Do you ever focus on the negative at the expense of being thankful? The problem lies in the eyes of our hearts. Anxiety focuses on the negative, making it the antithesis of thanksgiving, which is a joyful attitude that occurs through prayer when our hearts are fully focused on God in Christ (Philippians 4:6).
Anxiety is a divided inner being, one where our hearts attempt to focus on the circumstances at the expense focusing on Christ. This halfhearted attempt at getting through conflict deters us from giving thanks to God. Yet Paul encouraged God’s people to “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18; cf. Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 3:17).
Paul’s challenge can be pictured in the image of a magnifying glass that enlarges its focal point, while the images around it become fuzzy. When presented with conflict, we either focus on Christ or our circumstances. When we focus on Christ, our circumstances become fuzzy. However, when we focus on our circumstances, Christ becomes fuzzy. This foolishness of the heart darkens our divine focus (Romans 1:21) and leads to foolish, negative talk that flows from an ungrateful heart (Ephesians 5:4).
This week, focus on Christ, rather than your circumstances. Pray and ask Him to reveal any anxiety and make you new again.
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