"We have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart."
- 1 Corinthians 2:16 AMP
If you have ever been in a trial of any kind, then you know how easy it can be to let our problems consume our thoughts and control our lives. I'm here to tell you today that the Lord has some very effective ways to help us get through our trying times victoriously, so that we don't have to miss out on His best in our situation.
The first thing we need to remind ourselves of in a trial is that we have God's Word to help us. Think of the Bible as the heart and mind of Almighty God. It has the power to renew our minds, and to help us think like God, so that we can view people and situations from His point of view, instead of the world's. What happens when we view things from a worldly perspective? We get the same pitiful results that the world gets--misery, despair, and defeat. Scripture says: "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]." (Romans 12:2 AMP) In order for us to know what God's will is for us in a situation, we must have our mind renewed by the truth contained in Scripture. We must read it, study it, meditate on it, and speak it over our lives and circumstances. Most of all, we must do what it says. This is God's recipe for victory in every situation. We were recreated in Christ to live above our circumstances, not under them. (Ephesians 2:10, John 16:33)
Another thing we must remember in troubling times is that we have the Holy Spirit to strengthen us. Jesus said, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever." (John 14:16 AMP) The Holy Spirit--and everything He represents and offers--is available to us every moment of every day. We are never without heavenly resources to help us. Alone, our trials can weaken and even disable us. They can rob us of our peace and joy, gifts that were given to us by Christ Himself when we decided to trust Him as our Savior. But with the Spirit's help, we can resist disabling worry and paralyzing fear, and we can choose to praise God in the midst of our problems--knowing that He is bigger than anything that can come against us, and that He's got a divine plan for our victory. A prayer that I find myself praying often is: "O Lord, please remember me and please strengthen me." (Judges 16:28 NASB) I'm still here today, doing what God has called me to do, because I have learned to rely on the strength of Almighty God.
Lastly, we must never forget the powerful truth that we have the mind of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote: "We have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart." (1 Corinthians 2:16 AMP) When negative thoughts come my way, I often say to myself, "Jesus wouldn't think like that, and neither do I." As followers of Christ, we have Holy Spirit power to help us control our thoughts. We are no longer at the mercy of our thinking. When a thought comes into our minds that doesn't line up with the truth of God's Word, we are required as servants of the Lord to immediately cast it down. Scripture says: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 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 10:3-5 NKJV) All Christians are at war with Satan and his dark forces, and our minds are the battlefield. When we refuse to entertain negative or ungodly thoughts, we stop the devil in his tracks before he is able to put his evil plans for us into motion. Perhaps you're thinking, "Can my thoughts really have that much power over my life?" The answer is yes, they can. If you doubt it, then spend some time going through the Scriptures looking up verses on our thought life. That should convict and convince you. I know it did me.
If you and I have to have happy circumstances in order to enjoy our lives, we will never enjoy them. We can have victory over negative thinking--even in desperate times. As we take full advantage of the divine resources that our God has given us, we can triumph over our troubles and live the abundant life in Christ.
Prayer: Lord, I praise You for equipping me with everything I need to live above my circumstances, no matter how troubling they might seem. When I'm tempted to despair, remind me to follow Your recipe for victory, so that I can live the overcoming life that You destined me to. I declare that from this day forward, I WILL enjoy my life!
- J. M. Farro