By Rick Warren, February 8, 2018 Daily Hope meditation at: http://www.pastorrick.com
For mental health, you must focus your mind on the right things — including these three specific things.
1. Think about Jesus.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “You become what you think about most.” If you want to become more like Jesus, fill your thoughts with him.
Hebrews 12:3 says, “Think about Jesus’ example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying” (NCV).
2. Think about others.
The Bible says in Philippians 2:4, “Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing” (TLB).
Do you realize how counter cultural that is? Everything in the world teaches you to think about yourself and nobody else. But Jesus was counter cultural, and when you think about him, you’ll more easily think of others.
3. Think about eternity.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT). When you start focusing on truths like that, all of your problems are going to seem inferior compared to the glory, the joy, and the pleasure of the things you have to look forward to in eternity.
Your mind is your greatest asset and also the greatest battleground. Ask God to help you make the choice every day to feed on God’s Word, free your mind of destructive thoughts, and fill your mind with Jesus, others, and eternity. Then, you’ll have won the battle.
Hebrews 12:1b-3 — Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Philippians 2:1-4 — Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.’
I Corinthians 2:9 — However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen,what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him.
Philippians 4:4-9 — Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Grant me, Lord,
the wisdom and the grace to use aright the time that is left to me on earth.
Lead me to repent of my sins, the evil I have done and the good I have not done;
and strengthen me to follow the steps of your Son, in the way that leads to the fullness of eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Book of Common Prayer (adapted)