I’ve observed a rash of articles about using positive affirmations as a habit to bring you happiness. Positive affirmations and positive thinking sound, well, positive. But they are deceptive in that they want us to believe if we tell ourselves we are grateful, happy, calm, peaceful, etc, we have the power to be these things, reach our goals, and achieve happiness. If only it was that easy, right? What happens when we don’t reach that goal or feel sad? How do biblical affirmations fit in?
Positive Biblical Affirmations
Are Biblical affirmations uplifting, motivational, Godly thoughts to give us inner peace, reach personal goals and reduce our stress?
If you search “Biblical affirmations”, you will find thousands. That doesn’t surprise me; the Bible is full of powerful statements. But while I was reading, I kept running across statements that didn’t sound very biblical and made me wonder if we are just falling for the latest trend?
Words like “state of empowerment”, “mental and physical peace”, “living a positive and fulfilled life” were all included in the reasons stated for using Biblical affirmations.
One stated that we have the power to change our lives and to improve our position with God by the power of our words. Whoa, whoa, whoa there pardner…. That’s when I decided that maybe we need to look at the right way to use affirmations from the Bible.
Affirmation in the Bible
God gave us His word so we can know Him. It instructs us in His ways and equips us as we live our life for Him. It does not call us to use His word to just “feel good” and “attain goals” but to become more and more like Jesus. God meant for us to read, study, and apply it to our lives. So yes, the Bible gives us real emotional support and encouragement.
Your Word is absolute truth. “All scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim 3:16)
Every word of yours is true and everlasting. “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” Psalm 119:160 ESV.
The Problem of Sin
Sin is what causes our problems. We can’t talk ourselves out of sin. Powerful or positive words might make us feel better at the moment, but they aren’t life-changing. They don’t unlock some sort of hidden potential hidden deep inside us. The only thing that is truly life-changing is our relationship with Jesus. When we accept the price He paid for our sin, our separation from God is removed. Then this life on earth is spent in a special love relationship with him that continues into eternity!
Affirmations About Forgiveness
I believe that Jesus sacrificed His life and died for my sins.
“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood-to be received by faith.” Romans 3:25 NIV.
Jesus gave His life for my sins. “Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.” Galatians 1:4-5 NLT.
True, lasting peace comes from God. He loves you at this moment, just as you are. We need not puff ourselves up for Him or work harder for his love. He can’t love you “more”. He created only one of you and wants a close relationship. Trusting Him is what will give you the peace you seek. He can satisfy every spiritual need you may have or long for.
Affirmations for Peace
God’s peace will guard my heart.“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV.
I will listen to God’s voice and live in His peace. “But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:33 NLT.
Be sure to pin me for later!
Attributes of God
While it is true that Paul instructs us to think about noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable things (Philippians 4:8), it is not because they will bring us closer to our personal goals and satisfaction. It is because they all characterize who God is. God is concerned with what is in our hearts and wants us to seek purer thoughts and motives. He wants us to work on becoming transformed and renewed with his word.
Affirmations about Change
I will change my way of thinking to conform to Your ways. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2a NIV
I will give my time and attention to things pleasing to God, rather than things pleasing to men. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2 ESV.
Affirmations from God
We all will have trouble. Probably daily. Some big troubles, some small. Jesus knows that bouts of weakness, fear, worries, loneliness, sadness, uncertainty, weariness, persecution, discouragement, etc. will hit us. There are many verses that speak to these very topics. Speaking His word and entrenching his promises deep in our hearts will help us when we need them. When we continue to “fix our eyes” on Christ and his Word, he can give us the strength and comfort we need.
We’ve all heard Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” It came to mind as I was thinking about how God wants us to use his Word to live in his truth.
But what I didn’t know was that Psalm 119 is one great big affirmation for using the Bible to guide our lives. (Did you know it is the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible??)
If there ever was an answer to “how should we use Biblical affirmations?”, this psalm would be it. God’s word, used correctly, give us all the encouragement, motivation, support and strength we will ever need!
All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.