I heard once that the maturity of a Christian can be determined by measuring the time span between when something bad happens and when you begin praising the Lord about that event.
This saying came to mind recently as I dealt with a loved one making an ungodly decision leading to a bad outcome. Instead of feeling hopeful about this person’s future as I had before, I began to slip into gloom and doom thinking.
I felt tempted to cut off contact. My mind entertained thoughts that this person proclaiming he had found Christ was all a hoax. I let feelings of disappointment and despair take over whenever this person’s name or face came to mind.
But then God whispered, “Remember; I told you to love him unconditionally.”
He reminded me that His instruction had not changed. He also brought to my memory a prayer I’d prayed recently, “Lord, let everything that’s hidden come out into the open.”
What had happened was an answer to that prayer.
Instead of staying focused on this person and the bad choice he had made, I discovered God wanted to show me my recent bad decision. Although he had not acted like a Christian, God revealed I wasn’t thinking like one.
When something unexcepted happens, and my response immediately jumps to the negative, that’s unwise. It seems once I board the train of negative thinking, it’s difficult to get off.
But there’s a way to jump off the speeding train. And that’s to leap into the Word of God and embrace verses which speak of my thought life and my mind.
Isaiah 26:3 helped bring me out of negative thinking and back into a “Praise the Lord” frame of mind.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. KJV
There is a question God wants me to be asking instead of, “Can this person be trusted?”
That question is: “Do I trust God?”
I’m still learning to, and He’s an excellent teacher.
What about you? When a crisis arises in your life, do you tend to be flooded with negative thoughts and a sense of despair concerning people or circumstances? Turn to the Lord today, and He can help turn your thinking around.