Verse 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So far this week we have talked about spiritual rest and physical rest. Today we move on to emotional rest.
Emotions are something that each of us have and for the most part they stay in the shadows of our lives with little to no notice. Most of us don’t even notice if our emotions get off balance since we pay so little attention to them. We may not even understand that we need an emotional rest because we don’t see the toll it is taking on our body, mind and soul.
Emotions come in various forms and some seem less in need of a rest. Who feels like they need a rest from happiness? While there are times that we must rest from happiness more often than not that isn’t the one we need to rest from for our Sabbath rest. When the Sabbath comes around each week we are most likely in need of rest from our anxiety, anger, sadness, and hurt. These types of emotions can cause us issues in our spiritual and physical beings.
Sabbath emotional rest isn’t just ignoring our emotions for a day. Ignoring them doesn’t equate resting from them. To rest from our emotions we must adjust our sight regarding them. Paul had the perfect formula for resting from our negative emotions. He tells the Philippians, and in turn us, that it takes a change of focus. It is so easy to focus on the stressors in our lives but that takes away rest instead of providing it. The list turns our hearts back to where God created them to be.
When we think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy it refocuses our emotions to be in tune with how God made us. Intentional thinking can take us from rehashing lies to illuminating the truth, wrongs to that which is right in our world, impurity to purity, and on down the list. This is where God is guiding us with emotional rest. When we choose to focus on Him and His ways our eyes and mind can no longer stew over the things that are robbing us of spiritual and physical rest. Having the right focus can keep us from tripping up on the negative emotions that steal our time and energy.
Making It Personal
Which emotion seems to show up most in your life? Which item from Paul’s list would help you refocus on God and the rest He offers? What steps are you going to take to refocus?
Making It Personal Kids
How would you describe emotions? What kind of things does Jesus like us to focus on? What are you going to do today to help you focus on the way Jesus wants you to think?
Father, forgive us for allowing the stresses of this life to overwhelm our thoughts distracting us from You. Help us reset our focus on the things You want us to be attentive to. In Jesus’ name, amen.