In this fifth message on biblically healthy ways to recognize and deal with pain, Pastor Chris reminds us how the power of thanksgiving overcomes the daily ache of pain’s deception. Starting with Genesis 3, the serpent (Satan) deceived Eve by causing her to question what God really said, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” This is an example of how the enemy disarms us in order to defeat us in our thinking. We must guard, strengthen and renew our minds – as our minds go, so our life will go.

Pain is the fertile ground that the enemy uses to tear down, to lie, to belittle, to reorient our existence and send us down a road we were never designed for. We have the power in Jesus to keep those seeds of lies from taking root and becoming our identity!

Consider this path toward a healthy mindset: “Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words they become actions, watch your actions they become habits, watch your habits they become character, watch your character it becomes your destiny.” (Frank Outlaw)

Toxic thoughts can follow this negative path. It’s a “river of toxicity” that will grab you and take you where you don’t want to go. The enemy knows the greatest asset we have is a sound mind.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Consider your thought patterns. What are some ways you’ve experienced the disarming tactics of the Enemy that keep you from having the mind of Christ?
2. What’s your reaction to the” toxic river” metaphor, especially as Frank Outlaw put it above; Thoughts>Words>Actions>Habits>Character>Destiny? How could a Christian transform this river to one that is clean, clear and healthy?
3. Pastor Chris gave us three questions to consider each time we’re faced with pain. As you prepare to ask them, read these scriptures: 2 Cor. 10:3-5, Philippians 4:8, Romans 8:37-38, Now, spend time in prayer asking the Lord to reveal 1) what am I thinking, 2) what am I hearing, 3) what am I believing? (What lies am I believing about myself, about others, about the church, about God?)
As time allows, please share with your group, or a trusted friend, some of what God has revealed to you about changing your mind from toxic to refreshing. Maybe He’s addressed changes you need to make about your identity? After this, take time, on your own, to thank God – to be like the one leper, of the ten who Christ healed, to return with thanksgiving!