Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (BSB)
Have you noticed that the thing that most occupies our thoughts is typically the thing that most affects our attitudes and behavior? For example, focusing on world affairs tends to evoke frustration and a sense of helplessness (if not hopelessness). Attention to today’s politics can arouse anger; fear of the future can provoke anxiety; while exaggerated concern about our health can create hypochondria. Proverbs 23:7 confirms that we are what we think in our hearts.
Paul wrote to the church at Philippi (4:8) to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… Essentially, we need to take control of what we entertain in our heads (and hearts). We are to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (II Corinthians 10:5).
We CAN discipline our thoughts and our thinking patterns. …we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16) and can expect the Holy Spirit to empower us to keep our eyes on Jesus rather than on things that rob us of what he would do in and through us.
So here’s the simple cure for anxiety, for (unrighteous) anger, for negativity, for worry or fear: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Abiding in him, thanking and praising him, and focusing on him brings peace and joy. In fact, in [his] presence is fulness of joy; at [his] right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).
The hard part is consistently practicing this simple cure. But we have the Holy Spirit in us to strengthen us to do what pleases the Father. Now, let’s get started.
Heavenly Father, it’s tiring and counter-productive to think negatively. It’s depressing to become preoccupied with self. Train us to keep our eyes on Jesus. Thank you. AMEN.