Overcoming Despair: Holding Your Thoughts Captive to Christ

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Whenever you find yourself sinking into despair, press the “pause” button in your head and analyze what you have been thinking about. What you feel is a byproduct of what you think. This is why Paul told us to hold every thought captive to Christ. In other words, you need to take ownership for your thoughts and choose to align them with God’s Word. If you will do this, you will fight your way out of despair. Although this is not easy to do, it really is that simple.

If you will let him, the Enemy is happy to push all sorts of negative thoughts on you that do not align with God’s Word. Here were some of mine: “I am fundamentally unlovable. I’m a lost cause. Nobody cares about me. I’m too broken to be healed.” Most people are passive about this and simply allow those negative thoughts to fill their heads. They then turn to alcohol, drugs, busyness, self-injury, or other negative coping strategies to briefly escape those negative feelings for a while.

You must choose whether to believe those negative thoughts or God’s Word. Whichever you choose to align your thoughts with will drive your feelings and resulting behavior. If you are not intentional about your thoughts, your default setting with be agreeing with lies, which will then become your reality. So, even though God promises you a life filled with joy and peace, you will live a life filled with despair, not because God has not made joy and peace available to you but because you are choosing to believe Satan over God.

The key to holding your thoughts captive to Christ is meditating on Scripture. Whenever you have a negative thought, replace it with Scripture. For example, if you have the thought that you are fundamentally unlovable, replace it with meditating on Jer. 31:3. If you are thinking that you are a “lost cause,” meditate on Ezek. 36:26. Whenever you believe nobody cares about you, meditate on Rom. 5:8.

God’s Word is truth, and anything in contradiction is a lie. Whenever you are sinking into the depths of despair, you are choosing to believe lies over truth. Challenge your negative thoughts by researching what God has to say about the topic. If they don’t align, change your thoughts to align with God’s Word. This will heal you.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace with a “thought bubble” around her saying, “Hmmmm.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]

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