Embracing Renewal in Chaos and Uncertainty
I tossed and turned all night long. Images from the news and accounts from stories I read the day before haunted me. I couldn’t get them out of my mind, and they kept me from the sleep I so desperately desired.
We live in an age where technology allows us to receive and consume news in real-time. While that has many benefits, it can also be detrimental if left unchecked.
It’s not wrong for us to read the news. In fact, to be an informed citizen, it’s wise to stay up to date on current events. The danger lies in overconsumption of the darkness of this world that then leads to obsession over keeping up with the latest breaking news story.
Preoccupation with whatever current crisis is going on, and there seems to be a new one every week, can quickly lead to an addiction. We continue to click and scroll to get our fix. As we take in more and more information, our minds become burdened and overwhelmed. The result can be feelings of fear or worry over things that are out of our control. We may even begin to feel a sense of hopelessness as we look at the state of the world around us.
But, as Christians, we are not of the world (John 17:14) We cannot allow the darkness of the world to consume us.
I realized my sleepless night was a sign that I was consuming way too much of the wrong type of information, that by clicking and scrolling ad nauseam I was giving the enemy an opening into my mind. Worry was beginning to creep in. I knew I needed to put an end to the thoughts causing my anxiety.
With so much bad news coming at us all the time, how can we control our thoughts?
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)
In Romans 12:2, Paul gives us a directive that indicates we have an active role in controlling our thoughts. He tells us we must renew our minds to avoid becoming like the world. The world may become anxious or hopeless, but, as Christians, we are not to view life from the same lens. If we are not of the world, we must not allow ourselves to think like the world. We must take responsibility for renewing our minds.
How do we renew our minds?
We do that by spending consistent time in the Word of God and not just skimming passages but studying Scripture and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us as He transforms our thought processes.
When we are in the Word of God daily, we can adequately weigh the events of the world against the truth of Scripture. The truth will be revealed as we study Scripture because God’s Word is truth (John 17:17).
We need to take an honest look at how much time we spend on social media or news websites in comparison to how much time we’re spending in the Word of God. Studying Scripture is something we must do every single day. It’s a discipline we frequently claim we’re too busy for, but, in reality, it’s a choice we make. We either choose to consume what the world has to offer, or we decide to meditate on the Word of God. One option causes fear, anxiety, and even hopelessness, while the other restores, bringing peace and hope. How we choose to spend our time reveals our true priorities.
I get it; sometimes, I would rather turn on the device and scroll instead of open my Bible and put effort into learning. In the moment, catching up on current events can seem more gratifying or more pressing than studying Scripture. But, those are excuses to support a choice.
I challenge you (and myself) to choose the Word over the world. Let’s resolve to spend less time on the internet and more time in Scripture. I’ll even give us a head start by providing a few great Scriptures to meditate on to begin. (Check those out below).
Today, let’s choose to be renewed by the Word instead of consumed by the world.
Merciful Father, This world is dark. It brings so much chaos and sadness to my heart. I pray that I will not give in to the world’s darkness, which threatens to steal my hope. Instead, help me to faithfully spend time with You each day, knowing that as I do, Your Word will renew my mind and remind me of the hope I have in Christ Jesus. Thank You for Your Holy Scripture. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Will you commit to spending at least fifteen minutes every day for the next week in Scripture study? If you’re in, let us know in the comments below! Make sure to check back at the end of the week to tell us how it went!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV)
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9 (ESV)