Have you ever struggled with negative thoughts or anxiety? I sure have. I will fixate on a problem and then it becomes a broken record in my head.
Soon, that negative thing is all I can think about.
I notice that my mood changes. I start to feel fearful, distrusting, vulnerable, and unsafe. I walk in doom instead of the joy God has for me.
Thankfully, God is patient and persistent. When there is a small break in the storm that’s formed in my mind, His voice softly breaks through:
“Daughter, those thoughts and voices are not from me. You are being attacked!”
It’s as if a light bulb has turned on, illuminating the darkest corners of my mind, filling it with the truth. With this new knowledge, I can fight the enemy- the REAL enemy- who is Satan. I pray, rebuking him and demanding that he leave me and my mind alone.
The anxious, dark, gloomy thoughts instantly cease. I’m able to see the situation clearly.
It’s amazing how fast peace will come when we allow the light to expose the dark.
A Vicious Cycle
I’m in a season of learning how much your thoughts can dictate your actions. Everything we do starts with a thought. If I decide that something is difficult before I even begin, I will talk myself out of doing what I am supposed to do. This leads to procrastination, which leads to more stress and negative thoughts.
It’s a vicious cycle. Yet it’s a cycle I often find myself caught up in.
Can you relate?
How to Combat Negative Thoughts and Anxiety
Friends, we are not supposed to live a life riddled with anxiety or negative thoughts. God wants us to have peace. It is so important to take every thought captive and measure them up to God’s truth. If you are like me, you like direction or steps you need to take to be successful.
Philippians 4:6-7 gives you an excellent guide to follow if you deal with anxiety:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
For me, anxiety starts when I feel like I have to be in control and have all the answers. Guys, we are so blessed to have a God who is asking to carry all of that stuff for us. When you are feeling anxious about anything, stop and take some time to be with God. I’ve done so myself, and have found so much peace.
Next, when those negative thoughts like to pop up, use Philippians 4:8 as your guide. Ask yourself:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
This is something I constantly have to work on. I wish it was an overnight fix, but it takes time and patience. Measure your thoughts to Philippians 4:8. If it doesn’t match up, throw that thought out!
Next time you find yourself struggling with negative thoughts and anxiety, reflect back on Philippians 4:6-8. Know that you can come to God with anything and everything. He will show you the truth and help you throw out anything that threatens to take your peace.