“What you focus on expands.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 6, 2022
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
Last month I had a breast cancer scare that sent me running to Jesus. While I waited for my test results, (which, praise the Lord, turned out to be negative) I was naturally concerned, but I also repeatedly experienced a profound peace that came from knowing I am firmly held in Christ’s hand when I call out to Him.
That said, there were moments before receiving the results when it was easy for “What if?” thoughts to consume me. In these moments, I consciously—and repeatedly—decided to focus on Jesus and ask for help. In fact, I literally called out for Him to save me from fear when my thoughts betrayed my faith. “Jesus, help!” Immediately, when I cried out, I felt a shift in my emotions from anxiety and fear to faith and peace. I sensed that Christ was right there with me.
These “Jesus, help me!” experiences reminded me of my college days following a very painful break up. During this time, one of my spiritual mentors with Campus Crusade for Christ shared a new verse with me that I hadn’t ever heard before: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV).
During that time, no matter how much I focused on Jesus, I didn’t experience the promise of this Scripture. I felt anything but peaceful; I felt complete despair. The difference between my recent health scare and my time in college was one, five-letter word: Trust.
“Because He trusts in you.”
This week, I’ve been reminded that experiencing God’s promise of peace is the result of trusting Him, not just focusing on—or thinking about—Him. Although my faith is far from perfect, in the over thirty years since college, God has proven His faithfulness to me time and time again. But when I was a young woman with a broken heart, I didn’t trust Christ, so where I lacked peace, I experienced torment.
So, what is one secret to experience peace when you don’t trust? What is one secret to experience peace when you do feel overwhelmed and “What if?” thoughts consume you? It’s to cry out to Him even in your unbelief; to exercise faith even when you don’t feel faithful. This will make all the difference.
What you focus on expands. The more you focus on fear and fearful thoughts, the more they will expand. And the more you focus on Jesus and focus on choosing to trust Him, the more that will grow too. When you choose trust, you will experience more peace.
In what area of your life are you experiencing fear? Are you experiencing a lack of peace?
Call out to Him and trust Him to rescue you.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV).
Lord, when I am afraid, I choose to trust You. When thoughts of unbelief or fear fill my mind, I choose to trust in You. Help me always come to you and call out to you, rather than languish in fear and unbelief. Amen
When you experience fearful thoughts, be mindful of what you are thinking. Whenever fear starts to consume you, call out for Him to rescue you.
Elevation Worship: I Will Trust
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