Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Guard Your Heart in Jesus

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ( Proverbs 4:23)

My moods and outlook on life fluctuate depending on my emotions at the moment. If things are going smoothly and everything is taking place in a way that pleases me, I tend to have a positive outlook on the day. If the opposite is true, and I don't feel I have the ability to steer situations to my advantage, I go into a negative tailspin. Should my attitude really be determined by my surroundings or by a sense that I can manage what is taking place in my life? How do I guard my heart from my own emotions? It appears I need to check my heart and direct my thoughts away from myself and my circumstances and back into a focus on what Christ has done for me and the promises He extends to me, His child in faith. 

We can't solve life's deepest problems when separated from God. Our quandaries are not usually due to external factors; rather our problems often come from within us and are related to our spiritual frame of mind. Although we may not be able to change our circumstances, we can guard our hearts. 

The future is not in our hands; it is in God's. When we pass from this life to the next, we will no longer face the evils and injustices of this world. God tells us, "See I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind" (Isaiah 65:17). 

How do we guard our hearts from our own fickle emotions and from pessimism at our circumstances? "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12: 1b-4). 

When I want to stop wallowing in self pity and find joy in something other than my own situation, I need to guard my heart by fixing my eyes on Jesus.  He died for me, forgave me, and placed His Spirit within me. He endured the cross so that you and I might not be encumbered by the sin that entangles us. When I put my life and my future into Christ's hands, I understand His promise: "I will give you a new heart and put my spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekial 36:26).

Dear Lord,
Help me focus on Your promises rather than on  circumstances over which I have no control. Teach me to guard my heart from my emotions so that I do not grow weary and lose heart. I want to trust in You, for You are the my foundation! Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Thank You for the hope I have in You. In Jesus' Name. Amen

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