In the field of psychology, there is a pattern that is widely accepted where your thoughts affect your feelings, your feelings affect your behaviors, and your behavior affects your thoughts. It forms a rotating circle. Thoughts, feelings, behaviors. If I think I’m getting sick, I will start to feel like I’m getting sick, so I will start acting like I’m getting sick, which just reinforces the thought that must be sick. And so it spirals.

So how can we use this psychology to glorify God? Well, we know that God wants praise Him. So we need to start by changing our thoughts.

The book of Philippians is know for being a book about joy. “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!” (Philip 4:4). But more than the book talks about having joy, it talks about thinking correctly. You see Paul, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, knew that joy actually comes first from having our thoughts in order. “Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philip 4:8, abbr. italics added) If I think about God’s goodness, I will feel grateful, so I will start rejoicing, which just reinforces my thoughts about God’s goodness.

God has given you the power to control your thoughts. It may not be easy, but it is the starting point for joy. Today, may you “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5)