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And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. – Joel 2:25-26 KJV
One of the books that I frequently read to my son is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. To summarize, the catepillar eats a lot, gets a stomach ache, then becomes a beautiful butterfly.
Sometimes remembering our past eats us up. We dwell on past hurts and wrongs. When we recall the past, especially resentments and wrongs done to us, we can remind ourselves that God was teaching us something. I ask myself, “What did you learn from that and what would you do differently?”
When I frame the situation that way, it’s harder to stay mad about what happened in the past, because it has shaped who I am today. God wants to transform us into something beautiful. We look forward to that day. Amen.
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; Slow to anger, and of great mercy. – Psalm 145:8 KJV
What can we do to become more like Jesus? When we find ourselves thinking about the past and remembering wrongs done to us, it is possible to surrender those thoughts to God and exchange them for thoughts that are compassionate, even perhaps to the person who wronged us. Although the past experience may have been unpleasant, the Lord used it for good to teach us something.
The Lord doesn’t have a quick temper. He is patient and merciful.
How many times have we gotten angry because we were hungry and didn’t have a snack? In those moments, instead of snapping at those around us and saying something we might regret, we can take a deep breath and instead think about something we appreciate about the other person. Our attitude almost immediately shifts. The Lord is a God of transformation. Amen.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36 NIV
Jesus gives us freedom. Sometimes when we think of freedom, we assume that we can do whatever we want. When we love our Savior, our thoughts are transformed, and our actions coincidence with that transformation.
Change is an ongoing process. As we meditate on His Word, we can persistently bring our thoughts back to our center: our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalms 37:4 NIV
The Lord gives His children good gifts. When we adopt a scarcity mindset, we forget what God has already given us. He creates in us a new heart, and as our thoughts are transformed, we begin to see the abundance more clearly.
Our hearts begin to desire to do good as we become more like Jesus. He is the best role model that we can have. The Lord is not a fairy godmother who magically grants us our heart’s desire. He calls us to stay close to Him, and as we pray and trust Him day by day, our hearts are uplifted and things fall into place for us. Amen.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
We all need transformation. Our thoughts, our actions, and our plans don’t always take into account God’s glory. Like looking through a haze from a wildfire’s smoke, we don’t always see clearly what God has in store for us. We can only see the present moment, but we are often stuck in the past or worried about the future.
The Lord gave us this present moment as a gift. We can appreciate it, quiet our minds, and enjoy the still, small voice that the Spirit uses to guide us. Amen.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10 KJV
God loves us more than we can possibly imagine. Our Heavenly Father loves Jesus, yet wants to save us so much that He offered His own son’s life as a sacrifice to cover our sins.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins on the world.
The refrigerator in our new house broke after a day’s use. We had to buy a new one.
When our old ways and thoughts no longer serve us, we can “buy” new ones by being transformed by the renewing of our minds. Instead of hanging onto our old thoughts, we can swap them out for new ones. Just like we wouldn’t keep an old refrigerator that didn’t work, we can let go of those thoughts and worries that are broken. God can make all things new. Amen.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. – 2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
God molds us like clay. We are slowly becoming more like Him as we learn to rely on Him and surrender to the treasure of salvation. He doesn’t ask us to take on more than we can bear.
God’s power surpasses any force that we can imagine. His love for us is immeasurable.
When we try to rely on our own power, we often fall. The Lord can pick us up. We can trust that He will always be there to protect us and our loved ones.
As time passes, things and people change. Change is good. When we allow our minds to be transformed by the Lord, we develop a new perspective. Amen.