By Dawson Jacobsma
While trying to work on this ncourage and find God’s inspiration, I settled to look at my phone, something our generation is great at doing. I immediately went to social media and began my search for meaningless information. I began with clicking on an unknown stranger then moving on, each time I saw something I wanted to fill my life with. Whether they were exploring the world, getting a tattoo, or had a meaningless photo I wanted to put myself in their situation. I first realized that I wanted to be somebody else, looking at my life in a negative way.
It is often hard to recognize what God wants for each of us personally without getting down about where we are at in life. Paul helps us recognize what to fix our minds on in Philippians 4:8 by saying, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” This passage is interesting because Paul does not tell us to dwell on the past, previous criticisms, or what is going wrong in our lives, but he encourages us to fill our minds with good, true, and hope-filled things. This inspires me to be satisfied with where God has placed me at the very moment.
As a Christian, I have found it very difficult to have a positive focus and be satisfied with where I am with God. Whether I am struggling with school, sports, or the relationships around me, I try to search for God, but He does not always appear when I want Him or where I want Him. The beginning of my struggle to find him really begins my junior year of high school. After an injury to my leg keeping me out of the track season and the sudden death of my grandma, I went searching for answers. I began to fall into a depression and found it easier to shut out the people around me rather than to have them try to support me or build me up. My life became unbalanced and I was no longer searching for the beauty of life that God created in all of us.
Repeating the voice of God became the only way to look forward to what God had in store for me. I found myself meditating and repeating Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” This reminded me that God’s grace has covered my failures and negative actions towards him and others. God’s unconditional love, a love that cannot be earned, was way more than I deserved and covered every hopeless or gloomy outlook that took over my heart. If God was able to extend grace to me when I did not want to pursue him, then his grace was more than enough when I was ready to seek out his confident, hopeful, and assured love.
I start off the day feeding myself positive thoughts; the best way to nurture positive thoughts is to do the following: breathe, sit with your feelings, and be present with others. 1 Corinthians 2:16 gives a powerful idea of our mind by saying, “For who has known the mind the Lord, that he will instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” It is hard to have the mindset and embrace the reality that we have the mind of Christ. We must train our thoughts, so our reactions to impossible or overwhelming situations are approached with the mindset of Christ. We must believe the best about ourselves and focus on what we want to improve in our lives. Belief will lead to positive thoughts, which will lead to actions that show that we are enough. Even when we have times we will fail or have struggles, we are more than enough because of Christ.
Proverbs 4:23 reminds us to guard our heart by saying, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” God’s words are only positive, truthful, and hopeful, so placing them in my heart and meditating on them strengthened the desire of God’s will in my life. The brain craves what you feed it, when you feed it positive words from God, the brain will be prepared for what the future contains, attacking whatever God gives to you. One of my favorite runners, Jim Walmsley, could have not said it any simpler, “Ignore the negatives and embrace the positives.”