Welcome to Girls to Grow today, whether you’re a first-time or long-time reader! I hope your summer’s going well so far and that you had a good 4th of July holiday weekend. It’s a fairly quiet week here, so we’re fitting in a couple of routine doctor appointments and starting the dorm-room shopping process with my younger daughter.
Lately, I’ll admit to having to work hard to keep my thoughts positive. It seems like I run to the negative side of things very quickly! I get down on myself or someone else. Or I dwell on what’s wrong in a situation rather than choosing to trust God and His timing.
But I know that’s not how God would have for us to live. He wants us to walk in His truth. In order to do that, we need to fight those negative thoughts with God’s Word. It is our sword [Ephesians 6:17], and we can use it to get victory over those thoughts.
Here are four common defeating thought patterns along with Scripture to overcome them.
1. I’ve messed up too many times for God to still love me.
Saved or unsaved, you can have this thought. Let’s remind ourselves about some truths regarding God’s love for us.
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” ~1 John 4:10 We weren’t the ones to initiate love towards God. He loved us first.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8 So often we think of love as conditional. As imperfect humans, it can be hard to grasp that God’s love was so great that He loved us and sent His Son to die for us while we were still in our sinful state, far from wanting the redemption we needed.
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” ~Jeremiah 31:3 God’s love is everlasting. Nothing can separate us from that love. [Romans 8:38-39]
2. God doesn’t know or care about the little things in my life.
We get discouraged, and while we know in our heads this isn’t true, our hearts may feel differently. Thankfully feelings don’t equal truth.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” ~Luke 12:6-7 The God who remembers every sparrow and knows the number of hairs on your head knows and cares about every detail of your life.
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” ~Psalm 139:17-18 What an idea to meditate on – God’s thoughts about me are precious and more in number than the sand!
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” ~Psalm 37:23 God knows not just our whole path, but each step that we’re taking along the way.
3. No one else has the same struggles that I do.
This one has come up often for me as a mom. Other moms seem to have this whole parenting thing down way better than I do! She doesn’t seem to struggle with __________ [insert whatever difficult behavior my child is currently displaying]. But we can also allow this thought to defeat us when it comes to any type of temptation or difficulty we’re facing.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” ~1 Corinthians 10:13 This verse is pretty clear – temptation is common to all of us. Yet God knows what we can handle and makes a way of escape for us.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” ~Hebrews 4:15 Jesus, all-God yet all-man, understands what it’s like to live on this earth with its trials and temptations.
“For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” ~Hebrews 2:18 We can run to Christ for comfort and support. We don’t have to do it alone.
4. My prayers aren’t doing any good.
Have you ever prayed for something that, as far as you know, is in God’s will, but it doesn’t seem to get answered?
“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” ~John 9:31 The Bible says over and over that God hears our prayers.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” ~1 John 5:14 If we don’t see our prayer answered right away, it doesn’t mean that God hasn’t heard us. We can’t know the mind of God, but we can trust that He is working out what is best.
“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” ~Revelation 5:8 I love this verse that tells us that our prayers are before God as sweet incense!
And finally, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we’re instructed to pray without ceasing. Why would we be told to do this if our prayers don’t do any good?
Let’s be purposeful about choosing our thoughts today. If the defeating thought you’re facing isn’t on this list, find a Bible verse that will help you overcome it. May we use God’s Word to live victoriously as Christian women today.