Proverbs 23:7 “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Your mind is powerful. It can go deep into your past and remember things from decades ago. But it can also go far into your future in your imagination.
Put simply: the mind has a memory which replays your past, and it has an imagination which pre-plays your future.
But here is the problem. We allow the replays of our past to program the pre-plays of our future. Put another way, we remember the bad things that have happened to us in the past and we automatically think that this will become our future. This will be true unless we train our selves to think differently. And the Bible gives you the solution. It not only teaches you how to think but what to think.
Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
That last phrase “think about such things” in the Greek, actually means “make it your habit of thought”. In other words, Paul is saying, “these things should consume your thinking”. Don’t just think about these things once in a while, think about these things continually because the key to a successful life is the mind and what you are thinking about consciously and sub-consciously.
Psychologists tell us that we are literally talking to ourselves 50,000 times a day through our thought-life. Now just imagine the impact this has on you either positively or negatively based on whether you are thinking positive or negative thoughts.
But the Bible teaches us what we need to do when we are thinking negative things because of setbacks, circumstances, accusations, or trials…
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Paul says we need to train ourselves to take these negative thoughts “captive”. In other words, don’t dwell on the negative situation or circumstance, becoming resigned with the thought that it will never change. No, the Bible says to take it “captive” and make it obedient to Christ. Dwell on the truth of God’s Word and what He declares about you. This is called faith.
That’s what Abraham did when he was childless; that’s what Joseph did when he was enslaved. And that’s what you need to do when you feel overwhelmed by the weight of circumstances in your life. Don’t dwell on the negative, take those thoughts captive by thinking about Philippians 4:8 and the redeemed person you are in Christ!