Best Bible Verses to Overcome Negative Thoughts
I can’t wait to dive into Bible verses to overcome negative thoughts with you. There is nothing more powerful than the Word of God to help us change negative thoughts that may be robbing us of peace and joy in our lives. No matter what patterns of negative thinking you have… there is good news- God has given us guidance in His Word on how to battle our thoughts!
What are negative thoughts?
Negative thoughts patterns refer to any patterns of thinking about ourselves, others or the world around us that include negative perceptions, expectations, and assumptions and are associated with displeasing emotions.
Negative thoughts patterns refer to any patterns of thinking about ourselves, others or the world around us that include negative perceptions, expectations, and assumptions and are associated with displeasing emotions. Any pattern of negative thinking results in negative emotions. It is impossible to practice a positive pattern of thinking and then experience negative emotions as a result. The two simply don’t go together. Consequently, negative thoughts result in negative emotions. For example, if I think about worst case scenarios, then I will likely feel anxious, hopeless and overwhelmed. Do you see how the negative thinking easily flows into negative feelings?
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
What is the impact of negative thinking?
As we have already identified- negative thoughts lead to negative emotions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Emotions flow into our behavior. Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions and then into negative actions or reactions. Additionally, negative thinking has been shown to increase stress, which impacts our physical and mental health. Can you see why it is so important to learn how to control our thoughts?
Replace Negative Thoughts with Positive Thoughts
This tip is not intended to engage in the “power of positive thinking”, nor is it intended to deny the reality of what you are facing. I would never encourage you to brainswash yourself! I am going to suggest that you consider how you are viewing yourself, your circumstances or the people around you. For instance, I can look at a really hard situation and focus on all that is going wrong. Or I could focus on all that is going right. I can choose to focus on the attributes of God in my hard situation. I can choose to practice gratitude rathern than counting all the things going wrong. We can choose to identify or accept the negative without camping there.
This is where God’s Word comes into play. We must be purposeful to renew our minds with the Scriptures. The Word of God naturally shifts our view to the goodness of God, His promises and His character rather than fixing our eyes on the problems. Once again, I’m not suggesting you deny the problems, but choose to infuse the situation you find yourself in with the knowledge of God.
Bible Verses to Overcome Negative Thoughts
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Philippians 4:8 is a beautiful Scripture that really speaks of being intentional in our thought life. Modern psychology points to “negative bias” in each of us that guides us toward the negative thoughts. In other words, we have a propensity to lean toward negativity rather than lean toward the good things in our life. What do you tend to put your mind on?
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Gratitude is God’s best for us. In all His wisdom, He knows how powerful our thoughts are and gives us instruction on how to combat the negativity. Don’t put your thoughts on what you don’t have, put them on what you do have. Counting your blessings directs your mind to the good stuff! Research at Berkeley has found that people who practice gratitude are actually 25% happier than the people that don’t practice counting their blessings. I love when science confirms what God has been saying all along!
Spending time praising God is another practice on the positive side of things. It is another antedote to negativity in our thought life. Prayer is how we can take the negative things in our lives and cast them onto God because He cares for us. It is how we can identify the reality of what we are facing without dwelling on those things.
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
This might be one of my favorite Bible verses to overcome negative thoughts. It gives us a blueprint on how to battle the mind! So let’s walk through this one together. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul first explains that we don’t do battle like the world or with worldly weapons. Instead, we are aware that we are doing spiritual battle. I want to explain that one of the ways the enemy engages in spiritual warfare against God’s people with lies. Sometimes those negative thoughts are really lies the enemy wants in our hearts- to move us away from God, away from our purpose in Christ Jesus and away from the peace and joy God has for us.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God… Ephesians 6:13-17
In order to fight spiritual battles, we must use spiritual weapons- also know as the weapons of our warfare or divine weapons. These weapons include the Sword of the Spirit which is God’s Word. Scripture is Truth! We fight lies and negativity with Truth! We also pray in the Spirit. It is God’s Holy Spirit that empowers our prayers and the truth of His Word.
