To be free of negative thinking can be hard work.  Our internal narrative easily becomes a negative list when our attention is focused on the difficult and hard challenges of personal and public circumstances.  The darkness of it all is reality.

History proves there’s always another side to the story.  The story told in the ancient book, Lamentations, is about pain and suffering from destruction.  It’s hard to imagine what happened in the lives of people during this dark and hopeless time.

But. The story changes in chapter three with one sentence:

But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope. —Lamentations 3:21 (NRSV)

The word, but, is the turn-around word, a call to focus on the presence and power of God rather than on the circumstance. The author of Lamentations breaks through the negativity by making the full picture of reality clear:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.–Lamentations 3:22-23 (NRSV)

These words turn the reader away from darkness to light, from hopelessness to hope, and from negativity to faith-thinking.  When you get down to it, this is a demonstration of exercising the mind to focus on God:

  • First things first—Decide to turn around from the power of an all-consuming circumstance and focus on God.
  • Think on this–“But.  Today is a new day.  God’s love is reality and is for me.  God’s mercy is reality and is for me.  God’s faithfulness is reality and is for me.”
  • Be mindful– Exercise the mind, meditating on God-truth.

Today be mindful of this God-word: But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.”

For a deeper look at Lamentations 3 go to TableThink’s article, “It Seemed Impossible.”

Sunday Soul Work: 


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