My precious daughter stood in our living room sharing how God had revealed so many awesome truths to her. As she shared, her eyes beamed and you could feel the victories she had won over past discouragement. Pure joy. Oh, if we could just bottle that up, right? The next day, after my sweet girl proclaimed victory, she professed defeat. Pouring out her heart, she felt that the perspective from just hours before was lost.
What causes such a sudden change? Mindsets. Negative mindsets, to be specific. Like a dark cloud, they roll in to confuse our viewpoint and snuff out hope. And if we’re honest, we’ve all been there.
We’ve felt that familiar pain of erratic emotions dictating to us how we are going to feel about life. And these feelings are powerful. They don’t just wreck our mood. They can set the course for our lives if we don’t recognize the mindsets and do something about it. As it says in Proverbs 4:23 (GNT): “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”
But the good news is that we are not a victim of our mindsets. When negativity threatens to blind our view, we have relief—if we reach for it.
This weary world wears us out and steals our joy, but there is a refuge for those who have realized that the world simply cannot renew our mind and give us joy. Because God’s word can. As it says in Psalm 119:130, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (ESV).
Understanding is a beautiful thing. When we understand God’s purposes, we no longer have to be led astray or focus on the waves of this life. In those moments, when we understand life through God’s word and all seems clear, we can feel invincible. But all that can change in a moment. We are cheerful and uplifted one minute and then suddenly discouraged, seemingly with no ability to recover in the next.
Wounds to the mind and soul are not so visible as wounds to the body. Sure, we can likely detect it from the expression on our face, but if only it was as simple as knowing the cause that we could find our cure. But sometimes our mindsets send us down paths we do not intend. We can feel like there is no way out.
The good news is that it is our own minds that we are talking about here. We might not be able to affect someone else’s mind, but we can do something about ours. It will be a battle, for sure. But it is possible.
Use the Right Medicine
The Word of God is not mere words on a page. His word is our light and our life. And His words heal the wounds of the soul. Too often we can run to the world for a cure, but it is not the world’s wisdom or strength upon which we should rely. For it is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4 NIV).
Did you catch those words? Live on. As in sustenance. Honestly, I can run to chocolate when I feel down. It has something to do with hormones (and mine are out of whack) and chocolate releasing endorphins to my brain. We are using food as a drug in those moments. Scary thought. But when we run to God’s word as Jesus did when He was tempted, we will find exactly what we need and not merely something to affect our symptoms temporarily.
Our mindsets shift when we treat our minds to a dose of God’s word. The enemy of our souls knows this. And so we are distracted and busy and don’t have time for the Bible.
Unless we have a plan. Do you have a plan that helps you get into God’s word? It is not just an accomplishment to read the Bible once. We need God’s Word. But so often we fill that void with other things that were never meant to be our rescue.
The Word of God is our healing. So won’t you join me this year as we read the Bible together? It literally takes 15 minutes most days and I hop online to share a 5-minute summary. I hope you will join me. Below are the details.
In January, I started a bible reading plan with daily reminders, audio links to hear the word if you can’t read it, and daily FB live videos at 8am ET to help us stay on task to read the Bible through this year. Why? Because when we are in the Word of God, we are changed. We think differently. Our minds are set on things above rather than on all of this life’s struggles.
Also . . . super exciting . . . I have an app that also came out in January 2020 that will help counter negative mindsets with the word of God!!!! Check out the Make Up Your Mind app website or the Make Up Your Mind page on my website for more info.
Let’s renew our minds in 2020 together! I’m praying for each of you who read this and sign up to do the Bible Reading plan. God is at work. And the good news is that HE will complete the work that He has begun in us!
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on denisepass.com.
Featured Image by Oscar Obians