That may seem paradoxical—faith in God being something substantial—but it’s true. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In the face of difficulty and disappointment, faith is far more effective than mere mental exercise because it is backed by promises that God has made in His Word—promises that bring about tangible results when believed and applied to real-life situations.
These promises not only have the power to change problem situations; they also have the power to change us. The Bible tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” It is through those “exceedingly great and precious promises” that we “may be partakers of the divine nature.”
We can, by an act of our will, take our mind off of negative thoughts. Unless we fill that void, however, the negative thoughts will rush back in. What should we replace those negative thoughts with? What is more positive or more powerful than the living Word of the living God? When coupled with prayer, the uplifting, transforming Word of God can give you victory over every ugly, negative thought and its consequences.
As you make a consistent effort to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts from God’s Word, it will become a habit; you will learn to—as the Bible puts it—“bring your thoughts into captivity.”
This is very difficult to accomplish in the tumult of the world. We don’t find the mind of God on the streets of social life or in the hobby shop. To connect with Him, find a place where there are no distractions. “When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
There is no place where the mind can be as fully renewed as in the secret place of prayer, alone with God. When we come aside from the temporal things that distract and harass us, and there in the presence of God we put our mind on the things of God, the transforming power of God then begins to work in us, and we are changed, renewed.
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
2 Peter 1:4 (ESV) by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.