With our divine weapons in our grasp, we can take down strongholds. A stronghold is defines as a firmly held belief. Do you have any firmly held beliefs that might not be true? If there are any negative thoughts that don’t align with Scripture, then we want to take those thoughts captive.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
If you have a particular Bible verse to overcome negative thoughts, write it on a Scripture card and hide His Word in your heart. Choose to meditate on God’s goodness, His promises or the mighty works of His hands.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Putting our trust in God is the best place to find security in an ever changing world. Anxious thoughts lead to feeling anxious, scared and overwhelmed. The emotion of peace flows from trusting God with your circumstances, your people and your future.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
If your thoughts tend to be anxious thoughts then this verse might be the Scripture you grasp onto when negativity about the future or your circumstances begin to take over.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
We were made for glory. Sometimes our circumstances can feel like a lot. We are fallen, the world we live in is fallen. When negative thoughts creep in remind yourself that while we will experience pain in this life, heaven awaits. Our future with Christ is reason to hope!
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:4-10(emphasis mine)
If you tend to center thoughts that include negative self talk then find a list of bible verses that you can cling to and be reminded of just how valuable you are to the Most High God. We all need reminders that as a child of God we are so valued! God delights over you, loves and adores you. You are significant to Him- so significant that He sent His Son to die for you. Your true identity is in Christ alone. Not who anyone (including yourself) says you are. Stop thinking and speaking to yourself with negative words.
Tips for Grasping onto Bible Verses to Overcome Negative Thoughts
Find your favorite Scriptures that speaks to your specific thoughts. Get that list of bible verses onto note cards and begin working on Scripture memorization. Hide the Word of God in your heart! When negative thoughts pop up you will be equipped with the God’s Words.
Daily Bible Reading
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Renewing your mind with daily bible reading will change your life. It changes our heart and mind- literally reshaping and conforming us to the Truth of God’s Word. If you truly want to transform negative thoughts from ruling over your life- then the Word of God is the best way!
Quiet Time with God
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Usually when people talk about their quiet time with God, they are referring to a time they have carved out to meet with God and study His Word. And that is important and life giving. But remember that God is always available to you. When you feel overwhelmed by your negative thoughts, it’s okay to grab a little more quiet time with God. Sometimes I need a little time out with God. It might be a quick prayer or meditating on some of the Scriptures you planned to cling to when your thought life needs a shift to His Word. You might just want to listen to a praise and worship song or count your blessings. Shift your focus as many times as it takes in a day. This is how we persevere in retraining our brain.
Wrapping Up Bible Verses to Overcome Negative Thoughts
Every single person struggles with negative thoughts. Engaging in negative thinking robs us of peace and joy. A pattern of negative thinking moves us to experience negative emotions and reactions and can even impact our physical and mental health. In God’s wisdom, He knew our thought life would be a constant battle. Therefore He provided guidance in His Word to help us take thoughts captive. As believers, we have divine weapons to fight the battle of the mind. Our divine weapons are praying in the Spirit and the Sword of the Spirit. This is the best way to shift our thoughts from negativity to thoughts that are lovely, delightful and true.
Toxic positivity can be described as rejecting, denying, or displacing “any acknowledgement of stress, negativity, and possible disabling features of trauma”.
While sitting down with a cup of coffee a friend vulnerably shares with you that her parents recently passed away’. Futher her husband has cancer, and she is having difficulity dealing with everything.
You respond, “Think positive thoughts” or some positive statement. Thinking positive thoughts will not help her situation. In fact, these words have now worsened her situation because they invalidated her emotions. This exchange has now ended because this individual is discouraged to discuss her concerns.
Understood. In the email above from sunshynegray, she addressed this well.
“We can choose to identify or accept the negative without camping there.
This is where God’s Word comes into play. We must be purposeful to renew our minds with the Scriptures. The Word of God naturally shifts our view to the goodness of God, His promises and His character rather than fixing our eyes on the problems. Once again, I’m not suggesting you deny the problems, but choose to infuse the situation you find yourself in with the knowledge of God.”
God’s words interjected in these times (not just positive thinking) do help. They focus the grieving person onto God, and the spiritual way to God’s kingdom for us.