Have you ever found yourself in a tough season? Perhaps it is here, when you find yourself telling yourself lines such as ‘You’re not good enough?’, ‘You can’t do this?’, ‘You’re not strong enough’, ‘I can’t finish’, ‘I can’t keep this up’ or even ‘Just give up’.
Now this season may be starting a new job, choosing to learn a new skill, starting a business or anything really where you feel God has asked you to step out—and then the obstacles come. Something that started out with all good intentions, has halted to a stop and you find yourself spiralling with negative thoughts.
In 2 Corinthians Chapter 10 verses 3-6 (MSG) it puts it like this,
“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will.
The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture.
We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.”
This version of these verses really paints this picture of the way our thoughts have such power over the direction, our actions and emotions.
In Pastor Craig’s Groeschel message “Words to Live By” he says, “Our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts”. This could not be truer.
For me personally, I know the moments when I feel like I am spiralling or losing track of my direction in the bigger picture is often when I try to do everything in my own strength rather than take every thought captive and lay it at the feet of Jesus.
Who is in Control?
In Romans Chapter 8 verses 5 -8 (MSG) it puts it like this,
“Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God!
Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.”
Verse after verse in the Bible we are given the answers on how to combat life’s challenges through the word of God, yet in reality it can be difficult to remember to do this in the moment so, I believe that we need to do this before we get to the moment of stress or challenge to set ourselves up for the overflow of God’s thoughts to drive us.
Handling Negative Thoughts
The two steps I have been working on to do this are:
- Take note of every negative thought I find that’s dominating my mind
- Then take a good look at the spiritual truths that the Bible speaks about these areas of lies or negative speak I have told myself
For example, I may think that I am not strong enough or that I am doing this season alone.
Then I look through the word of God and remind myself “Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world” (1 John 4 verse 4) or “God is my shelter and my hiding place” (Psalm 32 verse 7) or “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31 verse 6).
In a world where we are constantly barraged by the latest trend, social media, news or always on mentality - I find we need to be more cautious than ever about the self-talk we find ourselves in. Recently we are seeing more awareness on mental health through great organisations raising the conversations about this area in our lives, but I truly believe there is so much power in the word of God to shift our thinking little by little, day by day if we chose to take the time to do so.
Meenal Chandra is a newlywed writer based in Sydney, Australia. Meenal loves to travel, cook, read and tackle the real, authentic issues that we face everyday. Meenal Chandra previous articles may be viewed at: www.pressserviceinternational.org/meenal-chandra.html