As God’s people we will experience some kind of persecution at one point or another( after all Jesus our Master ((Matt. 10:24 A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.)) did everything perfectly, and still so many hated him, their hard hearts kept them from even understanding; so how much less a servant over a master in experiencing opposition): A type of persecution that the devil sadly and devastatingly uses, is attack on our thoughts.
Attack on thoughts can be likened to the horrible experience Jesus went through in the garden of Gethsemane, as Satan attacked his thoughts.
God is incapable of evil, 100% holy, perfect, and good. Though we may suffer, God is never the one who causes it, though he may allow it for good ( suffering is the furnace where God can mold us ( like diamonds) into warriors of good if we surrender to His will and not lies or evil).
Suffering in thoughts ( a tactic of the devil) ( God is good, He does not torture our minds with bad thoughts) may look like/ feel like:
Bitter thoughts about others and the imagining of their evil gossip against you. “What others think about you is none of your business,” Everybody is a sinner and broken by nature, if they choose to speak evil, God will hold them accountable for their words, we must do good regardless. Our value does not come from imperfect man, but from perfect God that knows why He made you, and why He painted you unique and beautiful in your own way. We ultimately live for God and do all we do for God. With that, choose your associations wisely. Bad associations spoil useful habits.
Jealousy and false soap operas in our minds: If we let Satan trap us with jealousy whether over our maritial partners, over materialistic stuff, or over looks or character traits of others, we are basically spitting on the painting God made of us before all time, throwing a spoiled brat tantrum for more stuff, and/or, not believing God’s Spirit can keep two of His children together in marriage should they both seek Him, or at least one seek Him deeply on behalf of their unbelieving significant other.
Unbelief ( usually rooted from not enough focus on Spiritual promises and too much fleshly/ wordly focus):
Choose your associations wisely. Too much talk and worry regarding money issues/ lack of a job/ not a good car/ ugly clothes/ no house of your own/ too many problems in your marriage and lies that you should separate/ too many TV shows that dum drum away the fact that Christ will come soon, is so super depressing after awhile, your bound to snap like a hungry hungry hippo and take all the built-up irritation and hopelessness out on others all around you.
Paranoia or anxiety and fear:
If you open your bible to seek God, the devil hates it, always pray for a covering before you read, pray for clarity after you read something, and pray for protection, God is sovereign, seriously the devil can run across your living room while you are trying to read the bible, your kids might bite your leg and your dog poop on the couch, you may want to give up your bible entirely after that, Don’t! God IS SOVEREIGN over everything, especially the devil, God will not let you ever go through more than you can handle, He made you, He knows your limits. Persevere in prayer always, sit quietly and be still in God if you have this extreme garden of Gethsamane-like moment. Don’t ever fear. Trust God. He can send a legion of angels for your protection at any moment.
How do we become more sanctified, more Christ-like, and more Spirit filled? In the midst of suffering we obey God, we do good, we fight sin, we pray ferociously, we sing praises to the Lord in the midst of the fire to overcome the suffering. God is good, surrender all to Him. It is during the fire( each battle against the devil and sin) that He makes warriors of light and good. Obey God, trust Him. Pray ferociously without ceasing, while in the fire. Be angry, but do not sin. Be still and quiet in prayer as you fight, the devil will flee as you recognize the lies he uses through bad thoughts. The pain sometimes may last for the night, but joy will come in the morning.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.ESVUK
God loves you, sing. He is always, always there.