One area I continuously grow in is learning to challenge and change my thinking. There are several kinds of thoughts I personally work on often- people pleasing, worry and self righteousness are my top ten of Stinking Thinking. Recently while exploring worry more I began to see a specific way God wants to shift my thoughts.
To explain that shift I first need to define worry more clearly. Worry is future negative imagination. It’s looking ahead and imagining an unpleasant or upsetting or scary event occurring. The problem with imagination is God doesn’t live there. God lives in reality. He is in the future too, but the real one- not the one I am imagining. So when I forecast a negative event into the future I imagine it without what God will provide when I get there. In the actual future, God will show up. Every time. And give me just what I need, whether it’s courage or words to say or energy or grace or $27.54. Whatever I need to make it through the moments that come he promises to provide. But worry doesn’t incorporate the goodness or power of God into a situation. And when I leave out God’s presence and his provision- I will be overwhelmed 10 out of 10 times.
God wants to shift us from worry to hope. Hope is future positive expecting. Hope is counting on God to do what he always does- keep his word to provide and be with us. Hope says God will be there, so it will be okay. Hope knows God is certain and good and powerful. Hope leans into the future in a positive way because it remembers the past. If God came down to earth and died for us out of love, and if God was powerful enough to defeat death- well then He can probably handle the bills coming due, the conversation with your friend, the decision about your job or the doctor appointment. Hope reminds us that what God showed us about who is was at the cross and the resurrection is who he still is- all loving and all powerful. And a God like that is one we can trust to handle the future, knowing whatever happens tomorrow will be provided for under his loving care and powerful ability. And as you notice worry creep into your thinking, reimagine the future incorporating belief in God’s goodness and power and watch hope chase worry from the picture.