by Joyce Meyer – posted April 10, 2017
All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]. —Proverbs 15:15
Shortly after I began to seriously study the Bible, I felt an oppressive atmosphere around me. Everything seemed gloomy—as if something bad was going to happen. It wasn’t anything I could explain, just a vague, dreaded sense of something evil or wrong about to happen.
“Oh, God,” I prayed. “What’s going on? What is this feeling?”
I had hardly uttered the question when God spoke to me. “Evil forebodings.”
I had to meditate on that for several minutes. I had never heard the phrase before. God had spoken to me, and I stayed quiet before Him so I could hear the answers.
I realized, first of all, that my anxieties weren’t real—that is, they were not based on true circumstances or situations. I was having problems—as most of us do—but they were not as critical as the devil was making it appear. My acceptance of his lies, even though they were vague, was opening the door for the evil forebodings. I eventually realized that I had lived in the midst of similar gloomy feelings most of my life. I was expecting something bad to happen instead of aggressively expecting something good.
I felt a dread, an unexplained anxiety around me. I couldn’t put my finger on anything specific—only that sense of something evil or terrible.
The Living Bible says, “When a man is gloomy, everything seems to go wrong.” That’s how I felt, as if something—maybe everything—was wrong or was about to go wrong.
As previously stated, I realized that for most of my life, I had been miserable because of evil thoughts and anxious forebodings.
As I continued to meditate on evil forebodings, God broke through and gave me a clear revelation. I was miserable because my thoughts were miserable—my thoughts were poisoning my outlook. My thoughts robbed me of the ability to enjoy my life. I should have been saying, “Thank You, God, for today. Thank you for Dave and my children and my friends and all Your blessings.” But, instead of being positive, I found myself even dreading to answer the phone when it rang, for fear it might be bad news.
All of this gloom and doom that surrounded me began in my abusive childhood. I endured a great deal of misery, and most of my life was unhappy and filled with disappointments. I began to live in a vague fear and dread of the future. I had not been taught to let go of what was behind. I couldn’t rejoice in what I had now and the good things going on in my life. I focused on the past and what might lie ahead—and what lay ahead was usually gloom and doom and chaos because that was what I was expecting. Satan had built a stronghold in my mind, and I was trapped until I learned I could tear down that negative, evil stronghold by applying God’s Word to my life and circumstances.
I once had a friend whom I’ll call Marlene. She lived in a state of constant chaos. One day she had health problems. The next day Marlene’s son had lost his job, and they were going to have to support him and his family. As soon as that was over, another traumatic situation would erupt. Marlene was a Christian, but she lived in fear of bad news. Marlene would not have known how to live a life that was not filled with chaos. All of her conversation was negative and gloomy. Even her countenance was sad and gloomy.
I realized that I had started to become like Marlene—I was miserable because I had allowed Satan to rob me of the ability to enjoy my life. It took a while before I was able to be positive most of the time, but little by little, my thinking changed, and so did my life. I no longer live in evil forebodings, expecting to hear at any moment of a new problem. Now I purposely expect good things to happen in my life. I realize now that I can choose my thoughts. I don’t have to accept Satan’s lies.
Like everyone else, negative things do happen to me from time to time, but I don’t become negative because of them. I remain positive, and that helps me enjoy my life even in the midst of the storms.
Dear Lord Jesus, through so many days in my life, I have been robbed of my joy and contentment by evil forebodings. As those feelings come to me, please remind me that You are in control. Help me to rest in You and rejoice in Your power in my life. Amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
Today, for Gratitude Mondays, I want to just say how grateful I am that God continually speaks to us, and continually aids our growth into His blessings and Christ-likeness. Last night and this morning, I have had thoughts that were very much akin to thoughts I had when I was having my anxiety at its worst. And I’ve just been dismissing them – but at the same time, I’ve been entertaining them. You know – the whole “what if” scenario. But, here’s the thing. I’m not a what-iffer anymore. So, I cannot go back to living in What If land.
Ephesians 6:16 NLT: In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
So, those fiery darts can go straight back to the pit, thank you very much.
There is no “What If” with God. God only lives in the here and now; God is supreme; God is the Blessed Controller; God is Sovereign. God does not live in the “maybes” of the past or the “what ifs” of tomorrow… Active Reach – “All this will be because the mercy of our God is very tender, and heaven’s dawn is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79 TLB
I will hold up the shield of faith – knowing that no matter what I feel or think, I can trust God anyway. He is beyond my fears and my insecurities, He is beyond my doubts and what-if’s, He is in control, He is the Blessed Controller, He is Sovereign, He is GOD and even in the midst of doubt and fear, I can choose faith and trust!
I am so very grateful that God is on my side, that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world, that God has blessed me with the two most amazing people in the world to be my family, that I have a good job and so many other blessings!