We live in a world full of bomb threats, wars, the spread of disease, home invasions, school shootings, road rage, etc. Could you imagine living in Gaza, starting the day with your family intact but finishing the day with most of your family members dead? What would our mindset be if these circumstances were happening to us? How would we keep our mind from being overwhelmed with worry and stress every moment of the day?
Our physical world can serve to remind us of what it is like in the spiritual realm. In a physical war there are so many agencies that are fighting to protect us. Maybe this is why in America we don’t experience as many terrorist’ attacks. Similarly, what are we doing when there are terroristic attacks against the mind? Our kids are tick toking, watching TV (with a tremendous number of selections), texting, sometimes they have four-way video phone calls; there is a constant battle for their minds as well.
Christ did not have bombs or planes shot out of a sky, but Christ did have terrorist who sought to stone Him, made false accusations, and eventually nailed Him to the cross. What kept His mind even when His disciples deserted Him at the worst moment of His life? Christ repeatedly said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” He trusted that His Father was in complete control of the results no matter the chaos around Him.
Paul had a tumultuous life (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). They were putting him in jail, whipping him, taking him before magistrates, and accusing him of things he did not do. Paul did not lose his mind because he was convinced that he is more than a conqueror. He knew nothing would separate him from the love of Christ…… (Romans 8:37-39). The “God of peace” sustained his mind because he fixed his mind on “whatever is honorable, whatever is right ….” (Philippians 4:8-9). As a result, Paul disciplined himself to be able, no matter what, to do “all things through Christ who strengthened him” (Philippians 4:13). He allowed what was taking place around him to discipline him to what God was doing inside of him and from the inside out, he lived in God’s strength (1 John 4:4; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Daniel was the same way; he had people against him at his job, and people wanted to kill him. But Daniel 1:8 says that Daniel made up in his mind that he would do what God told him to do.
The pattern that saves the mind of the believer, is that no matter how difficult life maybe, when the believer experiences life’s difficulties they remain “fixed on Jesus who is the author and finisher of the race…” (Hebrews 12:1-3; Psalm 34).