The more you stare at the problem

When troublesome thoughts wedge their way into your brain, it’s hard to dislodge them.

They sit there unwelcome—kind of like a smelly squatter who refuses to leave your house and even claims that it somehow belongs to him!

Lysa TerKeurst is the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries. She says, “The more you stare at the problem, the bigger it is going to get.”*

It’s so true. When you stare at something—and obsess about it, and keep rolling it over in your brain, and start to fret about a hundred different worst case scenarios—the bigger it seems!

But consider Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV): “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”

When we stay our mind on God our rock, and when we trust who he is in our lives, he keeps us in perfect peace.

If, as TerKeurst says, the more you stare at a problem, the bigger it is going to get, I would argue that a similar thing happens in faith: The more you stare at God, the bigger you know him to be!

Hence: peace.

When I start to obsess about a problem, I do something very specific. I open my Bible to the psalms, spend some time reading, and talk to God very honestly and urgently about what I’m thinking and feeling.

Maybe you should do the same.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

By Matthew Ruttan

–*As quoted at The Most Excellent Way to Lead Conference, March 3, 2016.

–I put new words to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” The song is called “Gather as the Wounded Saviour.” Why not take a listen and look on YouTube here? [If you’re a worship leader, feel free to use in worship or on social media for free.)

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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