Today's guest blogger is Suzanne Holland. Suzanne is a
grateful follower of Jesus Christ, wife to John, and mom to two grown up boys.
She has completed her training through Reigning Grace Counseling Center and is in her practicum to become a Certified Biblical Counselor, offering the hope of the Scriptures to those who
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in
God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing
that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10: 4&5
I was talking with a friend this morning who is struggling
with depression. She knows that she will not have victory over it until she
gains control of her thoughts, but she has not yet learned to do that consistently.
Thought control is a difficult battle, but it can be won. The Lord has
commanded us to take control of our thinking. We know this because of passages
like the one above, and Philippians 4:8, which gives us a list, then tells us
to “think on these things.” Our God does not give us commands that he will not
enable us to obey. That would be cruel and unloving, two things that could
never describe the God of the Bible. So this instruction on what we should and
should not think about has to be possible for us, but how?
As believers, we are told many times in the Bible that
victory is ours. In 2 Corinthians 2:14, Paul assures us of this: “Now thanks be
to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the
fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” God always leads us in triumph; not sometimes, not even most of the
time, but always. This is a promise
that we can claim whenever our thoughts threaten to take us down into sadness
and hopelessness. Just because our circumstances are difficult does not mean that
we have to become sad or depressed. Christ will lead us in triumph, but we must
follow. Have you ever tried to lead someone to do something they don’t want to
do? Even when you know that your plan is the best one for that person, you
cannot force them to follow. Neither will Christ force believers to think
rightly about their trials. He simply offers the victory. We choose whether to
trust Him or not, and our thoughts follow.
Another promise of victory comes to us in 1 John 5:3-5. “For
this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments
are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this
is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. Who is he who overcomes
the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” If we are born of
God, we are overcomers of the world. That world includes our current trial, and
any we will face in the future. We have the victory that has overcome the
world: Our faith. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died and
rose again to give us that victory! My friends, this is the Gospel, and we need
it every second of every hour of every day. It is the source and the outworking
of our victory. Go to the Gospel. Meditate on it, proclaim it to yourself and
anyone else who will listen, and you will have victory over your thoughts.
I could write all day about the many promises of victory
that God has given us in His word, but I will share just one more passage of
encouragement before I wrap this up: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He
will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). There are certain passages of
Scripture that we believers tend to gloss over because they are so familiar.
This little gem in Proverbs is one of those. Will you take a closer look at it with
me now? I would especially like to draw your attention to the word all. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. I know that you are
trusting in the Lord for your salvation, and even for your life in general. But
are you trusting Him in this particular circumstance with all your heart, or are you reserving a corner of your inner self to
ruminate on your fears and worries? If you are having trouble controlling your
thoughts, my guess is that you have not entrusted Him with this problem with all your heart. A follow-up question for
you: Are you acknowledging Him in all your
ways? You are probably reading your Bible and praying about your problem. You
have likely sought out wise counsel. These are good and profitable ways that we
acknowledge God. But what about your thoughts? Have you handed them over to the
control of the Holy Spirit? Train your thoughts according to what you have read
in the Word. When thoughts of your problems bring worry, fear, anxiety or
sadness, claim the promises listed here, and search the scriptures for more. Even
a simple Google search for Scriptures about controlling your thoughts brings up
about 76,000 results!
God has promised victory in our thought life. We do not have
to give in to negative emotions. When we claim our victory, we can lead others
to triumph as well. This brings glory to God. He trains us for the battle
against our flesh, teaches us to control our thoughts, and then leads us to
others who are struggling as we are, so that we can comfort them with the same
comfort we have received. Hallelujah!
What a Savior!
Labels: Guest Blogger-Holland