No Shame in Fear

We all desire to act in bold, brave, spirit-led, powerful ways, but this is rarely the case. Our humanity holds us back, and prevents us from walking in the Spirit of God each moment of our day.

 

Maybe life bombarded us with negative aspects for so long now that we are weary and depressed (Matthew 11:25-30). This is God’s way of causing us to run into the shelter under His wings.

 

He longs for our fellowship (1 John 1:3, 3:24; John 14:23), and He rejoices over us with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17 – I cannot wait to hear God sing!).

 

We get weary when we attempt to serve God from our inner human resources, rather than by the direction of His Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is better to obey Him than to sacrifice our time and energy (1 Samuel 15:22-24).

 

God calls us to believe by faith that He will work out everything for our advantage (Romans 8:28). However, it is okay to waver in our belief, and to ask His help us to overcome our unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).

 

This life is scary at best; and, so often, downright disheartening, due to the consequences of sin in us and all around us. God gave us the emotion of fear, so that we can protect our self from impending doom.

 

There is no shame in fear; yet, in so many scripture verses, God reminds us that we have no need to fear, because He is our Heavenly Father (Isaiah 41:10; Romans 8:31; Exodus 13:14; Exodus 20:20; etc.).

 

God increases our strength and fortifies us to reign victoriously through every trial (Isaiah 40:29). Regardless of our circumstances, God is right there with us and in us (Isaiah 43:2; John 14:23).

 

If God is in our corner, nothing and no one can overcome us (Romans 8:31). He reassures us of His presence, as well as our victory regardless of the outcome of our situation.

 

If we let Him, God’s perfect love will cast out every ounce of fear in our soul (John 4:18). He gives us both His peace and His Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Guide.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we promise to trust in and to rely only on You (John 14:26-28). Remind us that living responsibly for Your calling on our life will promote feelings of safety and security in our finances, business opportunities, home life, lifestyle, relationships, community, etc.

 

You gave us Jesus as our peace, and He has broken down every wall that would otherwise hinder us from entering into Your rest, and walking in Your Spirit each moment of our day (Ephesians 2:14). Fill us with the assurance that You have everything under Your control, and that we have no need to fear life’s circumstances.

 

Thought

We can embrace tribulation and consider it a joyful opportunity to stand still and see the salvation of God on our behalf.

– James 1:2-4; 2 Chronicles 20:17

 

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Deliverance from Angry Responses

We often say, “You make me so angry.” That, however, is not true. The other person’s words or behavior are simply triggers that arouse the emotion of anger in us.

 

When we react to that trigger, and express anger, that is our problem, not theirs. Deep within our soul, we felt hurt or afraid of what occurred between us, and we used anger to defend our self.

 

Anger is simply a red flag for a deeper thought or emotion. This conglomeration of hidden fears creates a force that is disproportionate to the small incident that is occurring now.

 

Wounded feelings like disappointment, frustration, broken promises, unfulfilled needs or expectations, etc. will cause a protective angry response.

 

Fearful feelings also trigger anger, because we feel insecure due to this interaction. We may be afraid of disappointing our loved one, fear rejection, fear a decision being made that will affect us negatively, fear the vulnerability the occurrence arouses in us, etc.

 

Maybe this situation is in part, or in whole, a carbon copy of some other incidence in our life, and our anger is reflecting our past hurt, fear of disappointment, or feelings of hopelessness or being overwhelmed by the emotions from both then and now.

 

God gave us these negative emotions as red flags that signal an unresolved issue in our soul (Psalm 4:4). If we follow the emotional trail, God will show us the root cause of our feelings and thoughts, so that we can resolve the issue and express our true feelings. ( http://www.transformationprayer.org/preparing-journey-introduction/ )

 

In our original family, other people may have reacted in anger, and we learned this behavior from them. We can blame it on our heritage, ancestry, a trait of our nationality, etc.; but that is never an excuse to react in anger.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that when we feel anger, we need to make some quiet time to do a searching inventory of our thoughts and underlying emotions to discover the root of our anger. Maybe there is a physical cause, such as hormones or a lack of some biological supplement in our body, and a doctor visit is required.

