Revelation #8 - CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE, CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Understand your attitude and thoughts may need a makeover. I realized I had to actively get rid of the heaviness of despair and discouragement and negative thinking; I had to make a decision and commit to get rid of doubt and unbelief. You have to recognize negative emotions for what they are and determine to be rid of them; to say “I will not live another day of my life in despair and defeat.”
Decide now that you are going to look at things differently than before. It will probably take some effort. You may have to wrestle with your own thoughts and emotions to continually pull them away from the negative attitudes that you may have given root to in your past. Dig up those roots! Pull them out of the soil of your heart! Then plant the seed of God’s Word in there instead! Decide to view things from your Heavenly Father’s perspective: He has all power and ability to do anything, and He is able and willing to direct that power on your behalf as you seek HIM.
This is what I had to do to deal with depression. I dug into the truth of God's Word and meditated in it (Joshua 1:8). I held onto the truths of God's Word and kept them before me. I proclaimed them over my circumstances and against any feelings of despair that tried to come my way. Sometimes I had to give myself a good talking-to in order to snap out of a funk I was slipping into. Sometimes I still do this to help myself!
Now, I’m not finished with this process. Just like we need to eat physical food every day, I feed myself spiritually every day from God’s Word. The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17); in other words, we develop our faith in God by filling our minds, hearts and mouths with the Word of God. I found out that God is for me, not against me (Romans 8:31). He is a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3).
Romans 12:1-2 showed me that I had to MAKE A DECISION to dedicate myself to God, and to renew my mind. God has a perfect plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11), and while we do not control Him with our thoughts and words, we CAN learn to think and speak in agreement with His will. The will of God is known primarily through the Word of God; as we develop our faith with the Word, our minds align with what God says. We learn and grow, unbelief and doubt gets replaced by faith and trust, and more and more of God’s power becomes available to us because the Bible says His Word is powerful, living and active (Hebrews 4:12). As we renew our minds to God's Word, our minds change; our attitudes begin to change; our choices and actions will change; soon our circumstances will change.
As I learned to renew my mind and build my faith, it did not immediately make my life perfect or change my circumstances overnight; I had spent 40-something years prior as an "unbelieving" believer. Yet as I held to my determination to focus on God and His Word, and to exalt them OVER my circumstances and my feelings, my thoughts and words began to align with God’s Word, and my circumstances eventually followed suit. I began to see a difference in 1) how I viewed the problems in my own life - I had less fear and more peace - AND 2) the answers I needed, I received more quickly, more readily from God.
Now, to be clear, I’m not saying that I never have problems. I do. I am going through some things right now... yes, even very serious things. Yet I have learned from past experience with the Lord, that if I will keep my eyes on HIM and on HIS ABILITY and HIS WILLINGNESS to help me, then He will always safely bring me through.
Some of the practical things I did to help myself change my attitude and thinking – besides my daily meditation and prayer in the Word of God – were the following:
- I purposed in my heart from the beginning to actively resist and reject thoughts of depression or despair. I decided beforehand what my stance would be. I determined to stand strong in the Lord.
- Initially I made a list on paper of all my concerns and needs in my life. This included health, finances, family, relationships, work, etc.
- I researched in the Bible for 2 or 3 Scriptures related to these concerns and wrote them down.
- I organized and wrote those key Scriptures on notecards. I meditated on them. I
personalized them into prayers over my concerns.
- I also posted the Scriptures around my house where I could see them regularly – on the refrigerator, a message board in my office, a little Scripture card holder on my desk and on my kitchen table.
- In addition to reading my Bible, I also bought myself The Bible on audio CD as well as ministry teachings (from favorite ministers) on different subjects, and I began to listen to the Word and listen to the teachings – during breakfast in the morning, in my car drive to and from work, and later on at night relaxing after dinner.
The idea was to keep the Word of God in front of me as much as possible, particularly for urgent matters. As I did all of this, I was renewing my mind and letting the Word of God sink into my heart and mind.
Eventually, when I would think of my concerns, the related Scripture from God’s Word would automatically pop up so that I didn’t allow my mind to roam down a negative path. Instead, I stay in faith. Try these practices and see if they help you too!