Here is a new song about a classic teaching. One of the great abilities God designed into our minds is our ability to direct our own thinking and concentrate on something for a long time. Colossians refers to this ability when it says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” This verse is both instruction and a promise. If God instructs us to do something we know He’s also given us the ability. Wonderful! Please enjoy the song, then we’ll explore three secrets, starting with the secret of how to be miserable. Don’t worry, our excursion into secrets ends well!
How to be miserable
The psalmist, Asaph, teaches us in Psalm 77 how to be miserable. He tells us he spent a miserable night seeking comfort from the Lord, but his mind refused to be comforted. He complained, and just became more overwhelmed. His mind went back and forth thinking about great days of the past and terrible problems of the present, and he wondered where God went. He communed with his own heart — and just felt worse and worse. It seemed God did not like him anymore.
Good news! He turned the corner and started moving away from misery. How? He changed his thinking AWAY from himself and the swirling confusion in his head and TOWARD the greatness and goodness of God.
He could have continued to look within and churn and burn on his problems and stay miserable.
He redirected his thinking to God, the Problem Solver. When he did that — and spoke out loud in a positive confession — his problem began to shrink into insignificance.
As long as he looked within, as long as he sat there and let his mind ramble on in negative thinking, that’s how long he would be miserable.
The secret to being miserable is to keep looking within ourselves.
How to be distracted
Psalm 73 shows us how to be distracted. The psalmist does not spend time looking within but the error that caused his footing to slip was equally as bad.
His problem was he looked at others. He looked at the prosperity of the wicked and became envious. These wicked people rejected God and were out to make all the money they could. It seemed nothing ever went wrong for these people. They appeared to have good health, status, positions of influence, fame and popularity. They “had more than heart could wish”. They were so confident in their own ability to gain wealth and make things happen that they actually spoke against God as one who knows nothing and is neither great nor good. They were without morals or ethics and had no knowledge of God. The psalmist compared himself to them and felt unworthy and unable to do things.
What turned his distraction around? He says, “Until I went into the sanctuary of
God; then understood I their end.” He turned his attention to God and the truth of His Word. In God’s house the man turned his thoughts to God’s greatness and goodness. When he did, he realized it was the wicked — and not he himself — who walked in slippery places.
The secret to being distracted is to keep our sights on others.
How to be radiant
Psalm 34 reveals the secret of radiant living. Here it is:
“They looked unto him, and were radiant.”
When we concentrate on the nature and acts of our loving Lord, we’ll smile, our hearts will be thrilled and we’ll have a spring in our steps.
Hebrews 12 includes these words, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Literally, Hebrews is saying, “Looking away from all else unto Jesus.” We are to turn our prolonged concentration away from our own insides and away from what other people are doing and instead CONCENTRATE ON THE LORD.
In II Corinthians 4 we read, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Things of this material world pass away like the flowers of the field. But the things of God live and abide forever. Have you ever read in Matthew 6 where we should we invest our greatest treasure of love, time and attention? “… seek ye first the kingdom of God …”
Isaiah 26 gives us another wonderful verse telling us to pay attention to how we are thinking — “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” A “stayed mind” is a mind focused on one thing over a period of time. Here, the result of staying our minds on the Lord is perfect peace, something every person should desire. Perfect peace is available as we spend time keeping our thoughts focused on the Lord.
The secret of being miserable: look within.
The secret of being distracted: look at others.
The secret of radiant living: look to the Lord.
Let’s grow beyond the misery caused by spending so much time looking within.
Let’s push our chairs away from the dealers of distractions that serve — and capture — minds with shining lights of entertainment and social intrigue day in and day out.
Let’s look to the Lord and explore the secret of radiant living.
The importance of directing our own thinking is simple but powerful wisdom from God’s Word. Let’s embrace His wisdom and watch it work! Let’s be radiant.
God bless you lots!
P.s. PLEASE bless your socks off and watch this song “Psalm 34” stunningly well-performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. (Tip – Watch to the end. Watch the choir director. Wonderful!)
LYRICS: Secret Of Radiant Living
Song by Dale Reichel (2021)
Three secrets I know of three ways I can be
Radiant, distracted or in misery
Of these three secrets you’ve probably guessed
The secret of radiant living’s the best.
1. At times I’ve cried, “Oh miserable me!”
I learned the secret to feeling that way.
As long as my eyes look inside I will see
Misery can fill my soul day after day. [chorus]
2. At times I’ve cried, “I’m choked with distraction!”
I learned the secret to feeling that way.
As long as my eyes watch this old world in action
Distraction can fill my soul day after day. [chorus]
3. Now times are filled with His blessings outpoured.
I learned the secret to living that way.
As long as my eyes look up to my Lord
I’m radiant day after day after day.
Misery be gone, distraction retire
Enough going from frying pan into the fire
He promised us new life, He said what He meant:
Let’s look to our Lord and be radiant. [chorus]
One less thing for you to think about
If you like these Bible lessons and songs, let me offer you in ONE WORD one LESS thing to think about. SUBSCRIBE. Each week I’ll send you a cheerful note that a new lesson & song is ready for you to enjoy. Note includes links to the new song page and to “The Music Box” where I post all the extras for free download. AND my notes to subscribers always have a link to UNSUBSCRIBE so if you figure out you’d rather go back to having one MORE thing to think about, it’s remains within easy reach. Give it a whirl! Just click “Get The Music Box” button – below – and you are almost done. ENJOY!
God bless you lots!
Add to the conversation — leave a note here
See “Leave a reply” below? That’s for YOU! Say hi, add thoughts to this page … let us know you were here. God bless you lots! – Dale R.