It is hard to remain positive in this world. Times of uncertainty have caused everyone to feel anxious to some degree about life’s current events. Is there a way to remain positive though so many negative things are happening on the earth? I’ve found that staying in praise is the art of keeping a happy heart with Jesus.
What is staying in praise?
Staying in praise is something that we have to force our minds to do. It’s a process of turning every desire to think negatively about a situation into something positive. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2 It’s important to focus on things that are higher than our situation when we’re in a battle mentally. Otherwise, we will become slaves to that thing.
How do I stay in praise when I’m struggling emotionally?
I have found that this is easier said than done. I will often find myself knowing what I should do but doing the opposite. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. Romans 7:15
Because we are infected with the sin problem our flesh will often want to do the opposite of what we should do. The process of going towards and focusing on the thing that is the best for us is often the most challenging.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve dwelled in complete solitude with Jesus. Doing right, thinking right, and feeling right was all that they knew but the fall changed it all. Our minds have now become desensitized to sin since being out of the garden for thousands of years. We are the most tarnished generation mentally, emotionally, and physically.
But the beauty of it all is that since we are the most tarnished physically, mentally, and spiritually we are an example and a spectacle to heaven and the other worlds of how Jesus can truly bring beauty to ashes. To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning. Isaiah 61:3
We have to first trust that he can renew our minds and he can fix us. The first step of the sanctuary is the gate. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. John 10:9
Our priority must be to focus on and run to Jesus. I remember when I first started this process. It was extremely difficult because my mind was filled with negativity and criticism all day long. The process of thinking positively all the time was actually draining. But I set to focus on Jesus. There were times when if I didn’t know what to do or say or how to think I would just say, “Jesus, I trust you. Jesus, help me to think the way you think. Jesus, help me.”
I didn’t focus on saying the most articulate prayer because I didn’t have one. I would just cry out to Jesus until I felt somewhat balanced and normal and was able to think clearly. I just continued to cry out until I could think logically.
The second step that I took is that would tell my mind that I would think positively. I would often say to myself, “I am not going to fall below praise. I am going to focus on Jesus. I am going to think like him.” I made a commitment and determined to set my heart on him.
Falling below praise means that we are walking out of the gate of Jesus. He’s designed a boundary line for us to stay in so that we are safe from the enemy. If we fall below praise, we are susceptible to being spiritually attacked. This comes in the form of defense, argumentation, withdrawal, criticism, etc. The enemy now how access to play on our emotions.
The third step that I took was only to fill my mind with things that are positive. If we listen, watch, talk about or engage in things that glorify Christ we will eventually glorify ourselves. Jesus must be the primary focus of our hearts. He must have our attention. When he has our attention in every area, we will feel more conviction and less desensitization when we are hurtful inwardly and outwardly. We want him to jar our hearts towards him so that we’re able to mimic his patterns of behavior. This process comes with filling our lives with things that only cause us to think like him.
Where is Jesus in my Heart?
When we start to think in a higher place emotionally, mentally, and spiritually it will be easier to see Jesus as the sun in our lives. He’s the one who will truly brighten our spirits and, our hearts. He gives us light so that we’re able to minister and witness to others. They will learn to a difference in our character and that we don’t act, think or govern ourselves like the world. He will be our sunshine.
So ask yourself, is Jesus at the gate in my heart? Have I given him permission to govern every area of my mind? Have I communicated with him that he is free to change my patterns of thinking and renew my mind? Sometimes we feel that we have given him our heart because we have accepted salvation. This is the first step to allowing Jesus to be at the gate of our hearts. It is a continuous walk and works to keep him there.
The Lord make his face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee.
Until next time…