Changing the Habits of Hopelessness

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Romans 12:2 

… be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…

Sometimes a person can get in the habit of negative thinking.  They may habitually allow small things to ruin their outlook and hopefulness.  For those with such a problem, the key to emerging from the valley of hopelessness lies in changing their habits of hopelessness.  When one thinks of change, one tends to envision transformation in one area or another. Walking on water in trials requires transformed thinking; and when it comes to feeling depressed or down, the connection between thinking and profound change often centers on breaking the mental habit of hopeless, negative thinking.  The scripture above tells us that the process of change comes from the renewing of the mind.

Let me bore you word definitions for a few moments, but I promise you that this next paragraph is very important to understanding this section of scripture and how to change from depressed habits to living a more victorious emotional life.

In Romans 12:2, this particular Greek word in the new testament for transformation metamorphousthe is similar in root to 2 other places in the New Testament that have been translated as transfigured (referring to Christ in Matthew 17:2, Mark 9:2) or changed ( 2 Corinthians 3:18).   We can recognize our English word metamorphosis. It come from the verb meaning to change the form of.  What is God trying to tell us in this portion of scripture? When it says to be changed by the renewing of your mind, God is saying that the key to change in our life is mental renewal of our entire view of the world and our entire mental inventory.  We must see the world through the eyes of Christ.  What we have on our mental shelf, our go-to bread and butter must be holy, sacred thinking that will push out the hopeless mantra that lives in our head.

The idea of the word “renew” in this passage is like if you would renovate a standing house.  You would gut it, or portions of it, keep the foundation, but make everything inside, new.  This is what Christ does for us when he saves us. He is working room by room in our minds to renovate and replace the old with the new.

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Changing the mind and patterns of thinking can be a painstaking process.  If a person has habits of thinking negative thoughts and hanging on to feelings of hopelessness, when problems and difficulties rise up in life (and they will), they often return to those old patterns. It is not unlikely to find that even after becoming a Christian and being born again, these old habits resurface when the heat of difficult times come.

Transformation in our thought process comes through the spirit of God and the word of God to modifying those old habits of hopelessness. Philippians 4:8 says:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate (think really deeply and constantly) on these things.

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When the mind has been made new, with the help of Christ, a person can transform or metamorphose into a person full of hope.  This takes changing our negative thinking habits.  Try your best to think of the good things God has for you on the other side of this situation. Write them down if you must and refer to them when you forget. God has a revolutionary makeover for your mind, and ultimately for your life.  Remember, Jacob in the Old Testament?  He had learned the wrong way to deal with his problems (deception) and God allowed him to wrestle with an angel all night until he prevailed.  When he overcame his past, God changed his name from Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (God has prevailed). “And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”  Genesis 32: 28.  God would love to change your name today from hopeless to hopeful, from depressed to joyful.

If you are overwhelmed by your situation and feelings of hopelessness have settled in on your spirit because of a failure, a problem, or a long standing request that has not come to pass, know that where there is Christ, there is hope. Where there is still life, there is hope.  Like the change from a caterpillar to a butterfly or a tadpole to a frog, or from a frog to a prince. Whatever the change, the point is, we must change our thinking to modify habits of hopelessness.

Post below things you do to help get yourself out of negative thinking.  Thanks!

Author: Renee

I am an author and a retired minister. My passion is helping others find their sense of self and identity after so many years of losing my own. So often we go to church and are still not aware of our disconnection with our true selves. The person inside that God deeply values. My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and have 3 children. I love gourmet cooking, swimming, all kinds of music, and political and religious discussion- the two things my mom said never to talk about at the dinner table.