Stress Or Refresh?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
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2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (NIV)

Working with words has always been a lot of fun and a challenge for me. I enjoy their different sounds and meanings. I love to hunt them out in word puzzles and use them to paint captivating pictures.

Words are also both spoken and unspoken. The unspoken word is what we call our thoughts. We hear them and sometimes even see their formation in the recesses of our mind. In fact, speech comes first through the words of thought, which is why taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ is so very important.

I like this word "captive". It means to take prisoner. A prisoner is someone who is under another's control. When we learn to take captive every thought within our mind, we have power not only over our thoughts but also over our behaviour, for our thoughts ultimately lead to our behaviour.

As I was thinking of these things the other day, three words slowly ambled across the screen of my mind: stress or refresh. I was intrigued. And seeing as I was feeling very stressed about a certain situation, I paid particular attention to their entrance. Stress or refresh. What does that mean? I wondered. I know that I am feeling stressed, but how can I turn this stress into being refreshed?

I pondered this throughout the day: Stress or refresh? It seemed obvious that it was a choice, but how could I simply de-stress? And then it struck me: take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Of course, words — my thought words — needed correction. Instead of thinking negatively, I needed to dwell upon the positive aspects of faith within my situation, which is what I immediately began to discipline myself to do.

And I was amazed at how quickly I felt myself beginning to de-stress as the stronghold of worry began to crumble in the face of truth. God is able; all things work for good in His hands; cast all your burden upon Him for He cares for you; He is in control, He will provide. Wonderful words of truth that have divine power to refresh our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, even amidst the most stressful of situations.

Stress or refresh? The choice is ours today.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that the truth of Your Word has divine power to demolish strongholds within our minds. Encourage each of us today to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ, that we might choose to be refreshed instead of stressed. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Well said, Lynne.

    That’s a big amen sister!

    Thanks Lynne for the challenging reminder.

    Good point, Lynne. Thank you. As usual: a profound and thought-provoking message.

    Praise God! A meaningful word, Lynne.
    God bless.

    Lynne – this was excellent! I never thought about the word “captive” in that verse until now.

    I loved today’s message. And many others that you send. They always seem like they are just right for me. Keep up the good work and may God bless you!!

    Thanks for writing to us.
    Looking to Jesus does indeed refresh.

    Dear Lynne, This is definitely a keeper to reread several times.
    And your choice of words within the devotional get our attention.
    A wonderful devotional. One of your best that has universal truths in it for everyone.

    Hi Lynn,
    Your devotion made me think for a day or two — which was a good thing. We all have stress in our lives, and we need to remember to cast that and all burdens onto Our Lord for He will refresh us.
    Strange, isn’t it, how we know this yet so often forget to do this in times of stress?
    Over the past weeks, I’ve had a few stressful times but I know God will get me through them.
    I knew God was watching over me and I also knew if I asked, God would help me so I asked.
    Please do continue to write. Your devotionals help serve as an excellent reminder — especially to me presently it seems!
    God bless!

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