The Secret to a Sound Mind
Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
I love this verse. I learned how to apply it during my season of panic and depression, and I still use it. The secret to having peace of mind for myself (a chronic anxiety-sufferer) was to think about what my mind “stayed on”—i.e., meditated on or allowed myself to worry about. Once I started paying attention to what I was thinking about at any given moment, I realized just how negative and scary my thoughts were. I rarely thought about God--I had “what if” questions going all the time, as well as thoughts of being incompetent, a failure, unlovable, etc., and, after numerous panic attacks, that I was going crazy and that I’d never get well. I learned how to change the way I thought, which then changed the way I felt, when I did Beth Moore’s Breaking Free Bible study. I discovered that if I could stop my negative thoughts, I would feel better, calmer, more at peace. Beth used 2 Corinthians 10:5 as Scriptural basis for her argument that we can change the way we think:
“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.” (NIV)
Demolishing arguments and everything that pretended to be stronger than God in my mind took being filled with the Holy Spirit. So I began every day making sure I had asked for forgiveness of my willful sins as well as my unconscious ones and for God to fill me with His Holy Spirit. Then I made the conscious decision to believe that God had granted my request and that Jesus dwelled in me. (“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27)
Taking our thoughts captive means turning the lies into the Truth of God’s Word. Jesus used Scripture to combat negative thinking. When the devil tempted Him, when the Pharisees tried to trap Him, when He was in the Garden, and when He was on the cross—He quoted Scripture in stressful and anxiety-filled moments. If the Son of God, who was fully God and fully man, needed to quote Scripture in those circumstances, how much more do we need to do so!!!
Which is where the Scriptures that I have posted on my blog come in. Studying them, meditating on them, memorizing them kept my mind stayed on God and that meant less time meditating on those dark thoughts in my mind. God’s Word brought light into my thoughts and power into my prayers when I started praying them to God.
I’ve learned that I need to keep my mind in God’s Word every day and that I need to memorize Scripture that speaks to whatever I may be struggling with so I will be ready if and when a negative thought tries to rear its ugly head. This Easter season I've been reminded that Christ is Everything to me. He is the Provider of all my needs! He is my Wisdom and my Strength! He is, as David says, "…my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my Rock, in whom I find protection. He is my Shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. " Psalm 18:2 (NLT)