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“Do not engage the hill without hope.”, Dad.

You can be mentored by the mental giants of our time, but without hope it’s pointless.  We can get and stay angry (or any other strong emotion) just because something doesn’t go the way we think that it should.  We can wrestle with a whirlwind of emotions and end up in a ditch or we can get connected to the One that gives us hope.  Let’s talk about why mental toughness is important and then cover what to do to stay connected to hope and avoid a trip to a ditch or how to get out if you find yourself there.

Key Passages: Philippians 4:4-9   (NASB) 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is [a]near. 6 Do not [b]be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [c]comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [d]lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.


Mental toughness can be taught

There are three things that can help position ourselves for mental toughness.

  1. The devil does not always need to kill you or take you out. Our enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy John 10:10). We tend to focus on what doesn’t kill us, we need to recognize that he may be just trying to steal from us or destroy something in our life. Our peace of mind is usually where he starts.
  2. For such a time as this (Esther 4:14). God in His omniscience has strategically placed you in the most ideal timeline to leverage the greatest outcome within His perfect plan.

– You have a role to play!

– He can leverage you right where you are at!

– This is bigger than you!

  1. Kingdom business requires us to be healthy and in position. Ready and able to act. We cannot afford to just come enjoy church, there is something bigger than our delight connected to our growth.

Q:  Where have you seen the enemy try to destroy or steal something in your life?  Have you ever looked at your situations and thought it was part of God’s plan, why or why not?  What would it take for you to be healthy and in position?


The mental health roadmap

There are three parts to the mental health roadmap.

  1. Intake – the things you see and hear.
  2. Environment (the atmosphere you cultivate and people you associate with).
  3. Activity- the habits and actions you repeat.

This model is outlined in Philippians 4:4-9.

  • being well in the Lord,
  • known for being cool as a cucumber,
  • not worrying about anything but trusting God in everything,
  • thinking on these things
  • And practicing all the above

Q:  Think about what you regularly put in your mind and body.  What changes do you feel prompted to make?  What atmosphere are you creating in your mind? Heart? Home?  What are you doing that is just out of habit?  What new path are you feeling the need to create?


The God of shalom will be with you

The peace of God- SHALOM (Philippians 4:7)- is a state of tranquility, security, safety prosperity, felicity, the MESSIAH’S peace, the way that leads to salvation. It is fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly [circumstance].  This shalom will guard your hearts [emotional health] and your minds [mental health] as you remain in Christ- and stay connected to hope.

If you have struggled with:

  • Peace of mind
  • Physical rest
  • Emotional happiness
  • Worry/concern
  • Confusion and lack of direction
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt for thinking bad things
  • Tortured by thoughts that won’t go away
  • Difficulty redirecting thoughts
  • Deciding emotions
  • Developing internal fortitude

You are not broken…. You are normal.

As Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13

“I have found the secret to contentment” in every situation, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  It is a journey that continues as long as we have breath in our lungs.

The challenges may change but the mental roadmap is a stencil to success that remains useful no matter what your age, stature, occupation, or concern.

Q:  Take a moment to think about The God of shalom.  What would it take for you to surrender to this type of peace?


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