“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:9,12, 21).
I was feeling guilty. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in things I shouldn’t let myself do, or even think about. Not feeling well and being depressed about that has seen me wasting time on unhelpful things instead of filling my mind, with more positive, uplifting thoughts.
Over the last few weeks there’s been signs of deterioration in my health; increased pain is getting me down; and I’m fearful of what the next steps to deal with that might be.
As I read Romans 12 today, I was struck by Paul’s instructions about “love” that follow the passage about offering ourselves as a “living sacrifice”–acceptable to God. There’s much in the chapter, but three things stood out to me.
We are to “hate what is evil and cling to what is good”–a reminder for me that I need to be focusing on what is good and helpful, rather than things that drag me down. Self pity may not be “evil,” but it’s certainly not helpful.
Verse 21 says “do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” God is good and He can overcome. With His help I don’t need to let the negativity drag me down or into doing things I end up feeling guilty about.
The call to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”–always a tough task when things are worse and there’s uncertainty about the future. What a timely reminder that convicted me about how I’d been acting.
God understands and knows what lies ahead for me. I need to hold on to that certainty and the hope it brings and keep my thoughts focused on God and what He would have me do–in every situation–even the really tough ones.
Prayer: Father God, forgive me when I doubt and get discouraged about my circumstances, or do things that are not helpful that I later feel guilty about. Help me to focus on You. You are good–may that encourage me, and others reading this, to trust and walk forward confidently into whatever the future holds for us. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He is teaching her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.
When you are trying to overcome feelings of negativity or fear, how do you do this? Is there a particular scripture you cling to that could encourage others here?
Our thoughts are one of satan’s greatest tools, however, God is always chasing after us, providing strength to stand up under the temptations of negativity. This is a band called Desperation and they are singing “Chasing.” No matter how our thoughts may rule us or what pity party we give into, God doesn’t get mad and turn away. He is still chasing us, just waiting for us to turn to Him. Comforting, isn’t it? -Lisa