Everyone battles negative thoughts; “I’m ugly, I’ll never get a good job, I’m a terrible person, I’m just a sinner, I can never change, etc.” However, what separates people who please God from those who don’t is determined by their trust in God’s Word (Hebrews 11:6).
As modern psychology shows that best way to combat negative thoughts is by replacing them with new positive thoughts. Certainly, the best thoughts are from the mind of Christ (the word of God). It was the very Word of God that created everything in the universe (Genesis 1:3 & Hebrews 11:3) and it is the very Word of God that transform someone’s very soul (1 Peter 1:22-24 & Hebrews 4:12).
Studies show that memorizing the Bible has had profound effects on people’s lives! Those who memorize and meditate on Scripture over a period of time are more happy and mentally healthier with their relationship with God. A survey done by Dr. Meier with seminary students over three years, “Renewing Your Mind in a Secular World.” showed that those who were the most unhappy in life and had the most significant mental health issues did not make any time to meditate and memorize Scripture. Those who had the best results (happier life-less stress) had made a practice of memorizing the Bible for a minimum of three years (though the benefits came quickly the life long stability took years of daily practice).
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES: The commands and practices a disciple “show” in their life to “grow” spiritually. The growing disciple will be transformed in their behavior by being renewed in their mind (Romans 12:2) for the purpose of reflecting the image of God.
HIDING GOD’S WORD IN YOUR HEART
Psalm 119:9-16, “9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”
HOW TO PRACTICALLY MEMORIZE THE BIBLE
- Choose a verse to memorize that speaks to something in your life right now.
- Start small.
- Write it down.
- Say it out loud.
- Incorporate the verse into your prayers.
- Put it everywhere.
- Use music to help.
- Make it a game.
- Translate the verse into a different language (if you can).
- Repeat, repeat, repeat!
(Excerpt from this article)
DON’T BE DISCOURAGED
Brain exercises are not easy, but they are powerful in keeping you mentally healthy. Below are some medical resources to help you:
- Proven ways to increase memory
- Studies in neuroplasticty
- Brain exercises
CHOOSING THE RIGHT THOUGHTS & MEMORIES
Philippians 4:4-9 “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again:Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 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 things. 9 Whatever 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.”
Example of How to Use the Chart:
My wife was injured in a car accident and started developing a fear of being in the van. Yes, it is “true” she can be in another accident, but it is not “noble” to think about being in an accident every time she is in the car. Thus, she needs to “take” that fearful thought captive and “make” it obedient to the “noble” Word of God. Like, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Bottom Line: Whatever we think about should be based in the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy Word of God!
2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”