In today’s world it is increasingly difficult to remain mentally sound. If you’re like me you struggle with fear, doubt, condemnation, negativity, discouragement, contention in relationships, anxiety and even panic attacks. If I'm being honest; with all that is going on in the world even if you’re only half aware, it is hard to maintain a positive outlook. I was born a pessimist. I'm a glass half empty kinda guy. Over the past several years I have even struggled with bouts of depression. I've come to understand through the grace of God and his patients with me that all my suffering was due to my focus and concentration on too much negativity. I know what you’re thinking. "Duh"! If you eat too many sour grapes you’re going to get a stomach ache, right? Well for me, I had to be shown this truth. The reasons for so much confusion was that, I justified my dwelling on the negativity in the name of “being aware and informed” and let’s face it; negative news is nearly all of the news. I maintain that is pertinent to be aware of your surroundings as it pertains to the spiritual, geopolitical and social climate of your community and the world and one needs to be up to speed on relative matters that not only affect us but our brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe. However, (that is a big however) it has to be balanced with the word of God (The Bible), fervent heart felt prayer and "holy hands" to the sky praise and worship. As a rule of thumb (at least for me); if I spend one hour in the "news of negativity" then I need to spend two hours in the Word of God, fervent heart felt prayer and "holy hands" to the sky praise and worship.
Sadly many will be overcome with the shock and awe when the world as we know it changes forever. I won't go into the reasons why that is likely to happen in the near future but rest assured at some point it will happen. The Bible says so. How do we as Christians fight back with this attack on our mental health? The Answer: the Sword/Word of God. Below is a bullet point rundown of my personal daily checklist of scripture and a brief explanation of the application. I like to review these each and everyday at the start of my day.
- Do Not Doubt Gods Word (Stand on his promises in his word) An Example: If he tells us that he will never forsake us; then when the anxiety, fear or panic take hold, don't doubt that God somehow abandoned you and your alone. You’re not alone! His word says so. Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. KJV" James 1:6 "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. ESV"
- Do not Fear. Fear involves torment. Fear produces worry and worry can rob you of Gods purpose for your life. I know this from experience. This very blog post is about 4 years too late due to my worry and thinking the world is coming to an end any day. 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. NKJV"
- Put on the Helmet of Hope of Salvation. Derek Prince has a wonderful teaching on putting on the helmet of hope. He explains his fight with depression and negativity and how God delivered him from it. Click here and Here.
- Put on the Shield of Faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. We are all under attack from supernatural forces that we cannot see. These attacks can come in the form of physical sickness, accidents, thoughts, dreams and just about every form of struggle that we face in this life. Carry the shield of faith that no matter what happens God will see you through. Epehesians 6:16 "above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. NKJV"
-Do not entertain thoughts of condemnation, contention, despair, fear, discouragement, negativity and doubt. Changing ones thought process can be one of the most difficult mountains to climb in one’s personal walk with God. I know I'm still climbing that mountain, but if you are to maintain a healthy frame of mind and mental attitude you must be positive. If you catch yourself thinking along lines of the above, STOP! Respond with scripture and think positive. Philipains 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. NKJV"
- The Lord is looking for bravery in His soldiers. Don't shrink from controversy or fear, but instead face it with boldness. 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. NKJV"
- Understand that our trails are for our good and God is purifying/refining us into his desired child. It's important not to complain or murmur to God about what we are going through but instead praise and worship him. Thank him for his wisdom and foreknowledge of seeing worthy to be tried. You will find that when you suffer, instead of complaining; thank and praise him and the burden will lift from your shoulders. Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. NKJV" James 1:2-4 " My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. NKJV" 1 Peter 4:12-13 "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. NKJV"
Seven scriptural and practical ways to help you through the mental bombardment we as Christians can face in our daily lives. God Bless!