“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable. Put into practice what you learnt and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:6-8 GNT
The mind is a very powerful force and begins the internal activity of what will later become external actions. It responds to what we feed it. For example, if I continually focus on all the wrongs in my life, the evil in the world, and all the reasons I can be offended, it won’t be long until I am offended, until all that comes out of my mouth is what I have been replaying over and over again in my mind. This is very likely one of the reasons we are told in Romans to be transformed by the renewing of our minds(Romans 12:1-2).
So often we choose the long way around the things God speaks to in our lives. We are told not to worry, but in all of our prayers to ask God to minister to the need, with a thankful heart. Yet, many times we worry about a situation, meditate on all that can go wrong, and by the time we come around to asking God about it, we are anything but thankful in our hearts. Then anxiety rules our lives instead of the peace of Christ. The mind will not be in peace if it is not stayed on Him.
We are given a remedy here for anxiety, for lack of peace, for wrong attitudes, and the things that bring ingratitude into our lives. We are told to fill our minds with the things that are good and that deserve praise. Then your thoughts will become your actions, producing the good things of God through you.
A grateful heart begins with something as simple as what I choose to feed my mind on a regular basis. God’s way brings joy and peace. It brings life. My way brings wrong attitudes, frustration, and anxiety. I might be wise to lean hard into His answer and watch what kind of gratitude is produced through His life giving nourishment to the mind.
Today, I am grateful that anxiety is not my lot in life. It is my own choice. Which means I don’t have to choose it. I can choose prayer and a thankful heart instead. I am thankful for the Word which challenges and rebukes in order that I might live a life of true peace. I am grateful that my mind, although it needs much work, is in the process of being transformed as His Word is applied. I am also very thankful for the life givers, who continually cast off the temptation to feed the mind things that will not give life.