Read: II Timothy 1:6-8


There are those who insist that if a person is really born again, it is impossible for him ever to have a sick mind: who are convinced that all those who claim to be believers, but whose minds are in torment, are really outside the pale of God's grace. These comfortable ones, from the dubious security of their own narrow minds, point to their tormented brothers and sisters and say,


"If these people really believed in Jesus
Christ they wouldn't be in that shape".


Not so! Some of the holiest saints of God who ever walked this earth have spent years of their lives, as believers, in the borderlands of Hell.


There is a story by John Cournos in which a stranger in monk's garb is welcomed one winter evening into the home of a Russian peasant. As the stranger sits eating with the family he hears a small child crying in another room.


"Is the little boy ill?", says the stranger. "He's crying as if he were ill."


"Yes", says the host. "Poor Vaska has been crying all day long. The doctor's been here and quieted him down for a bit. Now he's crying again."


"Let me see the little one."


The stranger enters the bedroom, lays his hand on the child, prays in the name of Jesus, and the crying stops. The child is healed - instantly.


An hour later, two attendants from a nearby asylum come knocking on the door, find their escaped inmate wearing monk's robes, and haul him away.


- God alone knows how many times this kind of thing happens.


   - God alone knows how many men and women, charged with holy

     grace and healing virtue, are nevertheless, at times, of unsound mind.


Timothy, one of the most faithful and reliable fellow­ workers the apostle Paul ever had, was, from what we can gather in Paul's letters, afflicted with a fearful mind. Paul doubtless connected this fearful mind with Timothy's "frequent ailments".


There are saints of God who will be reading this who are truly born again, wonderfully used by the Master, and yet know very well what it is to be oppressed of mind.


- Who know what it is to be hemmed in and limited, not by circumstances, but by mental anguish.


- Whose energies are sapped and drained by inner torment.


Indeed, if we're honest, who of us could claim that we never go through these valleys of anguish?


There are believers reading these words whose lives, much of the time, are dominated by that same fearful mind Timothy had.


- Anxiety about tomorrow.

- Worry about a million things that might happen.

- Dread that their friends might turn against them.
- Fear that perhaps behind all the smiles and hugs and handshakes,

  nobody cares.


And there are believers who know what it is to have an obsessed mind - one particular desire walks with you day and night. Like a man who hasn't had food for a long time. Even in his sleep he sees banquet tables piled with roasts and steaks. Everything that happens is seen in terms of food.


Even so, loneliness,


    hunger, thirst for recognition,

can become an obsession,

can lay hold of our minds and torture them.


And there are believers who have cluttered minds. Even among those who consider themselves to be radically com­mitted to Jesus Christ. They love Jesus, but their minds are so busy doing so many things, exploring so many
possibilities, their vision of Jesus and His call gets distorted all out of shape.


There are believers with embittered minds. Perhaps they've managed to stop hating those who wronged them, but the acrid smell of bitterness pervades the atmosphere wherever they walk.


The tragedy is that many of us have resigned ourselves to being this way all our lives.


"It's just one of those things."
"It's my temperament."

"This is the way I am."
"I can't help it."


The end of the age is speeding toward us faster than light.


- God is raising up a people to cover the
earth with the gospel for the last time.


- God is calling us to exercise ministries
of power and wisdom and bold utterance,


and we excuse ourselves by claiming we can't get our minds together.


The message of the Spirit of God to us is that a troubled mind is not necessary.


You don't have to walk around under that cloud of dread.


You don't have to cringe before that obsession.


You don't have to be mentally scattered.


Bitterness does not need to consume your thoughts. There is healing for our minds.


Paul doesn't scold Timothy for this mental thing he's going through.


"What's the matter with you, Timothy? I thought you were saved! And here you're walking around in fear. You have a nervous stomach. You're wish-washy, man. If you don't buck up Timothy, you're going to go to Hell!"


Paul knew too much about mental anguish himself to talk like that. Paul took hold of Timothy where he was and lifted him up.


Wherefore, I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God that is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.


Be not thou, therefore, ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, His prisoner; but be thou partakers of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.  2 Timothy 1:6-8  KJV


We see this all through Paul's writings.


Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.                               Romans 12:2


Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. 

