"KEEPING YOUR HEART AND MIND"
 
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Scripture
:  Philippians 4:7  "And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus."


God has a remedy for frustrating times and days filled with confusion.  His Word says that He will give us a peace that goes beyond our understanding and this peace will keep our mind and emotions stable even in the midst of our troubled world.  Yet, there are things that we must do to achieve this blessed state of peace.  Paul gives us three instructions that will help us to receive and maintain peace in our personal lives.

First, Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord always ... then again rejoice" (verse 4).  Rejoicing, singing, and praising God, in the midst of difficult situations releases tension and brings peace to you.  As you rejoice in the Lord, faith builds in your heart, and that faith strengthens your inner man.  Many times in the Psalms, David spoke of being in distress and in fearful situations.  He expressed how he was hated and rejected by individual men and surrounded by nations that were trying to destroy him.  He had lost his confidence in men and leaders.  Yet, regardless of the current situation, David declared, "This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).  He was determined to praise the Lord in the midst of all of the controversy and confusion that surrounded him.

Another thing that is vital to peace is prayer.  Paul said, "Pray and be careful about nothing" (verse 6).  Paul instructed us not to be anxious about anything, but to pray, ask God to supply our needs, and be thankful.  Jesus also told us not to take anxious thoughts about our personal needs, but to seek His kingdom first (Matthew 6:25-34).  This 
does not mean that we are not to make plans, for faith is not the absence of planning for the future.  We are just not to be anxious or over burdened about life because we have a heavenly Father who is concerned for us.  He is the same heavenly Father who feeds the birds and clothes the lilies of the field.  He has creative resources and can care for you sufficiently, so just tell Him your needs.

Third, Paul said, "Think on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous, and worthy of praise" (verse 8).  You must train yourself to think along these lines and guard your mind by disallowing negative thoughts to intrude and build strongholds.  When you allow your mind to meditate on a word or a thought, you will eventually receive it into your spirit.  After it is settled in your spirit, you will eventually give place to it and act upon it.  It is like a seed that grows and plants its roots deep.  Negative thoughts must be weeded out immediately before they take hold.

 

When you keep your mind on God and His Word, He will keep you in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).  So rejoice in the Lord, pray, and think on good things.  As you do, you will have the peace that passes all understanding, and that peace will keep your mind and your heart in this troubled world. +++




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