There are days where I really don’t want to exercise. Sometimes, I’m tired or other times, I’m feeling just plain lazy. We all know the physical benefits of exercising, that’s obvious but, do we know the emotional and mental benefits of exercise?
Exercise helps so many things…but most importantly, it helps our minds the most.
2 Timothy 1:7 says (New King James Version)
“For God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of Power, Love and a SOUND MIND”.
Other Bible versions such as The New Living Translation write:
“For God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE AND SELF DISCIPLINE”
The things that jump at me from this verse are that God has given me everything I need to get through life. The enemy attacks our mind on a daily basis. God knows this. We are told we have to renew our minds on a daily basis:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” Romans 12:2 (New American Standard Bible)
“that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of our mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (New American Standard Bible)
So, we know we are instructed in what we need to do, but, how do we do it when the world feels like it is crashing down on us? How do we renew our minds when that panic attack comes or we are fearful and stressed out about a situation?
Obviously, we need to study our Bible. Knowing what is in between the pages of this amazing book allows us to grow in our relationship with God. Reading His word and studying it is one of the most important things we can do. When we cry out Gods word to the enemy, he has no choice but to tuck tail and turn away. God’s word is that powerful. The mind is definitely, the devil’s playground and we need to guard it at all times.
What does that have to do with 2 Timothy 1:7 and exercise? More than you can possibly know.
In the verse, we are told that God does not give us the spirit of fear. So when we feel that anxiety or stress coming on, we can recognize that this feeling is not a spirit of God. No, God gives us power over that. He gives us the spirit of power over fear, power of love so that we can love ourselves and others and most importantly, He gives us self discipline so that we can study His word and live the lifestyle He wants us to lead and the power of a sound mind so that we do not have to be a slave do self defeating thoughts. With a sound mind, we can hear His voice and know which thoughts are from God and which thoughts are from the enemy.
What does exercise have to do with all that? Everything. When you exercise, your mind is filled with endorphins and it is practically impossible to feel stressed, depressed or anxious after a good workout. Exercise helps clear your mind of the mess of thoughts that may be running through it and it also helps your body stay healthy. It helps us to treat our bodies as a temple, just as God has instructed us.
So, when things are going bad or I’m feeling overwhelmed, I know that if I turn to God’s word and get up and start moving around, I can deal with the things that the world wants to throw at me. It’s so much easier to take medication and become a slave to circumstance and laziness. Being of strong mind takes time and practice and ultimate faith in God. It’s not an overnight solution and in the age of instant gratification and “Me now!” ideals, working hard towards mental health is not something that many people want to spend the time to do.
Lord, thank you for your word. Thank you for your motivation and for showing me just how much you care. Lord, thank you for giving me the power to overcome any situation and circumstance that the world throws my way. Thank you for showing me how to renew my mind and become totally dependent upon you. You are my rock, my strength and I am nothing without you. I love you Lord, thank you thank you thank you! Amen
© 2012 Giving Thanks Daily, Darci Escandon
We are Wonderfully Made (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wonderfully-Made/130178720330362), living to encourage and Equip His People (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Equip-His-People-Ephesians-411-13/170487976325407) and completely committed to believing greatly Psalm 139 with purpose (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Psalm-139-with-purpose/183264461708034).