“Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice.”
Philippians 4:4 American Standard Version (ASV)

It’s liberating to realize that you do not have to go with the flow when it comes to your emotions. You don’t have to be dominated by your feelings and you don’t have to allow circumstances to dictate how you feel. The apostle Paul wrote from prison (where he was incarcerated because he was a Christian) to people who weren’t in prison, and he encouraged them to “rejoice in the Lord, always”. The letter he wrote to the Philippian believers is his happiest letter – and it is written from prison, under terrible circumstances! He’s telling us that our joy should not be dependent on circumstances (which are always changing) but on the Lord (who is constant and never changes). If you’re waiting for circumstances to give you a reason to rejoice, you may never have an opportunity. But no matter how bad circumstances may be, we always have a reason to rejoice in the Lord. It’s your choice. Do you want momentary joy or constant joy? It’s all dependent on your focus: will you focus on your circumstances or on the Lord?

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Proverbs 23:7 King James Version (KJV)

The way you think is determining the course of your life. You cannot expect to perform in a consistent way that is inconsistent with the way that you see yourself. If you want to change your actions or your emotions, you need to change your thinking and ultimately your focus. You will never reign in life if your focus isn’t right, and if you are not thinking right. Your focus and thoughts determine your emotions, and will ultimately determine your destiny.

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Romans 8:6 King James Version (KJV)

To be “carnally minded” doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re focused on sin all the time; “carnal minded” is simply being focused on the things of the world (what you see and experience) more than being “spiritually minded” (which is being focused on what God’s Word says). Note that carnal mindedness doesn’t tend towards death but rather it equals death. In other words, if you are dominated by carnality in your focus and thinking you will reap death (negative emotions). Many Christians wonder why they suffer with fear, depression or anxiety, when they are dominated by negative thoughts about what could go wrong, is going wrong and will go wrong. If you want to experience life and peace, then you need to be spiritually minded. You need to be focused on God’s Word and His promises. You need to be meditating on what God says and not on what the devil says, the world says or any circumstances say. Your emotions are the direct product of your focus and though-life. Change your focus and your thinking, and you will change your emotions and your life!

Thought to focus on for the day:
I choose to focus my attention and meditate on God and His Word. As a result I will experience life and peace. I will not be fearful, anxious or worried about anything because I know God’s Word and His promises.

Scriptures for meditation: Psalm 23; Psalm 27; Psalm 91; Matthew 6:26-33; Hebrews 13:5.

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