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I have so many titles for this article running through my head. "Stinking Thinking". "As A Man Thinketh In His Heart". "You Are What You Think". "So Go The Thoughts, So Go The Man". Let me start by asking you a few questions. 1. 2. 3. 4. Are you totally discouraged right now? Do you feel overwhelmed? Is your mental thought process completely shut down? Do you feel trapped?
I have a friend who consistently responds “I’m happy and blessed” when I ask him how he is doing. Now I like this guy, I really do. But, sometimes, I just want to say “get real" when he tells me that. I don’t know, maybe he really is happy all the time. I guess it’s possible. Anything is possible right?! I’m going to get blasted over this article. I’m going to get tons of emails from the "Happy All The Time Crowd". They’re going to tell me I’ve gone off the deep end. They will let me know that the Christian should always be happy. It’s our right. It’s our obligation. We should always have this enormous smile that tells everyone around us that we are HAPPY. Christians are not allowed to get bummed out. Christians, especially Christian ministers are definitely not allowed to sink to the cloud of discouragement. A minister should never allow himself to get to a place of feeling down. Right? Sounds good doesn’t it. But in the real world that’s a bunch of baloney. Just ask the old Prophet of God. One minute he’s killing off 500 false prophets, and wishing he could die the next. You might agree with me that most preachers are emotional people. Now some people out there are not real emotional, but most of the preachers I know are people who allow emotion to guide them. Now that’s not a bad thing. I’m convinced that the Lord has a hard time using people who are hard to move emotionally. This is why he anointed David to be king when he was only a boy. God said of David, “He’s after my heart”. Other words, he’s a person who is able to touch me with his emotion. Without emotion, David would be led of his own ideas and agenda. But, since he was a person whose heart could be touched, God said, “I’ll use him in ways he never imagined he could be used.” Emotion is a good thing. We need to be emotional! God is emotional. Look what the scriptures tell us about him.
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He gets angry. He gets jealous. He laughs. He’s emotional!
We, being created in his image are allowed the same privilege of being emotional. Am I making my point? It’s ok to be happy. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be joyous. It’s ok to get mad, even angry. And for all of you who answered yes to my questions in the first paragraph, it’s ok to be totally discouraged. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed. And it’s ok to feel like you are trapped and boxed in with no way to get out of feeling completely bummed out. Did you hear me? It’s OK to feel the way you feel right now. Anyone who says he/she has never felt the way you feel right now is a liar. Examine the scriptures and you will find heroes of the faith who from time to time were depressed, down in the dumps, down in the mouth, dismal, disheartened, despondent, downcast, dismayed, dejected, doleful, disillusioned and disappointed. In other words they were just plain bummed. They were bummed out over their circumstances. They were bummed out over their situation. They were bummed out over all the “stuff” that was happening in their life. They questioned whether God Loved them. They wondered if He cared. They doubted He was concerned. Even Jesus on the Cross said to the Father, “Why hast thou forsaken me”.
Are you hearing me, it’s ok to feel this way. However. As much as you may be relishing and enjoying living in misery, Sooner or later you are going to have to come out of your self entombed bed of misery. Hear me now, you cannot stay there. It’s a place we all visit from time to time, but it’s not where God would have you to live. I know you see no way out. I realize you are feeling numb even to His touch, but friend we have to move on. The Psalmist 27:1,3 said “The Lord is the strength of my life… in this will I be confident.” When my strength is gone. When my inner encourager is discouraged. When I feel like I have there is no reason to press on, “The Lord Is My Strength.” Jesus said, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he”. Did you know that if your mental thought process is one of constant defeat, you will be defeated. If all you see is “no way out” then there will be no way out for you. You see a man’s life is what his thoughts make of it. If you allow yourself to waller in despair, you will never see the hope of a better day. I am by nature an emotional person. I am easily motivated by emotion. Depending on my emotional health, I am either productive, energetic and encouraging. Or I am unproductive, exhausted, and critical of people. I can be the most happy confidence builder you ever met or I can be someone who is worried and sees little to hope for. It all depends on my emotional well being. I realize that about myself. I admit it. I confess! So, what can I do to keep myself healthy emotionally? First, let me say that the Bible says much about the mind. EX: “The double minded man. Let this mind be in you.” Why does the Bible tell us to guard our mind? Because our
minds control our emotions.
Did you hear that? What goes through your mind will dictate your emotions. If you allow negative thoughts to prevail, then your emotions will run rampant with negativity. You’ve heard the story of the farmer who had two young bulls. He asked his helper which of the two bulls would grow to be the largest. The young man guessed the one who was the largest at that point. The farmer said “no, the one we feed the most.” Can I say it’s time to start feeding your mind. Feed it with encouraging books. Feed it with a self growth seminar. Feed it with time in prayer. Feed it by allowing your self to think outside the box. See yourself out of the situation you are in right now. Visualize the debt gone. Create in your mind a place where you can imagine all the trouble behind you. Envision a better day. Create it in your mind. Hope for it. See it. Believe God for it! In Genesis 11, the Lord declared that a man would do whatsoever he imagined in his heart to do. There is nothing stopping you from being successful in your ministry, if you can imagine it and begin to believe God for it. Nothing can keep you from accomplishing your hearts desire if you would only start to see it through the eyes of faith. When you preach to that small congregation this week, look over their heads and see through faith, the hundreds of people who will soon be sitting in those back pews. At this very minute, as you reed this article, potential ideas are in your mind. By releasing and developing these ideas you can solve your financial problem, your business situation, you can care for yourself and your family, and attain success in your ministry. A steady inflow and practical use of creative thoughts can remake your live and you along with it.