 

Teach us that the person receiving our anger really did nothing to deserve our outburst. They are perplexed and wondering why we are over-reacting. Help us to see that if we react to the trigger and express our anger, we need to humble our self and honestly apologize for our behavior (Proverbs 29:11).

 

Thought for the Day:

In order to minimize the reaction of anger, we can use the negative emotions that are bombarding our soul in order to express our true feelings: “I am afraid that …” or “I am hurt by what you said/did, because…” or “I feel overwhelmed right now and I need you to…”

 

The Tempest Within

Since moving to Illinois from Florida, I have learned that springtime tries desperately to come, while winter holds on until the bitter end – reluctant to let go of her hold over this part of the country.

 

We are still getting snow in mid-April this year. I am told that this struggle is what creates the perfect atmosphere for tornadoes to spawn in the storms that come our way.

 

Warm air and cold air struggle in the heavens to take control of the weather, and this creates the tension, which produces the tornadoes that descend from the clouds all over our region of the Heartland.

 

This reminds me of spiritual warfare within our soul. Our soul is in a constant struggle to keep satanic forces from ruling in our mind and emotions, which effects our body and spirit as well.

 

Due to this upheaval in our soul, mental and emotional tornadoes form and produce erratic behavior, which often causes severe damage in our relationships, as well as to our peace of mind and our physical health.

 

There is no cure for the damaging weather in the Heartland, but there is redemption for us during spiritual warfare. We can walk by the direction of God’s Spirit each moment of our life and live out His perfect plan for us.

 

As we live in the very center of God’s will for us, there are no stresses, unrest or trials that we cannot weather. Our God of peace (Philippians 4:7) will guard our heart and mind through Christ in us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Satan uses human pride to disillusion us about the importance of our opinions and beliefs. We fail to try to see things from someone else’s perspective, and we insist on our own way. We end up acting in hurtful ways rather than exhibiting the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Remind us that we are not obligated to pay any attention to the devil’s deception. In fact, if we develop a deeper intimacy with Christ in us, His strength within our spirit will enable us to resist the devil until he flees from us (James 4:7). We want to stand as conquers over the spiritual warfare in our life by walking in Your perfect will for us each moment of every day.

 

Thought for the Day:

True abundance in this life only comes when we adopt a spiritual purpose and walk in God’s inner peace, which transcends all human understanding, and fills our heart and mind through Christ Jesus. – Matthew 6:19-21; Philippians 4:7

 

 

 

God’s Infinite Plans

We can learn by observing opposites in our world. We realize that what goes up, must come down; what goes around, comes back around; if we travel far enough north, we will eventually start going south, etc.

 

We also discover good coming from evil. Even if our life is peachy most of the time, we eventually learn that there is an inevitable pit inside. However, we can enjoy so many positive incidences, which come from one negative experience.

 

For instance, in every negative situation, God shows us His love through it all. We see Him planting a seed for a miracle in the midst of every trial. He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

 

If we surrender our life to God, He is in control. He keeps us on the straight and narrow road – the safe highway (Matthew 7:13-14). He disciplines us to keep us from reaping negative consequences from destructive behavior.

 

When we suffer any need, God’s supply is right around the corner. He may take longer to supply it than we would like, but that is because our finite mind does not comprehend His infinite plans.

 

We are all God’s creatures; however, we only become His child when we ask Him to adopt us into His family by believing in Jesus as our Savior. As people of faith, we trust in Him only and always.

 

There is authority, comfort and direction in God’s Holy Word. In its pages, we find spiritual food for our spirit; as well as words that build our faith, so that our soul can abide in the rest of God (Hebrews 4:10).

