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Location: Indiana, United States

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Thinking Train

I was reminding a friend who is currently going through some significant physical trials about controlling her thinking during trials. We talked about Job and Joseph. We talked about the power and love of God who is in complete control of the situation and promises to use that difficulty for the good of the one who loves Him and also for His own glory. We talked about resting in God instead of worrying about personal pain. We talked about the thinking train.

What is the thinking train? Simply it is a very easy way to remember how to deal with difficult situations. The engine of the train is our THINKING. Philippians 4:8 directs us to think about things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise. Quite frankly I usually don't have to go past the true before I realize that my thinking needs to be changed. The second car in the thinking train is DOING. Once my thinking is lined up with what God wants, then I can start obeying Him and doing what I should be doing. The caboose of the train is FEELING. Basically I need to focus on how to think and what to do that will please God, then I can trust God to deal with how I feel. Jesus in John 13:17 said, "If you know these things, you are happy if you do them." In this passage Jesus clearly and simply tells us the correct place that our thinking should have. First we think right thoughts, then we do right actions, and finally we will be blessed or happy. Right feelings do not come until AFTER the right thinking has produced right actions.

As is so often the case in my life, soon after spending time with my friend encouraging her to think right and do right and let God take care of the feelings, I found myself struggling with my own feelings. God is so good to remind me vividly of my own sin and show me how to get right with Him again. I had just told someone else what to do with hard feelings. Would I take my own counsel? More importantly, would I trust God to take care of my feelings as I work on thinking and doing right? No, it's not always easy to think and do right when I feel rotten. But that is the only real solution. Yet God is so faithful to bless me and give me the good feelings once I have gotten to the other side of the thinking and doing struggle. And along the way He comforts me, helps me and gives me strength. What a great and awesome God we serve!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you go?

Come back:)

9:04 AM  

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