Long before the power of positive thinking came the power of the spoken word.
Back in Bible times, this was regularly practiced—most recognizably by the Psalmist David —this utilizing God's words of truth from the lips to rally the spirit and feed the soul.
Consider Psalm 42 and 43. Read of the hope being spoken, the declaration of promise for the burdened heart. In a span of 11 verses, it is repeated three times:
- Psalm 42:5: "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope in God, for I will yet thank Him for the help of His presence."
- Psalm 42:11: "Why, my soul, are you cast down?Why do you groan within me? Wait for God; I will yet thank Him, For He is my deliverance and my God."
- Psalm 43:5: "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I will yet give Him thanks,the salvation of my countenance and my God."
The same words of hope are spoken over and over and over again to speak deeply to the soul. We can learn from this Old Testament practice.
As the difficulties of the world have seeped into our daily lives, too often we find that our fearful and negative thoughts have become dread-filled speeches—to our kids, to our neighbors and, yes, to ourselves. The tongue holds great power. What we do with it makes all the difference in the way we walk through this life: either with our head hanging low in defeat or with our eyes lifted and locked with God in strength.
As I wrote in my book, Put Your Warrior Boots On, "It is always in praising God we find strength and power. It is always in declaring truth and acknowledging He alone is our help we have hope. It is not about what we feel; it is about what we know. God won't disappoint us, and He's the only One who won't. He has given us a mouth by which to confess this greatness, at times to others and sometimes to ourselves—life declarations...When we commit to follow God, we seal the sacred promise of hope. The world is loud, and sometimes the only way to quiet it is to speak over it. Spoken hope is a gift God has given us from the Word to our own lips, straight to our heart. It's one of the best tools He has given us to keep following hard after Him."
Declaring words of truth over our soul changes it.
- It changes the atmosphere of our homes. So many words are spoken in the walls of our home, some beautiful, some hard, some unhealthy—words from the TV that waft throughout, words from the lips of arguing family members, words from music, words from guests that come and sit on our couch in conversation. Rather than spend time in regret and shame over the words that have been thus far detrimental, let's determine to change the atmosphere, moving forward with loving, truth-filled, Jesus-honoring words—prayers rather than petty grievances, love rather than lashing out. God has given us a powerful tool to change the atmosphere of our homes with the spoken hope and truth we declare from lips surrendered to Him. How might our families look different if we implemented this practice? For 30 days, purposefully give it a try and see how the atmosphere of your home changes.
- It changes the atmosphere of our heart. By far, the most important change we ever experience when we speak hope and truth to ourselves is the one that happens inside our hearts. This is always where the greatest healing lies, as Jesus is in the business of complete internal transformation. While negativity, fear and hate speech leads to our soul's decay, praise and declaring the beautiful hope and power of Jesus leads to soul freedom. To change the atmosphere of our hearts, we must change the way we practice speaking to ourselves and others. In this we find the strength we have longed for but perhaps never found.
- It changes other people. Speaking hope and truth is a powerful tool God can use to change other people's lives. That our words might be a catalyst for someone making a decision to follow Christ, trust Him for once and all, is a most incredible and humbling honor. Hearts are softened and changed when the word of God is presented in a loving, Spirit-filled way. May we take this understanding seriously and walk forward with fresh determination to consider our words in light of eternity.
This world is tough and can be hard to maneuver. Words weigh heavily on us in our daily lives. But following Jesus gives us the beautiful ability to fight the fear and negativity with precious and freedom-filled truth as we practice speaking hope to ourselves.
To change the atmosphere of our homes and our heart.
To walk forward with new strength on this journey.
To powerfully impact the world for Jesus Christ.
Lisa Whittle is a leader, author and speaker with a heart and passion to communicate one thing: Jesus is everything. Her love runs deep to see people pursue Jesus for life, grow deep roots of faith, and walk strong in the midst of a world that so often seems to have gone crazy. She is the author of six books, including her latest Put Your Warrior Boots On, and is a sought-out Bible teacher for her wit and bold, bottom-line approach. She is a wife and mother of three who currently resides in North Carolina. Visit her at LisaWhittle.com.
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