Dealing with Dark Thoughts Part 3

V. Gird up the loins of your mind (1PE 1:13) against the toxin of futility. MAL 3:14. A. It may seem that conformity to God’s righteousness and expectations is futile when you are only looking at the immediate picture. PSA 73:13-18. B. It may seem that your dedication to principle and promise is not yielding the results you expected in the time and manner you expected. But faith in principle and promise must be partnered with patience. HEB 6:12. 1. This was where Abraham drifted. GEN 16:1-4. 2. This is where Saul forfeited his honor and preferment. 1SAM 13:8-14. 3. The Jews grew impatient of the promise of Messiah and missed Him when He came. ACT 13:27. 4. “How long...” is a common cry of the elect. REV 6:9-11.5. “Futile” is the cry of Esau. GEN 25:32. 6. The prophets had spent plenty of time and effort upon Manasseh to no end, but he was not beyond God’s power to reform. 2CH 33:10-13. 7. It is our duty to sow and wait. It is God’s business to give increase in His time, in due season. JAM 5:7 c/w 1CO 4:6-7; ECC 11:1; PSA 126:5-6; GAL 6:9. a. It is for such reasons that believing parents train up children in the way they should go. PRO 22:6. b. The seed is sown. The germination and growth is of the Lord and some earth is hard clod. MAR 4:26-29 c/w ISA 28:24. c. Believing parents have particular hope in God’s promise. ACT 2:38-39. C. Doing good and doing right in faith towards God will pay off. It is not futile. ECC 7:17-18; 8:12; ISA 3:10-11. 1. Beware the attitude that God owes us for our service. LUK 17:10. 2. Virtue is its own reward in that the will of God should be our delight and such bears the promise of eternal life. PSA 40:8; 1JO 2:17; ROM 2:6-7. 3. Never underestimate the contentment and strength that comes from a life that is wellpleasing to God. COL 1:9-11; ROM 14:17-18. 4. Let Paul’s closing thoughts be ours. 2TI 4:7-8.

VI. Gird up the loins of your mind (1PE 1:13) against the notion of “I’m all alone” and so lose hope. A. Jeremiah had spent himself for God to a hardnecked people who would not reform. We have no record of converts to his ministry. 1. He let the derision of his fellows confound his hope as he complained of God’s order for his ministry. LAM 3:14-20. 2. He arrested his depression with the recall of God’s tender mercies. LAM 3:22-36. 3. He actually had a “silent partner” who saved him. JER 38:7-13. 4. He was alone in a positive sense: he was the only prophet to whom was delivered the tidings of the new covenant. JER 31:31-34. B. Elijah thought he was all alone but he wasn’t. ROM 11:2-4. C. Believers are never truly all alone, even in the darkest valleys. PSA 23:4-5; 27:10; 2TI 4:16-17. D. The world will mock those who thus trust in God (MAT 27:43) but the fact is that such believers cope with and overcome this world. 1JO 5:4.

VII. Where is your treasure? MAT 6:20-21. A. Much sorrow of heart and dark thought is owing to a supervaluation of ephemeral things, some lawful, some not. 1. The unlawful things like the lusts of the flesh must be mortified or they will not only rule you, they will destroy you. COL 3:5-6. 2. Lawful things must be governed lest they become inordinate affections. 1CO 6:12. a. This includes everyday needs and desires, including relationships. David’s love for his rebel son, Absalom, still controlled him after his death. 2SAM 19:1-4. b. NOTE: the greater our emotional investment in anything or anyone, the more power that thing or person has over us. B. There is peace and joy that believers cannot have stolen from them. They can only lose it by forfeiture. JOH 14:27; 16:22. 1. No joy means no strength (NEH 8:10) and girding requires strength. 2. Excess care wars against the peace of God which keeps our emotions and thoughts healthy. PHIL4:6-7. 3. Contentment is attainable regardless of gain or loss. PHIL 4:10-13.

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