Check Your Bags

I remember standing in line with my husband while in the LA airport as we made our way home from our Japan mission trip. We knew by the looks of the boarding area that it was definitely going to be a full flight! Everyone had carry-on’s and so I welcomed the sound of the flight attendants announcing over the PA that anyone wishing to “check” their bags could do so “at this time.”  Why? Two reasons really, first, we would be saving money by having them take our luggage at the last minute and second, I would not have to worry or be stressed over the fact of finding a place for our bags. With a flight like this, with limited overhead space, it seems everyone is thinking the same thing!

Life is a lot like traveling with bags in tow except the problem is many of us are carrying way more than we should.  I have recently learned both in my travels and in real life to bring only what I need! Anything more is unnecessary and can even become a burden. There are times in life’s journey when we need to evaluate what’s important and what is unnecessary.

The Bible gives us simple clear instruction on how we can make life a little easier by lightening our load,  “Give all your worries and cares to God for he cares for you” 1Peter 5:7 New Living Translation (NLT). King James Version says it this way, “Cast all your care on the Lord for he careth for you” As you can see the NLT translates the word “cares” as “worries” and the definition for the word “cast” means: to give, shed, throw or throw with force. Jesus said it this way, “In the world you will have tribulation (troubles, trials, difficult times) but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” John 16:32. So how can we go from experiencing times of trouble to being of “good cheer?” By following the Lords simple advice by giving them to him.

Most trials in life are not the “circumstances” themselves but our thought process about each situation: The worry, fear and anguish that accompany them.  The word of God says “Casting down imaginations (troubling thoughts of fear and worry) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity EVERY THOUGHT to the obedience of Christ” 2Corinthians 10:5.  He is simply saying that he has given us the ability to get rid of troubling thoughts by beginning to think about all the good things in our life and the blessings that we have. To think, meditate on and be grateful for the GOOD which will produce thoughts of peace that can only come from the Lord.   God also encourages us to not be afraid “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a “sound” mind” 2Timothy 1:7 Why? Because he “cares for you.” Remember what Jesus said, “be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” Friends, he paid it all by going to the cross and paying the penalty for our sins and because of this great sacrifice of Love we as believers, followers of Jesus, are now adopted by God himself, we are his children and the Father loves his children and has given us everything that belongs to him. That is why we no longer have to worry or be fearful, but we can find rest for our souls, “We which have believed, enter into rest…” Hebrews 4:3

I encourage you today to “Check your bags!” Get rid of the heavy load and give them to the Lord! You can start right now, today by changing  your thinking...”And now dear brothers and sisters, one final thing, Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right and pure and lovely and admirable. THINK about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you’ve learned and received from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8 NLT

“How to Lose your Troubled Mind”  by Rick Tidwell~Pastor of Ponce Church