How can I overcome a struggle with negative, pessimistic thoughts?
Many people are tempted in this area, but Scripture tells us, “In thy [God’s] presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). We can be confident that the Lord wants us to be full of joy. (See I John 1:4.) Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22.)
Fill Your Mind With God’s Word
Those who struggle with negative thoughts may be failing to saturate their minds with Scripture. Regard negative thoughts as an added motivation to memorize and meditate on the Word of God. “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Confess and Forsake Secret Sins
One source of negative thoughts is secret sin—from the past or from the present. As long as we ignore, conceal, or excuse sin, Satan will be given authority to torment us with destructive thoughts. (See Proverbs 28:13.) Examine your heart to discern ways that you are not pleasing the Lord. As He exposes sin in your life, repent and be cleansed of all unrighteousness. (See I John 1:5–2:2.)
Express Gratefulness and Praise to God
Choose to have a grateful heart. Search the Psalms for passages that extol the Lord. Offer those words to God in sincere gratitude. Put your trust in the Lord. As you do so, your “heart shall rejoice in thy [God’s] salvation” (Psalm 13:5).
Seek God’s Deliverance
Ask the Lord to deliver you from discouragement, put your trust in Him, and wait on Him. “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee” (Psalm 33:21–22).