Although people can't see our thoughts, they can see the results of them. What is in our mind and heart is what comes out through the words of our mouth. If we have a troubled mind, we will not live a peaceful life. We won't be able to bring peace to others because we can't give to others what we do not have ourselves.
Jesus said we are to be makers and maintainers of peace. The apostle Paul said to work for what makes peace, unity, harmony, and agreement with others (see Ephesians 4:3). It is very important to make peace a high priority…and peace always begins inside of us.
Here's what I mean. Jesus was able to quiet the storm outside because He maintained peace on the inside. He did not have His mind on the storm even though it was raging against Him. While the disciples were frantic and fearful, Jesus felt so much peace He was able to sleep! He had peace in the midst of the calamity and was able to actually calm it. He had peace—therefore He could speak peace to the circumstance (see Matthew 8:24-26).
God's Word has a lot to say about our mind and how we think. In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah said that if we keep our mind on the Lord, He will give us perfect and constant peace (see Isaiah 26:3). Proverbs 23:7 teaches us that as a man thinks, so will he become. I like to say it another way: Where the mind goes, the man follows. Thoughts precede actions!
We can't control the thoughts that come to us, but we can control what we continue to think about. For many years of my life, I simply did what most people do—I thought about whatever came into my mind. I did not know that I could choose what I thought about. The Bible teaches us that the mind is an area that the devil tries to control (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). He offers thoughts for us to entertain on a regular basis. We can either choose to keep those thoughts or replace them with God's thoughts.
God's written Word is a record of His thoughts toward us and about the way we are to live. The Bible literally covers every area of life. If we order our thoughts and conversation according to God's Word, we will be amazed at how enjoyable and prosperous life will be. But first we must believe that we can choose our own thoughts and that we don't have to meditate on whatever happens to fall into our mind.
It's important to understand that the thoughts we have affect our emotions, our health, our future, our attitudes, our relationships, and much more. And what we think about often becomes our reality. We can think something that is not even true, but our thoughts will make it real to us. For instance, I can imagine that someone is ignoring me and I can choose to feel hurt when in reality that person might not have even seen me. The pain is the same to me although my mind manufactured the whole thing.
Make sure your thoughts are not deceiving you. Find out what the truth is and know that the truth will set you free (see John 8:32). In the New Testament, Paul said it like this: For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them] (Philippians 4:8 The Amplified Bible).
If we follow this advice, we will please God and enjoy more peace. Having peace with God, yourself, and the people around you is the foundation of having peace in life. The key is keeping your thoughts above the storms of life. Only then will you enjoy the full, abundant life that God's Word says you can have.
Author/teacher Joyce Meyer has been helping people overcome life's problems through biblical keys to practical Christian living since 1976. Her radio and television programs are broadcast throughout the United States and much of the world. For additional information, you may contact Joyce Meyer Ministries at P.O. Box 655, Fenton, Missouri 63026 or visit www.joycemeyer.org.
© 2007 Printed with permission of Joyce Meyer Ministries