Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!1 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.2 6 Do not be anxious about anything,3 but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.4 7 And the peace of God,5 which transcends all understanding,6 will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice.7 And the God of peace8 will be with you.

Romans (NIV)

6 The mind of sinful mana is death,1 but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life2 and peace;                            

DEVOTION -Keith G. Williams (Alabama)

When I wake up long before my alarm clock goes off, I lie in bed and tell myself to go back to sleep.  If I stay awake too long, my mind begins to race, my thoughts slip out of control, and anxiety sets in.  In the darkness I am beset by guilt, shame, regret, and a host of other negative thoughts and emotions.

Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is beside me, encouraging me to shift my attention to thoughts of God.  If I repeat words of thankfulness and praise, the Holy Spirit lifts me out of despair and leads me to a line of scripture or a devotional reading that I need to hear.  After I read, I write down my troubles and turn them over to God.  In this way I find relief and a sense of peace.

Life gives us many choices.  The choices we make about what to think shape our self-image, our personality, our view of the world, and our way of dealing with life’s difficulties.  The Holy Spirit is our source of comfort and peace and works with us to control our thoughts.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s love can overcome my despair.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to control our thoughts.  Remove thoughts of despair and anxiety and fill our minds and hearts with your peace, joy, and love.  Amen.