“I think it would be very accurate to say that, as a man persists in his thinking, so he will become. There is that kind of power in thoughts.” Elder Dean L. Larson “Thoughts About Thoughts”
Sometimes keeping our thoughts positive can be a challenge. When life presses down on me I often find myself battling with thoughts that are negative. Things like, “I’m not good enough.” “This will never get any better.” “My efforts are just not worth it.”
When negative thoughts start to take effect in our lives, one of the tactics to combat them is to try as quickly as possible to replace them with positive thoughts. Here are a few scriptures that can help you do just that.
Scripture #1: I can have power through Christ
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)
I love to recite this scripture in my mind when I am struggling with fear or doubt. Sometimes it’s about a calling or task I’ve been given at Church. More often it is about a challenge in our family. I feel fear that I’m not leading my family well enough. I feel fear that there is more I need to do in my marriage. I feel fear that my kids aren’t being spiritually prepared for the world they face.
But, God does not give us fear.
God gives us power. God is a God of power. He is the same God that created a path for the Egyptians. He is the same God that created a path for Lehi. He is the same God that created a path for our modern-day pioneers. He has power to create the path for us through our fear.
He is a God of love. He is the God that showed love to the woman with the issue of blood that touched his coat. He is the God that showed love to the woman taken in adultery. He is the God that showed love to Nephi when he was “much cast down.” God frequently talks about lifting us up to Him, this is an act of love.
What about the God of a sound mind? Most often this is referred to as self-control or discipline. This is a part of God’s plan as well. Power from on high. Love from God. And self-control and discipline from us. That is the partnership of power that brings results.
And when I feel like I am not good enough. Or that things won’t work out. I reach out for God’s power. I open my hear to feel God’s love and I take action so that I can fulfill my part of disciple and obedience.
Soon, I am feeling a sense of hope and optimism. My thoughts have totally changed.
Scripture #2: God gives us cheer
Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
And remember…that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. (2 Nephi 10:23-24)
That one line runs over and over in my head. “Cheer up your hearts.” That is God’s hope for us. That we are of “good cheer.” It is a statement that is often quoted in the Doctrine and Covenants.
When my thoughts are far from cheerful, this is what helps me start to get back on track to more positive thinking. There is always something to be depressed and unhappy about, if that is what we choose to focus on.
But look what God is asking us to focus on. When our focus is on “eternal life”, the “grace of God” and our agency to “act for yourselves” we can go from negative thoughts that are dragging us down to thoughts that lift and inspire us.
When I start thinking more on using my agency for positive. When I start thinking more on God’s goodness and grace, when I move my thinking to eternal life and perspective my thoughts start changing and improving.
The power of these verses and God’s goodness start me thinking down a more positive and productive thought process. Try these two verses in your life this week when you face challenges and negative thoughts.