinking and living.
The Bible is well thought of by those who have taken the time to actually study it.

It is this kind of thinking that provides you with an anchor in troubled times.

It isn’t only an anchor in troubled times. It is an anchor in all times. We are supposed to think about the things that we can do, how to do our jobs and tasks better, how to make do with what we have, how to get a little more out of what we have, how to care for our families, how to get the food down that picky eater, how to get shoes on the last kid who outgrew the shoes they had, and a million things like that. At some point, dictated by common sense, we will have exhausted all the solutions humanly possible. That is the time to turn things over to God and stop thinking about them. (Of course God should be in our thoughts all the time – even when we are thinking about how to solve problems. But at some point, we just have to turn the problem over to him. That is the time our thoughts should turn to the good things of God.)

The problem comes in when we stop thinking about how to solve the problems and start worrying about the problems. Christians should not fall into that trap. We should fall into a pattern of thinking on the good things of life and standing on the promises of God. As His children, we are under His protection. He will care for us in the way that is best for us, and best carries out His will, and best gives Him the glory. How much better to be thinking about the good things of God and thanking him during all events and things than try to learn that way of thinking when we are in the middle of turmoil.

We need to learn to be action based and not outcome based. That means to just do the very best we can in any and all situations. Our actions should be within the boundaries of Christian living. That means living within the boundaries set by God for us in the Bible. Our thinking should please God. Our actions should please Him. The outcome of our actions is not in our hands. It is in the hands of God.

Have you been following God’s instructions for living, but not getting the results you have wanted or expected? Did you treat someone kindly and get a kick in the face in return? Did you work sun up to sundown on something only to have the project totally fail? Our lives would be better if we just get up each morning planning to follow the instructions given to us in the Bible to the letter. If Christians began to measure our success by that yard stick instead of by the outcome of our actions, then we would have a better grasp of how successful we really are. What may look like a failure may be a great success to God. What looks like success to man may be a big failure to God.

In addition to thinking right, Ephesians 6:13 gives us sound instructions. It says, ‘Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’

I love that verse.
We are to stand, ready to move forward as the Lord makes a way.
We are to stand wearing the whole armor of God.
And we are to think on good things while we are standing.

I have found that often while making a good effort to think on the good things of Christ instead of a problem, a solution may come to mind. Or a solution may come from an unexpected source. Or, I may just wind up living through something that gradually gets better. We don’t know how anything will end. Honestly, we don’t usually know exactly how or when a problem began. The only thing we can be sure of is that the best way to handle anything is to follow the instructions for pleasing God given to us in the Bible.

A good Bible verse to remember is 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, ‘For God hath not give us the
spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’

It is not jumping to conclusions to say that thinking on the good things of God and mental stability are connected. This is not a cop-out to avoid dealing with the difficulties that arise in our lives. We have to do all that we can in whatever situation we find ourselves. But once we have done what we can do, it is our privilege to set out minds on better things. Don’t forsake the good things God offers His children by spending time worrying about things over which you have no control.

Remember Psalm 4:1 which says, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’

So, no matter what in what trouble you may find yourself and your family, God is a refuge and strength., and a very present help in trouble.

Here is the game plan for facing trouble AND for just living as pleasantly as possible all the time, whether in trouble or not:
Remember that God is a very present help in time of trouble.
Put on the armor of God.
Stand fast.
Do what you can do.
Think on the good things.

I am sure you have heard the saying that goes something like this:
Plan your work.
Work your plan.

God has given us the plan for dealing with whatever the day brings.
It is our job to work the plan.

By the way, since God is a very present help in trouble, why not tell your troubles to Him?
Pour out your heart to Jesus. He will listen. He will help you.

Tell it to Jesus

Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.


Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a Friend that’s well known.
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone.


Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone.


Are you troubled at the thought of dying?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
For Christ’s coming kingdom are you sighing?
Tell it to Jesus alone.



What a Friend We Have in Jesus

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Other hymns to set your soothe a troubled heart an set one’s mind on better things.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
(What a fellow ship, what a joy divine……)

Blessed Assurance
(Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine…..(

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

Hallelujah for the Cross
(the winds of hell hath blown, the world its hate hath shown, yet it is not over thrown – Hallelujah for the cross!)

A Wonderful Savior is Jesus My Lord
(A wonderful savior is Jesus my Lord, He taketh my burdens away….)

Are You Washed in the Blood
(Are you fully trusting in grace this hour…….)

The Love of God
(Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man ascribe by trade, To write the love of God above, would draint he ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky…..)

Be Thou My Vision
(Be thou my vison, O Lord of my heart: Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art……..)

And finally – one more thing.

The things of great power in this world are:
The love of God
God’s written Word – the Holy Bible – inerrant, relevant, and sufficient.
Music – Godly music for good - worldly music for evil.

Barbara Henderson
http://chirpyscats.com We have seven (7) Siberian kittens born February 10, 2011