I was listening to a song the other day where it tells the story of a guy who got some bad news and in light of it he did some thinking and walked to the end of a pier and cracked open a cold one. I am a teetotaler and always will be, by God’s grace, for personal and biblical reasons. I believe that consuming alcohol in moderation should find itself with the other grey area issues and be considered wisely in light of Romans 14. I don’t even like the teetotaler label because I’m not a tea fan! Give me an Arnold Palmer 1/2 and 1/2 (that’s one part lemonade and one part ice tea), a chocolate milkshake, or a Coke Zero…anything but tea…but I digress.
Anyway, the guy in the song was doing some thinking in light of the bad news that he received via phone call. As believers we have lots to think on in light of tough times. Our tough times can be anything under the sun. From a bad hair day (I have very few of those) to the falling out between friends. Our struggle may be in family life or in extended family life. It may be a mocking co-worker or an annoying neighbour. The regular grind of life may have you feeling like you’re on a hamster wheel. You may look to the future with much uncertainty. It may just be a dark day. From what I understand, even admired leaders from the past, like Charles Spurgeon, dealt with depression.
When we go through difficult days or even difficult seasons, God’s Word is there to speak the truth to us. Believers can do more than just think, like the guy on the end of the pier…they have the great opportunity to think God’s words. We have the privilege of memorizing and meditating on God’s very words to help us fight for joy. So what I want to do today is give you a number of passages that have been helpful for my soul and hope and pray that they meet you where you are if you’re going down a rocky road today. Or maybe you’re on the top of the world today and these verses can be vaulted for another time. I won’t be making an comments on the verses, I just want to let Scripture speak.
 You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
(Psalm 56:8 ESV)
 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.(James 1:2-4 ESV)
 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
(Psalm 46:10 ESV)
 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.(Romans 8:28-30 ESV)
[8:1] There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.(Romans 8:1 ESV)
I am what I call a process thinker. I will dwell on the past for hours at a time and can examine things from seventeen different perspectives. Sometimes this is helpful and sometimes it can steal my sleep. So this post is for myself more than anyone, so I need to take my own counsel! Dwelling on what God has said is so important to the child of God.
I quoted Brian Chapel last Sunday morning about how we can buy earphones that keeps you hearing well what you’re listening to and at the same time keeps out the sound from the outside. I do this at the Y most days. I can be in another world through music or movies on the iPod and always have to take them out if I want to hear anything from the outside. I also have to wear earplugs in the workplace, but the reality is that the noise can still get in. The more we linger over the Word of God, the more it works like earphones than earplugs. May thinking on God’s Word squeeze out the lies of this world and hear with crystal clarity the truths of our God in our fight for joy.