Focus On The Right Things

 In Faith

DG Blog #38


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by [“seeing”] prayer and [verbalizing them through] petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests [in partnership] to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”−Philippians 4:6-7

Paul’s antidote for anxiety and worry is prayer and petition, with thanksgiving (a positive emotion, the opposite of complaining—a negative emotion). The result is a heart at peace transcending our analytical minds. Anxiety and worry come from faith in the wrong things, causing doubt and physiological stress in our bodies. Faith in the wrong things is focusing on the wrong things.

Hebrews 11 defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for.” Hope is a focus, imagining something good, seeing it before it exists—like hoping for a new car, or a new home, or whatever the hope is about. But who hopes for worry and anxiety? Who wakes up in the morning hoping for a bad day, filled with bad events and bad outcomes? No one. Yet, when we focus on the “what ifs” or “potential” negatives that could occur in our lives, we actually affect reality in our brains, induce depression, and create a negative outcome. We lose hope and peace.

In their book, UpperDogs, Thiessen and Hughes write that thoughts affect particles and emotions have weight—and the math indicates that positive emotions literally weigh more than negative ones. They go on to say:

“Every emotional state has a corresponding physiological profile. Every emotion creates a specific chemical balance in the brain, impact on heart rate and nervous system, hormonal signature, etc. At every given moment, my body is manifesting my emotional state in a myriad of ways. When I practice a habitual emotional state, let’s say anxiety, my body literally learns those corresponding balances. They become like an easy default. Every cell in the body has receptors for each individual emotional neuropeptide.[1] The more I “practice” a particular emotional state, the more my cells literally create new receptors for that emotion and kill off the ones that aren’t getting used.”[2]

Do you hear what they’re saying? Our soul (mind and emotions) directly affects how our body is being shaped and redesigned. David understood this by talking to his soul and demanding of his soul to re-center its attention upon God.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope [faith’s positive focus] in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”[3]

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”[4]

That was David’s pattern. Yes, he displayed anger, distress, regret, complaints, despair and other negative emotions in the Psalms, but then brought his soul’s focus back to God’s mercy, loving-kindness and goodness (see Psalm 13). This created a positive reality for David—despite his circumstances—and impacted his health as well. In his book, None of These Diseases, Dr. S.I. McMillen says, “A large percentage of most physicians’ practices are made up of patients whose illnesses are directly or indirectly the result of emotional stress.”[5]

Because positive emotions are heavier than negative ones, positive emotions create more impact on the particles at the subatomic level. If I focus on “hope” with faith’s eye on a positive outcome and pray toward that by layering petition upon petition toward the outcome, then I have a body at peace and rest knowing that my faith and my prayers are literally landing somewhere in the invisible, subatomic level toward reality. But if I imagine only a negative outcome, seeing the worst happening, mulling over it, cogitating, ruminating, and continually focusing on that, then I participate in creating a subatomic level of reality in the negative.

“As [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.” –Proverbs 23:7

With this in mind, I believe it’s safe to assume that when I engage pleasure and joy in God, with him as my focus, then good things are being built into the framework of my body. That’s why Paul, in his antidote for anxiety, continued with this list of positive things to focus our attention on:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice. And [the outcome will be] the God of peace will be with you.” –Philippians 4:8-9

This is an amazing truth when considering how quantum physics can impact our biological and physiological well-being. No wonder Paul says elsewhere that we are to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.”[6] When we focus faith’s eye on good things, we’re impacting reality and building positive things into our lives. In other words, as Thiessen and Hughes declare in their book, “The particles are glowing!”[7]

Grace and peace!

[1] The emotion chemicals in your body.

[2] Thiessen and Hughes, UpperDogs, 213.

[3] Psalm 42:5, 11

[4] Psalm 43:5 (KJV)

[5] S.I. McMillen, M.D., None of These Diseases (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1984), 99.

[6] 2 Corinthians 10:5

[7] Thiessen and Hughes, Upper Dogs, 215.


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