Here’s Tom Newberry’s challenge for Day 30 of his book, 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life: “Do not let others contaminate your mind with their pessimism and idle words. Your conversation must be full of the conditions you desire and the things God wants for you.” He advises you to escape conversations that involve cynicism, doubt, fear, worry or gossip—even if the participants in those conversations are me, myself and I!
Is that possible today? In the middle of a worldwide pandemic with no end in sight? I need help!
Beth Moore, in Believing God, provides a 5-statement declaration that bolsters courage and determination when they are lagging:
- God is who he says He is!
- He can do what He says He can do!
- I am who God says I am!
- I can do all things through Christ!
- God’s Word is alive and active in me!
These declarations to be spoken aloud boldly and counted off with a raised hand. The final statement is, “I believe God,” pointing to the heart, the head, and the heavens.
Looking with our eyes at conditions around us, it may seem naïve to think that affirmations and declarations will amount to a hill of beans when it comes to dealing with our mounting concerns, but the Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:7(NKJV) that “we walk by faith and not by sight.” The writer of Hebrews says, “We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead we have faith and are saved” (Hebrews 10:39).
In Newberry’s lesson for today, he encourages us not to be constantly changing our minds. He compares it to getting into a taxi and telling the driver to take you home, then five minutes later asking him to take you back to the airport, and on the way there, adding a third destination. You would never get anywhere, and the driver would most likely kick you out at the nearest corner. The Bible says it this way, “But let him ask with faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1: 6-7)
He suggests handwriting onto separate 3 x 5 cards your eight favorite promises from God pulled straight from the Bible (though not necessarily the entire verse, just the essence of the promise) and keeping the cards always at hand to fill your mind with positive thoughts and stop negative chatter. He offers these as examples:
- He can do more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
- Those who seek him lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10).
- Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).
- Jesus will be with us always (Matthew 28:20)
This is a pep talk for me today. A reminder that it’s always my choice to be full of faith or full of fear. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
How do you stop your mind from going to the darkside?