What Is That? - Encouragement Café - September 29

Published: Sep 29, 2023

What Is That?
 By Jill Beran

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind… Romans 12:2a ESV

“What is that?” my children asked as I put supper on the table. The new recipe caught them off guard and left them a bit confused. They weren’t sure they wanted to try it until they knew what it was.

Can you relate? I know I can and not just when it comes to food. Understanding my role helps me step out in confidence. Knowing what’s expected helps me persevere and stay on task. When I comprehend what God is saying it’s easier for me to obey.

Friend, read our key verse with me again.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind… Romans 12:2a ESV

There are a few keywords here:

Conformed – be similar in form or type

Transformed – dramatic change in form, appearance or character

Renewal – to make new, restore

God tells us to renew our minds. That part is clear, but do we know what that means. Do you find yourself in the same situation as my kids asking, “What is that?”

If so, I’d be happy to share. A couple of years ago, God led me to study this topic of renewal and He took me on a journey through His Word. I dug deep and searched the Scriptures. The living and active Word of God was at work.

My time in the Bible taught me much. I learned more about God and gained a better understanding of who I was, but more than the knowledge I gained was the transformation that took place.

You see I was one prone to depression. Nearly 20 years ago I was on the verge of taking my life, but thankfully God intervened. Typically life was pretty good, but there were times when things would get me down.

I never contemplated suicide again, but in those moments, hours and sometimes even days, tears came quite easily. I would slip back into the pit.

God always pulled me out and I thought it would forever be a part of who I was. That changed 6 months into my in-depth study. I’d been feeling overwhelmed as a Mom, like a failure as a wife and very unqualified as a woman in ministry.

I could feel myself slipping, but fought off the feelings and tried to replace lies with truth. This was working until something was said at the breakfast table and everything in me wanted to get up, be by myself and let the tears fall, but I could not get out of my chair.

I was amazed and not sure I understood what was happening, but my emotions and perspective changed. The following day I prayed this prayer—

Lord, you woke me up rested, renewed and ready to get back to work. I’ve reflected and realized You are transforming and renewing me. The other day it was nothing big, but a collection of little things adding up – feeling behind, unappreciated, busy, and tempted to give up.

I was thinking I was falling in the pit of depression and I wanted to have a pity party, but it didn’t happen. You kept me from that, helped me take my thoughts captive and renewed my thinking.

Thank You Lord. I ask You – the giver of ALL good things to continue the good work you have begun. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Friend, I pray this gives you a glimpse of what renewal is and paints a picture of what is possible. Time in God’s Word truly transforms. It doesn’t always happen overnight, but He does change us from the inside out.

Now that we know what renewal is, I pray we study the Scriptures so that it can take place!

This journey I described has become a Bible study and I would love for YOU to join me in studying God’s Word together!

Encouragement Café is hosting ReNEWal Road: The Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus in their current online study. Find more information HERE. Leave a comment with your thoughts and/or experience with renewal and be entered to win a copy of the study!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the work You do. Thank You for renewing our minds and making us new. Help us join You in the transformational work You want to do. Give us a hunger for Your Word and make us more like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

© 2018 Jill Beran.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Friday, 29 September 2023.