Train Your Brain
The human brain is an amazing instrument. Weighing less than 3 pounds, containing more than 100 billion neurons, it represents only about 2% of our body weight but uses 20% of the oxygen pumping through our bloodstream. At any given moment, our brains are receiving and processing more than 100 million pieces of information. What we call “thoughts,” are electrically charged chemical reactions traveling through neurological pathways in our brains at a rate of more than 200 miles per hour. An individual brain generates more electrical impulses in a single day than all of the world’s telephones combined. Listen to the Feb 18 sermon, “Train Your Brain.”
But our brain needs training. The Bible tells us that we should take control of our thoughts and train our brain to focus on those things which are good, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent and admirable (Philippians 4:8). To train our brain, we must develop personal disciplines that help us focus our thoughts so that we can experience the life God intends for us. Many people think that joy is simply an emotional response to our external circumstances. When I experience pleasant circumstances, I will experience the emotion of joy. Without those pleasant circumstances, I will not experience joy. But Christians discover that joy is a disposition of the heart that we cultivate through our thoughts, not through our circumstances.
One way to help cultivate a life of joy by focusing our thoughts is to train ourselves to continually ask two questions, regardless of our circumstances. The first question is, “What’s good about this?” The second question is, “What am I thankful for right now?” These two questions don’t necessarily change our circumstances, but they do change how we think in the midst of our circumstances, which in turn cultivates joy and empowers us to persevere and thrive in the midst of challenge and adversity. Asking these two questions is not meant to create a false reality where we ignore pain and problems, but rather to focus our brains on the presence and promise of God, so that we can see the pain and problems from a new and better perspective. Joy begins with our thoughts, not our circumstances. And if we want to experience the joy that God has for us, we need to train our brain!
Pastor Mark Miller