 

In His Word, God reminds us that Christ in us will move mountains for us as we submit our will to His (Mark 11:22-24). As we trust in Him, God will remove whatever is hindering us from receiving His provision, or from accomplishing His will.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to understand how to die to our self, and to live for Christ (Galatians 2:20). Like Paul, we count every earthly possession and accomplishment as lost, so that we can gain Your eternal presence and blessings (Philippians 3:8). Thank You for sending Jesus to give His life, so that we may have the privilege of being adopted into Your family.

 

Our true joy is observing Your work in us, as Christ pours out His life through us to reach our world in our lifetime. Thank you for Your redemptive and sanctifying work in us. We focus on You, and we trust in Your healing and cleansing work in our life. We give You all of our praise, because all honor and glory belong only to You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Like a grain of wheat, as our self-life falls into the background and dies, we will see a fruitful life in our ministry for the Lord, and the joy of the Lord as our ever-present strength.

– John 12:24; Nehemiah 8:10

 

Listen Up!

Listening is a lost art in today’s society. People enjoy being the center of attention, and do not want to take the time to really listen to anyone else.

 

We may ask, “How are you?”, but we quit paying attention before they even answer our question. We are easily distracted and have no real interest in hearing the answer.

 

We listen to other conversations around us to see if there is anyone talking about something more interesting to us than the conversation we are participating in at that moment.

 

This lack of interest in what we have to say leaves the wounded, hurting multitudes of people in our world to shut down emotionally, and to bury their secret and most vulnerable needs, hopes and feelings.

 

Sometimes we stop talking, but we do not really listen. We do not really hear what the other person is saying, because we are too busy thinking about the next statement we want to make.

 

However, learning the art of ”active” listening is a skill worth cultivating. It shows the speaker that we consider their thoughts and feelings as important as our own.

 

Even if the person is bringing up an issue with something we have done, we can actively listen, clarify rather than assuming what they mean, resist getting defensive or accusing and ask for forgiveness.

 

Active listening takes effort and a desire to connect soul-to-soul with another human being. We are not just sharing information, but attempting to elicit empathy or understanding for what we are going through.

 

Our motive for sharing is not really for the other person to fix our problem, but we are asking for them to show that they really care about how we feel about our issue. We want to bond, not just impart data.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to stop wishing that our friend/mate would hurry and finish their story so that we can start our next monologue. Remind us that dialog is what communication is really all about. Help us to mute the TV, or our tunes, and to light up when they come into the room. Show us how to focus our attention so that we can help them to feel cherished and important.

 

Remind us to allow them to finish talking before assuming what they are going to say and interrupting their flow of thought with our own information, similar story or advice without really listening to them until they are finished talking. Help us to really see and hear one another and to constantly listen to Your Spirit’s direction for each moment of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Even when someone disagrees, or has a criticism of us, it is important to listen to what they have to say without zoning out or interrupting them.

 

 

 

For information on active listening skills, check out this webpage:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/11/09/10-steps-to-effective-listening/#3b73d3cd3891

A Fulfilling Relationship

There are so many widows, widowers, divorcees, and single people in today’s society who are looking for fulfillment. They hope for a perfect match in a spouse, but they often settle for second best, just because they are lonely and feel incomplete.

 

Some single people find the love of their life, they enjoy a fulfilling relationship for many years; but then the relationship changes due to the stresses of life and overly committed busyness.

 

This starts a downward spiral that produces feelings of emotional and physical hunger, because our mate does not fulfill our needs. Then, resentment, bitterness and anger develop in our heart and fill our every thought.

 

We all want intimacy, union, companionship, friendship and a deep, abiding love. The desire of our heart is to find someone to understand us, respect us, and to love us unconditionally for who we are.

 

We need someone who will have compassion on our weaknesses, because they know that they have issues too; someone who will appreciate our strengths and allow them to help with their weaknesses, as their strengths help to heal our short-comings.

