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Where you focus the thoughts of your heart

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By Dave Henning / December 10, 2018

“What you fear will be directly influenced by where you focus the thoughts of your heart.  There is a direct connection between what you meditate on and what you fear.”- Paul David Tripp

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”- Proverbs 3:23 (ESV)

As Paul David Tripp continues Chapter 4 of Suffering, he covers the second and third facts of our awareness and fear struggle.

2.  Your meditation stimulates fear.  As with all aspects of suffering your level of fear encompasses more than the magnitude of the thing you’re suffering.  Most noteworthy, your fear results from what’s captured and focused the thoughts of your heart while you’re living through you suffering.  Pastor Tripp explains:

“As your difficulty looms larger and larger, dominating the vision of the eyes of your heart and controlling the thoughts of your mind, your Lord seems to shrink in size and power.  Few people suffer from the fact that their God is too large!”

Therefore, the author adds, it’s spiritually devastating and emotionally paralyzing to see God as small and distant.  For then He lacks the power you so desperately need.  So while your formal theology remains the same, your functional view of God changes.

 3.  Fear is spiritual war.  Spiritual war, the author cautions, doesn’t take place on the fringes of the Christian life.  Rather, in reality, it described normal, mundane Christianity.  Because fear and faith, doubt and hope, and what’s true and false clash in the battleground of your heart.

So, if your mediation centers on your belief that God’s small, distant, uncaring, or lacking in power, you’re left in the universe all by yourself.  Then it’s you against the world.  And the decisions you make based on fear tend to be ones you regret.  As a result, you must fight for the faith of your heart.

Today’s question: Where do you focus the thoughts of your heart?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Fear – an appropriate response?”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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