We hear about the power of positive thinking but what does the Bible have to say about the matter?
What’s Your Thoughtlife Like? In Introduction to the Power of Your Thoughts:
Have you ever felt challenged that you need to think more positively about the world? I’m going to have a guess that if you’re reading this article, positivity could be something you struggle with. Me? I’m a 50/50 split Melancholy Choleric. That sounds like a recipe for worry to me! I have a natural tendency to see the glass half empty. I know there is a silver lining in every situation but I am often so fixated on what is lacking. Sometimes, I outright struggle to be grateful.
But that’s not how we are supposed to live as Christians. We aren’t meant to be swayed by our emotions or led by the opinions of others. We are meant to be strong.
Craig Groeschel puts it so clearly:
“Our lives are always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts. What we think shapes who we are.”― Craig Groeschel: Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
I have to say that I really didn’t feel like writing this particular article today. I woke up feeling pretty flat and the idea of being chirpy and positive seems unenticing at the moment. But it’s on my blogging schedule because positive thinking as a Christian is something I need to get better at. It’s something I’ve been actively learning more about lately and I want to encourage those of you who are like me and err on the side of melancholy. Here is a challenging thought:
“In ten years, we will each look in the mirror, and someone will stare back. That person will be shaped by the thoughts of today.”― Craig Groeschel, Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
I’ve been learning more about neuroplasticity and what Dr Caroline Leaf shares about rewiring your brain. It is absolutely incredible what science shows about the power of our minds. What is even more incredible is the fact that there are Bible verses about positive thinking that have been there in Scripture all along!
There are a number of Bible verses about thoughts, scriptures about positive thinking and reflections about the power of your mind. Let’s have a look at a few together.
Have you heard this famous line?
The Bible Says that You Can Become A New Person By Changing the Way That You Think
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”(Proverbs 23:27)
It reminds me of this quote by Henry Ford ‘whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you are right. What we think about shapes who we are and who we become. You can’t think negative thoughts and be a happy, joyful and positive person. It doesn’t work like that. The Bible says,
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”(Luke 6:45)
The good news is, that we can change. Just because we are in the habit of seeing the dark side of things doesn’t mean we have to stay like that. The Bible says we can become a new person by changing the way that we think. Check this out:
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.(Romans 12:2)
Another translation puts it ‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind’. Have you read much about neuroplasticity yet? It truly is amazing how this concept of renewing the mind is in Scripture. You don’t have to be stuck in your old ways. I always thought, ‘it’s in my blood. It’s the way I was raised. There is no hope for me’. Science and the Bible say otherwise.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”(2 Corinthians 5:17)
Take courage in the fact that change is possible. Breaking a habit may not be easy but neuroscience has proven that it can be done!
Here’s what the Bible Has to Say about Positive Thinking and Choosing Your Thoughts:
There is this interesting Scripture when a choice is directly given to the Israelites:
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may liveand that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.”(Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
In this passage, people are encouraged to choose life. We have a choice. To focus on the things that unsettle us and riddle us with anxiety or to focus on God and the life that he brings (John 10:10)
In the book of Philippians, Paul has more to say on the matter of fixing your thoughts on the positive.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”(Philippians 4:8)
Some classrooms have a checklist like this on the wall.
It is basically based on this verse! You could create your own checklist for your thoughts. If you find yourself complaining about your sister, ask yourself if it is lovely and admirable. If not, you need to kick it to the curb, Easier said than done…. But all things are possible through Christ who gives you strength! (Philippians 4:13)
The Bible Says We Need to Let Go of Negative Thoughts and the Things that Hold Us Back
Dr Caroline Leaf puts it so clearly,
“You cannot sit back and wait to be happy and healthy and have a great thought life; you have to make the choice to make this happen. You have to choose to get rid of the toxic and get back in alignment with God.”
She also says “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”Quotes from her book: Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Caroline Leaf
The Bible also talks about letting go of the things that hold us back.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”(Hebrews 12:1-3)
We are in this for the long-haul. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to let go of all the things that have the potential to weigh us down or stop us from achieving the purpose God has for us. Negativity, complaining and wallowing in self-pity fall into that category. Choose life!
Bible Verses about Staying Positive in Difficult Circumstances:
It can be incredibly hard to stay positive when you have countless reasons not to be. We read, however, time and time again in Scripture how people always found something to thank God for. After all, God knows more than we know about any given situation. In Isaiah, God says,
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”(Isaiah 55:8-9)
Paul actually encourages us to count it all joy whenever we face challenges!
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.(James 1:2-4)
We can learn to be satisfied even when we think we are lacking. We have confidence that when we have God, we have everything we need. We don’t have to fear the future when God is on our side. The Bible says,
“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”(Hebrews 13:5-6)
Other Verses in the Bible About Joy and Positivity
Have you ever been challenged to consider what you can be thankful for? This verse encourages us to be thankful simply for the day. That we have woken up and that we have the chance to live. Not only that, it is the day that was made by God, our incredible creator who works all things together for the good of those who love him.
“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”(Psalm 118:24-25, 29)
I also love this verse about God pouring his joy onto us and I’m claiming it! How about you ask God to give you an extra dose of joy?
”Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”(Psalm 45:7)
Bible Verses about Positivity Toward Others:
The truth is that sometimes other people can be difficult to love. There are an endless array of verses about loving others but I shall share just one.
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.”(Ephesians 4:1-4)
Sometimes positivity simply looks like peace. Peace over doubt. Peace over anxiety. Peace over disunity. Peace truly is all-encompassing.
Bible Verses about Controlling Your Thoughts and Taking Every Thought Captive
Now this is a great verse and this is what we will finish on.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 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.”(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Read More about The Power of Your Thoughts – What The Bible Says About Training Your Mind
If you’re interested in learning more about taking control of your thoughts, check out this article where we go into this in even more depth and I share some useful resources to help you transform your mind from a negative outlook to a positive one.
In Christ’s Love,