When Evil Thoughts Oppress
For reading & meditation - Matthew 15
"For out of the heart come evil thoughts ..." (v. 19)
We turn now to focus on yet another place where life can break us - through the affliction of evil thoughts. I am thinking not simply of an occasional wrong thought popping into one's mind, but of those situations where people become oppressed by thoughts which are obsessive and repetitive. A letter I received some time ago said, "My private discussions with Christians
of all denominations has led me to believe that more are afflicted and oppressed by evil thoughts than we might imagine." When the late Dr. Sangster, the great Methodist preacher, once visited Bexhill-on-Sea, he found a lovely avenue of trees. A nature lover to the core, he walked admiringly up and down the avenue, and then noticed a strange thing. Two of the trees were dead, and not only dead, but dismally and evilly offensive. Frost could not account for it; their neighbors were all healthy. He made inquiries, and found out that the gas main which ran underneath them had been leaking! Everything on the surface had been in their favor - the sea breezes, sunshine, rain ... but they had been poisoned from beneath. There are many Christians like that. Perhaps you are one. The circumstances of their lives all seem in their favor - a good job, a happy family, a pleasant environment, a fine church, yet their lives are mysteriously blighted by evil thoughts. Who can help us when our lives are spoiled by continual and oppressive evil thoughts? Jesus can! Christ can not only heal the brokenness but also make you strong at the broken place.
Prayer: O Father, I am so grateful that You are showing me Your indomitable way. You can do more than sustain me in my weakness; You can turn my weakness into strength. Make me strong in this area. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
For Further Study
1. List eight ways in which Satan seeks to attack our minds.
2. What is the Christian antidote?