Have you noticed how keeping a positive attitude helps you navigate a hard situation more easily and get through it faster? Yet negative thoughts can make a bad situation even worse. In difficult circumstances, we need God’s encouragement, but how to find it?
When I go through troubling times, I tend to start worrying, complaining, whining, or even feeling sorry for myself. Yet none of those negative thought patterns help a thing. All they do is make me feel even more discouraged. My own negativity can take me down faster than my actual problems can.
Can you relate?
God has given us a powerful weapon against discouragement, but we often overlook it.
The Bible contains faith-strengthening truths, reassuring promises, and hope-filled encouragement to help us win the battle against negativity in our own minds. Paul likened the Word of God to a sword, and even Jesus used the Word of God to defend himself when Satan came against him with lies.
We can overcome negative thoughts with truth from Scripture.
Reading Scripture redirects our minds to the peace-filled, abundant life God desires for us as we abide in Christ. Meditating on the truths we find in Scripture can renew our minds, but for many of us meditation sounds complicated, and we think we don’t know how.
To meditate on something means to think about it. An easy first step to meditate on a verse from Scripture is to memorize it.
Maybe just hearing the phrase “Bible Memorization” makes you roll your eyes and groan. You remember reciting verses in Sunday school to get the candy. Or if you’re like me, you can’t even remember your own phone number, so you gave up on Scripture memory a long time ago. Yet memorizing God’s Word is one of the most important things we can do to overcome negative thoughts.
Memorizing Scripture is a Life-Giving Discipline.
It gives us something better to think about than our own worries. Memorizing even one verse gives us a weapon to fight the lies, discouragement, and negative thoughts Satan throws our way. It gives us a way to take God’s Word with us into our busy days.
Memorization is a practical way to give the Holy Spirit control of our minds. When we store Scripture in our hearts, treasure it, and keep it close, God’s Word grows our faith and helps us redirect our thoughts to His truth.
Committing God’s Word to memory brings rich rewards:
- It helps transform our thoughts and renew our minds.
- We grow closer to God as we hide His Word in our hearts.
- God’s word empowers us and gives us wisdom.
- Scripture is our weapon against the lies of the enemy.
- It gives us encouragement to share with others.
How to Get Started:
Keep a running list of encouraging, helpful, or challenging verses as you find them in your daily Bible reading or hear them in church. You’ll have a list to choose from when you want to start memorizing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Psalm 9:10
- Psalm 27:13-14
- Matthew 10:28-30
- Ephesians 2:10
- Philippians 4:6-7
You’ll need something to write on. Index cards are great because you can slip them into your pocket while you’re on the go. I like to keep my verses in a small notebook that fits in my purse, so I can take it out during the day. (You may prefer to use your phone, but I find that physically writing helps me remember better. When I pick up my phone, I also tend to get distracted and go down Instagram bunny trails.)
How to Memorize Bible Verses:
- Read your verse 5 times out loud.
- Write it down.
- Try to say it 5 times from memory.
- The next day, read it 5 times, and say it from memory 5 times.
- Work on the same verse for one week.
- When you start a new verse, review the last one several times a week.
- Once a week, review 3-5 old verses.
What better way to overcome negative thoughts than to memorize Scripture? How about starting this week with just one verse? Two verses a month add up to 24 verses a year, and that’s a powerful deposit of treasure into our hearts and minds.
Now it’s your turn: Has God’s Word helped you overcome negative thoughts? What has been your experience with memorizing Scripture?
Need ideas on how to get more out of your quiet time? I wrote More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times to help overwhelmed and distracted women recover a fresh sense of God’s presence, learn to hear His voice, and grow their prayer lives. Click on the image below for more info:
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