Thought Life / Verses

The temptation here is to focus on what the Bible says regarding shoulds and should nots but we have enough to worry about with that all the time anyway. I’m far more interested in the comfort of God’s healing.

I want to hear some words not just of health (how do I change my patterns?) but of self (where should I put my focus, Lord?). Because working toward health is a journey and we need to be reminded there isn’t anything wrong with that but our broken human brain is trying to believe who we are, and who God is, changes because of circumstances. Spoiler, it doesn’t.

So here are some verses from The Message translation. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of the truth, speak the truth about God out loud to combat my swirling thoughts or bandage my tender feelings. I hope they lead you to peace.

Isaiah 26:3 People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit.

Romans 8:26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Romans 12:1-2

Place Your Life Before God

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Romans 5:1-5

Developing Patience

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

The Rescue

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.  

Psalm 32

1 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
    you get a fresh start,
    your slate’s wiped clean.

Count yourself lucky—
    God holds nothing against you
    and you’re holding nothing back from him.

When I kept it all inside,
    my bones turned to powder,
    my words became daylong groans.

The pressure never let up;
    all the juices of my life dried up.

Then I let it all out;
    I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

Suddenly the pressure was gone—
    my guilt dissolved,
    my sin disappeared.

These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
    when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
    we’ll be on high ground, untouched.
7 God’s my island hideaway,
    keeps danger far from the shore,
    throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.

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