"Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night." Psalm 1:1-2

A couple of weeks ago I was blindsided with an unexpected emotional wound. The weight of pain settled in on my spirit. Joy disappeared and fear gained a foothold. 

What do I do, LORD?

That was my prayer and my recognition of God's sovereignty in the matter. And...I went right back to evaluating the circumstances of my situation. I muttered.

Then, I became angry. It wasn't long before one negative thought led to another. The emotion kindled from heat toward the situation to a scorching focus on myself. Anger turned inward becomes depression and I was on the brink of a deep, dark hole.

What do I do, LORD? and night. When I turned to God's word and pushed my self-focused thinking aside, He filled my thoughts with His hope.

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and He will flee from you" James 4:7

This is my go-to verse to reject my flesh's invitation to hold a pity party.

Step one--submit to God's will--get my focus on the Lord and ask Him to bind the enemy from attacking and deceiving me.

Step two--delight myself in God's Word. When I do that I remember He is sovereign and nothing can come against me unless it passes through the veil of His love. When the trial comes, He allows it in order to teach and strengthen me in faith.

"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tested, He will show you a way out so that you can endure."
1 Corinthians 10:13

Step three--meditate on God's commands day and night (aka Love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul, and love others as myself). Meditating brings forth praise and thanksgiving. It brings peaceful surrender to God's will for my life. The circumstances haven't changed, but I have.

I know this battle isn't unique to me. All of us are being purified in some way. We hold onto things  in the deep recesses of our minds and don't think they are a problem. Then God shines the light of His Holy Spirit on an attitude--a motive--and says "now is the time to give it to Me."

How blessed we are that the LORD watches over our paths. We will be like trees planted near a lively water source, bearing good fruit in its season. (Psalm 1:6, 3)

by Marilyn Allison