                                              Phiippians  2:5


We can have a mind which is so rooted and grounded in the Father's will that nothing on earth, nothing from the pit of Hell, can shake it.


The writings of Paul are the writings of a man who had found healing for his mind. Paul had found the mind of Christ - a mind so saturated with the peace of God that danger, privation, slander, ingratitude, persecution, loneliness, imprisonment, and physical pain could not disorient it any more.


In his writings, Paul shares with us those things which he knows from experience bring healing to the mind of the believer.


1.  Fellowship with the Cross renews to us the mind of Christ.


When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I determined to
know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.

                                                      I Corinthians 2:1-3


Paul came to Corinth a broken, troubled man. Things weren't going too well. So he decides to put all the sophisticated religious ideas and philosophical concepts out of his head and to know only Jesus and His Cross, to clear out of the way all the things that were getting between him and the Crucified Lord. And immediately, into Paul's weakness,


- a stream of power begins to flow once more,

- peace returns and rules right in the storm center of all his problems.



Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

                                               Jeremiah 8:22


Because she has strayed from the Calvary, the fountainhead of all healing.

Let her return to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and she will be healed.



- Our only claim to sanity is the forgiveness that flows from that cross.


- Our only doorway to the Kingdom of Light is through the forgiveness that comes from Jesus' death.


- Our only avenue to the Father is by that cross.


And if we are ever to know peace we'll have to take to ourselves the mind of Him who hangs there.


Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.   Philippians 2:5-8


Draw near to that Cross and you will find healing for your mind.


2. Stirring up of the gift of the Holy Spirit renews to us the mind of Christ.


Stir up the gift of God which is within thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.


When the fire dies down and you want to renew it, what do you do? You stir it up - and the flames spring forth again.


When you find yourself taking your wife for granted, don't wait for your wife to arouse your love - you arouse it. You stir it up.


Even so, you are being given the same Spirit who came upon Jesus at His baptism and inspired every word He spoke and every deed He performed. The Spirit is given to you to keep you in continuous unbroken communion with Jesus - even as He had communion with the Father.


But what do you do? You tuck the Spirit away in a closet and go on living in the flesh.


- Open that closet!
- Stir up that gift!

- Start yielding to Him again!


- Pray in the Spirit,

- Worship God in the Spirit,

- Serve your brother in the Spirit,

- Walk in the Spirit,


and quickly the mind of Christ in you will come back to life.


3. Child-like prayer renews to us the mind of Christ.


Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.


When our mind is getting all tangled up in a problem, an anxiety, threatened by some heavy cloud which has moved in over our life, if we would only be the children of the heavenly Father Jesus has made us to be, through His blood, that cloud would go, that anxiety would depart.


The Spirit is trying to teach us to say, "Abba! Father!", as our Lord Himself did constantly, and we're forever trying to be big shots instead of little children. No wonder our minds get sick!


In everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.


4. Finally, concentration on Heaven renews to us the mind of Christ.


Jesus was in this world for 33 1/2 years, but all that time His mind was fixed on His Father in Heaven.


- When He picked up a loaf of bread, before He broke it, He lifted His eyes to Heaven    and gave thanks.


- Before He called Lazarus forth from his tomb, Jesus lifted His eyes to Heaven and gave thanks.


- Early and late He was communing with Heaven.


His mind never once conformed itself to the mold of this world - only to Heaven.


Daniel spent all his adult life in Babylon. He was a man of rank in the court of the king. Yet, Daniel never for one day forgot that his real citizenship was not in Babylon at all. Three times a day Daniel went to his room, opened the windows facing Jerusalem, got down on his knees and prayed and gave thanks to the God of Israel.


So his mind remained clear amid all the threats and dangers Daniel had to face.


Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (as it looks toward Heaven).


If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above not on things that are on earth.


Our citizenship is in Heaven and from it we await the Savior.


As we draw near to the Father in prayer, let's ask for a special kind of healing; healing of our minds.


God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,


Yes, the mind of Christ.


May all the fever and anxiety, anguish, and bitterness of these minds of flesh now give way to the peace of God, as by the power of His Spirit the Father brings us to the Cross and clothes us afresh in the mind of His Son.


(Pray as the Spirit leads you.)