Fix Your Thoughts
From August 2021 through October 2022, I dealt with a heavy darkness that consumed me. Out of this darkness, my new book Will I Always Feel This Way? was birthed, and so while the fourteen months of heaviness did not go unused by God, they certainly were unappreciated by me.
This is why I find much hope in Hebrews 3:1,
"Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest." Hebrews 3:1, NIV, Emphasis my own
During my season of darkness, my thoughts, feelings, and actions reflected that of the season. They were negative, discouraging, and overwhelming. The lies of the enemy were just slightly louder than a subtle whisper, yet were strong enough to convince me that I was better off dead.
Whenever I see a therefore used to start a chapter, I always navigate toward the end of the previous chapter to see what thoughts the writers were continuing in the verse at hand. Hebrews 2:18 adds so much more context and clarity to the passage before us. The author of Hebrew writes:
"Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted."
Friend, when the lies or actions of the enemy are tempting and taunting you, fix your thoughts on the One who saves.
What Does This Look Like?
Let's be honest: Fixing our thoughts on Jesus is a lot easier said than done. Even though I may know that God loves me (John 3:16), considers me His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), and He Himself is Truth (John 14:6), remembering those things while being tempted or taunted by the enemy is difficult. Here are a three things we can do to create a rhythm that redirects our thoughts on Jesus.
1) Force ourselves to repeat out loud these three truth's from God: I am Loved, I am His Masterpiece, He is Truth. The enemy wants to keep us trapped in our mind which is where our thoughts run rampant. By creating a rhythm of redirecting our thoughts towards these Truths, we can gradually repair our discouraged or tainted mindset.
2) Switch up the battlefield to avoid the enemy trapping you. Toxic thoughts not only feel suffocating, they are suffocating. Sometimes switching up our environment by taking a five minute walk will reset our focus on the One who saves.
3) Reach out to a trusted friend and ask for encouragement. I know, this feels SUPER awkward and uncomfortable, but works wonders for us when we are experiencing negative thoughts. Most people love the idea of encouraging one another more than actually encouraging them. It doesn't mean we are insincere with our love, just that we are inconsistent with vocalizing our love. If you have friends who you know care about you, I guarantee they would be more than willing to send you some encouragement in your times of distress—they may just need a gentle reminder or nudge.
Friend, while the darkness may last awhile, you will not always feel this way. Fix your thoughts on Jesus and watch the negative thoughts flee.