 

Yet, people tend to disappoint us, break their promises to us, emotionally and physically withdraw from or abuse us, and fill their life with busyness until we are taken for granted, and are all but excluded from their schedule.

 

Men generally crave respect, verbal affirmation, acts of service and admiration. Women desire to feel cherished, appreciated, financially solvent, protected, as well as to experience romance and intimacy.

 

Most of us live an unfulfilled life, however. One reason for this is that our body and soul are alive, but we are dragging around a spirit, which is dead in sin that we inherited from our ancestors and that we perpetuate by our own carnal lifestyle (Deuteronomy 5:9; Romans 5:12).

 

Jesus promises to be our Redeemer, but also a mate to us (Isaiah 54:5-6). Unless our spirit is Born Again by the Spirit of God through faith in the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf, we will never feel completely fulfilled.

 

When we feel deserted, wounded in spirit and rejected by people, Jesus within us will be our devoted and compassionate mate. His authentic Believers are His forever bride (Hosea 2:16, 19; 2 Corinthians 11:2-4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, prove to us that we do not need a mate to be happy in this life. We have all we need in You, and You live within our spirit by Your Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:20). If we are unhappy with our mate, help us to change our focus to see the good in them, and not to focus on their annoying or discouraging points.

 

Help us to aid one another to heal from our past wounds, and to walk in Your freedom together. We know that You will fill the hole in our heart and put a mental and emotional barrier between us and any abusive or neglectful behavior from our spouse. We look to You and not to people to help us to feel fulfilled in this life now and for all eternity.

 

Thought for the Day:

If a mate is what God desires for us, He will bring him/her along in His timing and way – sometimes, in the most unexpected manner; as we seek Him first, He will provide for us everything that we ever need.

 

Healing Past Memories Frees Our Future

At times, we are unpleasant in our current life, because we are fueled by the experiences of our past. As we age, we bury these  past issues in our subconscious mind, and we think they are forgotten.

 

Until we heal these unresolved issues, we can never forget them; and they influence every moment of our present life. The mental and emotional baggage of our past is like an anchor around our soul.

 

Our intimacy with God and our human relationships are hindered by the wounds of our past. We act out negatively, and wonder why we thought, felt, said or acted in such a weird way.

 

Satan is right there continually dragging up those old injuries, and the lies he planted in each one of them. We either feel isolated from others, or we put on a mask and play the clown, or we invent a personality that is more attractive to others; however, this is not our true self.

 

Sometimes, we feel intense anger or despondency that is far more forceful than the situation calls for. Those we should be closest to, like friends and family, often abandon and reject us. We feel misunderstood and alone.

 

In order to survive our childhood, we attempted to control our circumstances so that we could feel safe. People labeled us as rebellious, distant, angry, stubborn, controlling, etc.

 

In adulthood, we sabotage our relationships by our domineering, wary, fearful and insecure attitude. This is a consequence of our attempt to avoid our past trauma and to prevent future pain, but we fail every time.

 

Thankfully, our Father God uses this residual pain from our past to guide us on a healing expedition to secure a peaceful and joyful future.

 

He teaches us to place boundaries around relationships that continually hurt us, and He gives us His love for these people so that we can remain in a relationship with them.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are so glad that You know the truth about our experiences and that You want to heal the pain of our past and set us free to live a more fulfilling future (Psalm 34:18). Thank You for giving us Your wisdom concerning the root of our current bizarre behavior, and for healing us from the pain of our past

( http://www.transformationprayer.org/supplemental-training-menu/ ).

 

You allowed us to be born into our natural family in order to teach us lessons that we would need in our adult life. You never allow us to experience negative issues without Your presence in our life, even before we accept Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for our sins. We praise You for Your gracious and generous love, hope, peace, joy and provision for us during all the days of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

God is close to those who suffer mental, emotional and physical loss, and He heals those who are brokenhearted and crushed in both our spirit and our soul – our mind, emotions and will.

– Psalm 34:18