Getting A Handle On Your Thought Life
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – – think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Those of you who routinely read this blog know I am a real believer in the changed mind leading to a changed life. If I asked you to take a few minutes and write down your most habitual thoughts what would they be?
One of the more common things people struggle with in the privacy of their own minds is to think they are not really forgiven of their sins. I think it is safe to say that many Christians have had these kinds of thoughts at one time or another. Some people tend to dwell on their past mistakes and sin, and rehash them over and over again. They don’t feel forgiven so they determine they are not forgiven. If this particular thought resonates with you, take a look at the verse below:
“If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.
When the Bible makes a definitive statement about something, that is the way it is. You have to decide to believe you are forgiven because the Bible says so, no matter how you may feel about it. Instead of torturing yourself with these kinds of thoughts, make a decision and believe it is true. It might be a big step for you to believe the Bible, rather than trusting in your emotions. I know, it is so much easier at times to wallow in negative thoughts about yourself rather than to trust in the Bible’s words. The Bible is truth, and you can trust it.
Begin to view yourself through the lens of the Word of God. Learn what is true about you according to His trusty Word. As you think biblically about yourself, God uses his truth to break the cycle of destructive thinking that leads you to discouragement, despair, doubt, and depression. God brings comfort, healing, and hope as the Holy Spirit calls you to remember the greater reality of God’s love and redemption.
When you focus on who you are in Christ it will help you to be open and honest in your relationships. You won’t have to dread or fear encounters with other people, wondering what critical thoughts they might be thinking about you. You also won’t be thinking evil about other people; second-guessing their motives, and judging their behaviors. You can trust what they say or do, and you will build good and solid nurturing relationships.
Thinking truth’s found in the Word of God will not only lead you to a closer daily relationship with Him, you will also experience more power for daily living. When your thoughts and actions are based on His Word, you will find a way through difficulties and not around them. You will be freed from the crippling habits of a negative thought life and be able to move calmly and steadily forward with courage and confidence.
We are in a spiritual war every day, and surrounded by the enemy everywhere we go. But do not ever forget that you are also surrounded by a great defender. Somewhere I read that above us are the overshadowing wings (Psalm 91:4), underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27), and the angel of the Lord encamps around those that fear him and He will deliver them (Psalm 34:7). Inside, there will be a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7), and God will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on Him because he trusts in God (Isaiah 26:3).
Choose to fix your mind on what you know is true, and choose to love God with your entire mind. Your thoughts have an astonishing ability to control your life.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
This is why you need to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). As the verse says, you must demolish every argument and every thought that sets itself up against the knowledge of God! You must take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. We spend an inordinate amount of time being captive to fear and worry; wondering what might happen, and what could be going on. Our thinking must be true according to what the Bible says, true to the character of God is revealed in the Bible, and true according to what people actually say and really do.
As God uses the Word in your life He will enable you to think on what is real. This will calm your fears. About the future, the past, and the present. In the here and now, God is capable and merciful. He is loving, powerful, and is willing to help you to make it through each day by his grace and mercy. Remember that goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6). Be mindful that God’s grace is sufficient for you, and that his power is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Getting a handle on your thought life will lead you to be able to walk in the midst of the churning waters with peace and an inner tranquility that will bring you extraordinary joy in daily living. You won’t be a slave to your emotions anymore, and you will be building your life on the solid bedrock of truth.