As you’ll read about in the first chapter of Unsinkable Faith, this season of life I’ve been living through the past eighteen months has been extremely difficult. There have been many days when I felt like I was sinking under the crushing weight of sadness, fears, and worries. There were even days when it seemed I couldn’t catch my breath from being knocked down time and time again by the waves of problems and emotions that kept slamming against the shore of my heart.
But I’m so thankful God opened my eyes to see the dangers of toxic negative thinking and the toll it was taking on me, before it rooted itself too deeply into my heart. I will never forget the day I decided I was not going to let people or circumstances rob me of a happy, positive life. Although I had little to no control over how other people acted or treated me, and no control over certain situations in my life, I did have control over my own mind.
Through prayer and faith, God helped me come to the conclusion that just because something bad happened in my life, didn’t mean my life was bad, and just because I was unhappy in the moment, didn’t mean I had to live an unhappy life. And neither do you.
No matter what we’re facing, we don’t have to let negativity become a stronghold in our hearts and hold us hostage to pessimism and bitterness. A “stronghold” is anything that holds us back from living life the way God intended and hinders our ability to live with peace, love, joy and hope-fueled optimism in our hearts.
If a majority of our thoughts are negative, that “strong hold” of negativity can slowly choke out our happiness but even worse – we may be completely unaware this is happening. We may resort to blaming other people for the way we are feeling, struggling with fears, harboring anger or assuming we are not lovable or forgivable by God. We may find ourselves not thinking Christ like thoughts, allowing fear and worry to run rampant, and letting the ups and downs of everyday life dictate our emotions while harboring chronic negativity. We might even justify our pessimism and negativity to ourselves and to others all because we feel like a victim of people or life.
Then one day, we wake up and realize we are sinking in a pit of pessimism or anger or frustration, and soaked with a mindset of negativity, bitter about our circumstances, irritated at the smallest things, addicted to complaining and grumpiness, lacking peace and joy, snapping at our loved ones, and just overall discontent and unsatisfied with our life and the people in it. If you ask me, the only thing worse than realizing we have quite possibly become a full blown pessimist is becoming one and never realizing it at all.
Fortunately, we each have the power within us as believer’s to fight this invisible battle for our thoughts, but first we have to recognize that the mind is a battlefield where God and Satan are fighting for our thoughts, and we are caught in the middle. In the Message Bible, 2 Corinthians 10:4 says “We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.”
We have plenty of “God-tools” within our grasp to fight this spiritual war in our minds. We have His Word, prayer, the prayers of others on our behalf, holy strength, perseverance, divine peace, and our faith walk, all of which equip us to push back against negativity and thoughts in our minds that do not line up with God’s Word.
Although it’s not ever easy to reshape our thoughts and change our thought patterns, especially when life feels hard and we are hurt or discouraged, we can always ask Christ to help us use those tools He has given us to chisel away at our negativity and lack of faith and restructure our hearts, our minds, and ultimately our life, to be more like Him. Satan’s weapons don’t stand a chance against God’s power, but we must decide to pick up our spiritual weapons (and I talk a lot more about these in the book!) and fight for control of our thoughts and emotions and our lives overall.
Attitude transformations don’t happen overnight, but they do happen. If you invite God to begin a transformation in your mind, He will!
TODAY’S COUNTDOWN GIVEAWAY
Today’s giveaway is a signed copy of Unsinkable Faith, a Prayer Journal to help you start using one of your God-tools, and a Hope Anchors the Soul coffee mug to enjoy a steaming cup of hot coffee while spending time journaling and talking to God.
For a chance to win this prize package, leave a comment on this post stating one situation in your life of which you want to develop a more positive attitude about, then copy and paste one of the Facebook posts below to your Facebook page.
Be sure to tag me in your post to be entered to win!
Post 1: Does negative thinking keep you from feeling happy and joyful? Do you long to break free from the bad habit of negativity but not sure how to really change? Attitude transformations don’t happen overnight, but they do happen, and it can happen to you if you invite God to begin transforming your mind. When we change our attitudes, our lives take a positive turn for the better. Tracie Miles new book Unsinkable Faith: Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live, releases April 1st! Pre-order your copy and get 5 free gifts! http://amzn.to/2nlqT2Q #thinkpositive #unsinkablefaithbook
Post 2: God is faithful to show us the misconceptions that have anchored us in negativity, doubt, and despair. Releasing the misconceptions we’ve held doesn’t mean that the rest of our lives will be smooth sailing. Storms will still come. Skies will thunder. Lightning will strike. Waves will inevitably rock our boats. We’ll still have to deal with the words and actions of others that once dragged us under. But unsinkable faith can be ours as we purpose to expose and release the misconceptions that have kept us stuck. With God’s help and an intentional commitment, you can retrain your mind to think positive thoughts. Guided by the Spirit, you and I have all the tools we need to live well. Tracie Miles Order your copy of Unsinkable Faith and 5 free gifts! http://amzn.to/2nlqT2Q #thinkpositive #unsinkablefaithbook
(Winners of all the daily giveaways will be announced on April 1st when the Grand Prize package is up for grabs!)