Cruising Route 66
Appointing the Forman of Your Mind
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. ” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:14-15
The biblical concept of “Hope” (elpis) translates into Hebrew and Greek in a variety of ways – “confidence,” “trust,” “safety,” etc. Peter is drawing a word picture, an expression of optimism, a spirit of expectancy, a bright and cheerful attitude. This is an assignment from God. Be ready to share the hope that is within you.
One of the toughest assignments God gave us is to communicate clearly the hope that is with us. Emotion, either positive or negative, can tend to confuse our witness.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hopefully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. I Peter 1:13
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. I Peter 4:12
A person is a product of his own thoughts. The fruits of your life are often subject to what you have planted in your mind. Thoughts often regulate what we accomplish in life. We tend to evolve into what we think about. Give your imagination a workout.
Envision your mind as a factory, a busy, bustling workshop of action and production. That’s not far from the truth. Your mind is a thought factory. Every day on that internal assembly line it produces hundreds of thousands of thoughts. Production in your thought factory is under the charge of two foremen, and you can appoint which one you want to supervise your mind.
The names on their hard hats are Hope and Despair. Mr. Hope oversees the production of positive thoughts. He is responsible for the manufacture of wholesome, encouraging, reassuring plans and positive ideas.
The other foreman, Mr. Despair, has responsibilities too. Over in a darker wing of the plant, Hope’s counterpart manufactures negative, depreciating, worrisome thoughts.
Both foremen are well qualified for what they do. Hope specializes in producing reasons why you can face life triumphantly. Old Despair earned his Master’s at Inadequate U. He’s full of reasons why you cannot succeed. Both foremen await your signal to snap to attention.
When Hope is in charge of the production of your mind, one encouraging, and edifying thought after another floods your mind and fills your life. As long as production is under his control, not even the slightest mist of misgiving may be observed hovering under the factory ceiling.
Foreman Despair awaits that inevitable negative signal (which he prefers to call “reality” or “common sense”) and he’s off and running. At peak production, Despair’s assembly line cranks out discouraging, bad news faster than the mind can process it. It won’t be long before you’re convinced that you can’t or won’t or shouldn’t. Given time, he will drain your energy, squelch your confidence, and transform you into a puddle of despair.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I Peter
We have a new and living hope! For us to be able to share that hope, we must see it as new and alive each and every day. Peter goes on to say that life will not be without its trials and troubles.
In this, you greatly rejoice, though now, for a little while, you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. I Peter 1:6
Take note: They are not without their purpose. You are not afflicted by some accidental happenstance or divinely unplanned misfortune. God is still God, and He has a handle on it!
These have come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. I Peter 1:7
Whatever you may be facing, would you like to be certain that the foreman of your mental factory is Hope and not Despair? Then try this simple yet profound formula that Paul gives in Philippians.
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. Philippians 4:8
Thoughts, positive or negative, grow stronger when fertilized with constant repetition. That may explain why so many of us who are gloomy and gray stay in that mood, and why others who are cheery and enthusiastic continue there, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Do not misunderstand. Happiness (like winning) is a matter of right thinking, not intelligence, age, position, or wealth. Our performance is directly related to what we have in our memory bank. We can only draw on what we deposit.
As obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. 1 Peter 1:14-15
What kind of performance would your car deliver if, every morning before you left for work, you scooped up a handful of dirt and put it in your crankcase? It wouldn’t be long, and it just wouldn’t run. The same is true of your life. You need only one foreman in your factory, and He’s available to every member of God’s family.
He is better known as The Holy Spirit, Helper, Provider, Healer, Peace Maker, and Benefactor of all Wisdom and Understanding. If Despair has been foreman of your mental assembly line for too long – fire him! You’ll be astounded by how smoothly the plant will run under new leadership.
Until next time,