Impossible For Men

I wrote a little bit about Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s Thought Conditioners in a post last week, and that made me think about reading through them again.  One year during Lent, John and I decided to use the book as our Lenten guide and we read one thought conditioner each day.  A thought conditioner is a verse from scripture and a short reflection written by Dr. Peale.  When Lent ended, we kept going through the book over and over until we had committed most of the verses to memory.

Those little scripture verses have helped me so much over the years.  When I need encouragement or help, a thought conditioner often springs to mind.  It was a Lenten practice that has had long-lasting benefits.  It has been years since we read through the book, and I thought it was time to read through it again.

The first thought conditioner is

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. —Luke 18:27

The reflection for this encourages us not to worry, but to relax and know that God is in control of the final outcome of “impossible” situations.  Pray about the situation, do all you can to resolve it, and then trust that God will handle it.

To me, this thought conditioner is about hope and trust.  Instead of looking at situations with doubt and worry, it is more helpful for me to trust that God will bring an outcome that will provide grace to me and to the world.  This changes my outlook from an anxious pessimism to an optimistic peace.  I might not know how each situation will turn out, but I know that the divine hand will bring mercy and grace eventually.

For example, regarding my vision, I do not know what the outcome will be.  Will the medical community Bring a miracle cure?  Will adaptive technology make tasks easier to complete?  Will my deteriorating vision be a source of grace for me?  Will my journey and story help someone who is feeling afraid?  ANY of these outcomes are miracles and so I leave the situation in God’s hands.  I look forward to watching what happens in my life because I am not attached to a particular outcome. I have really incorporated this thought conditioner into my beliefs.

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. —Luke 18:27


2 thoughts on “Impossible For Men

  1. I have been working on doing the same thing with my own type of thought conditioning. Giving it up to God and not to worry but to be at peace. I have the same questions on my vision but look to God for calmness and the wisdom to make it through each day. Thank you for such a wonderful insight today!

    • Thanks, Pam. I am sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. It is a blessing to be able to have the ability to give our burdens over to God. I am thankful for friends like you who help me remember that I don’t have to overcome obstacles all by myself. Thank you.

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