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Rise Above

The power of Positive Thinking has become more and more well known since the emergence of social media, but did you know that strategies to change negative thought patterns appear in the Bible?   Scripture teaches us that we have the power to change our lives for better or for worse based on the thoughts we focus on. 

Romans 12:2 gives us a strategy to claim power over negative thoughts:
Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

This verse shows us that when we change the message in our minds and the thoughts we dwell on, our entire life will be transformed

In Philippians 4:8 Paul says: 

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

When Paul wrote this, he was a prisoner of Rome. He survived the horrors of a Roman prison by fixing his mind on:  Things that are true, honest, right, clean and pure, things that are lovely, and things that are good to talk about.”  

Paul did NOT fix his mind on the deplorable conditions he was facing- these were primitive prison cells with no bathrooms, dirt floors, no heating/cooling– and he was IN CHAINS. He could have embraced the misery of his physical condition. Instead, Paul found positive things to train His mind on. He fixed his thoughts on the good, not the evil. What was clean and pure, not the filth. He fixed His mind not on his suffering, but on gratitude.

How? How did he have the mental strength to do this?? In the verses before Phil 4:8 we see Paul’s intentional strategy: 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 thingsWhatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

In stressful times, it is easy to succumb to weariness of mind and body. We are at our most vulnerable when we are tired and stressed.  But if we focus on the stress and the frustrations we will remain “Stuck in The Suck”. 

To get UN-stuck, we have to train our minds to focus on the goodness of God in our lives. To rise above the difficulties and focus on what deserves praise and gratitude. Like Paul did from prison. The human mind is fully capable of being trained to focus on the positive even in difficult situations. We have to be intentional and re-wire our minds with the spoken Word of Truth. Our brains believe what we speak so when we fill our minds with TRUTH from God’s word, we transform how we experience our circumstances.

It’s imperative to build the habit of speaking God’s word over our lives so that when difficulties come, we have a habit in place to help us not just survive the difficulties but thrive in the midst of them. And, as we develop the practice of transforming our minds with scripture, out loud and on a daily basis, we can be confident that when darkness attacks we will already have a strong foundation in place. 

Know that you are positioned in this time and place for a reason. God’s purpose for you today, and in this season, is for your life to be completely transformed by the renewing of your mind. Daily. Hourly. Moment by moment, as you fill your mind and speak truth from God’s word, you will be set free from old thought patterns, and you will build new, healthy ways of experiencing a full and peaceful life. 


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3 Responses

  1. What a way with words! This was perfect, as our God is perfect. Thank you for letting Him work through you. I can think of many who need to hear this. Your efforts will not be returned void! Love you my friend – you are a Godly example for us all.

    Note: beautiful website! I felt it as soon as I laid eyes on it!

  2. Excellent advice! Difficulty will come but by focusing on Jesus and not our surroundings we can have His peace which passes all understanding!

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