Why Christian’s Suffer

Christians suffer defeat in our life for many reasons. One is that we are still living through our soul, rather than from our spirit. We pursue worldly gain and fulfillment and end up disappointed.

Another reason is that we trust in our own wisdom and counsel. We forget to trust the Lord and to seek His will for each moment of our day, which brings us continual success (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Many Christians are also unaware that a spiritual battle is raging all around us to either tempt us back into Satan’s service or to render our life ineffective for the Kingdom of God (Ephesians 6:12).

Our only source of victory is to allow God’s Spirit to renew our mind, which brings us freedom from the cares of this life and gives us an eternal perspective (Ephesians 5:23).

We gradually learn to reject our human reasoning, which ends our struggle between infinite faith and finite human understanding (Isiah 55:9).

We realize that the testing of our faith produces patience to wait on God in the midst of all of our negative circumstances, so that we can walk in obedience to God’s Spirit each moment of our day (2 John 1:6).

Rather than surviving this world independently of God, we cling to Him as our Savior and Lord. We recognize that we will perish without His constant intervention on our behalf.

This puts the devil and his demons to flight from our life, and allows us to reap the benefits of living victoriously as members of God’s own family (Psalm 103:2).

If we go through the continual trials of life without the joy of the Lord in the midst of them, we can change our focus to realize that there is a seed for a miracle in the midst of each one of them.

Prayer:
Father God, our flesh still pulls us toward humanistic thinking and reasoning. We buy into the world’s view of success and fulfillment; therefore, we work all of our lives to provide temporal blessings for our self. Even if we happen to succeed, in the end we realize the futility of our life spent pursuing worldly gain (Mark 8:36).

Only when we realize our helplessness will we be able to totally surrender to Your benefits and provision for our life. Remind us that only as we live our life in and for You, will we experience the true benefits of Your Life: peace, love and joy in Your Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Thought for the Day:
Even in the midst of the fiery furnace, the three Hebrew children walked with God.- Daniel 3:17-18

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Purpose in Suffering

There are many people who live with the persuasion that God intends for His Saints to live in perfect health. The first objection to this theory is Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Paul begged God to heal this physical infirmity. God had other plans, and reminded Paul that His grace was sufficient to help Paul live with this issue (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God often heals, but He also uses our affliction to teach us patience, to remind us to trust Him and to bring glory to His name (John 9:3).

God is not sadistic or unfeeling. He does not want to punish or afflict His people with suffering; however, God uses our attitude in our adverse physical conditions as a witness of His goodness and grace.

When we smile in our pain, continue serving Him in spite of our misery, maintain a positive outlook regardless of how much we are suffering, God gets the glory.

People are amazed that we keep going, when life smacks us down. They want to know how we can deal with this trial with such a confident stance. People bemoan their misfortune, but authentic Believers trust God always.

God will heal some illnesses; yet, allow others to get worse instead of better. Every person must succumb to death in one way or another. God knows the day and hour of our homecoming to heaven (Job 14:5).

A peaceful passing in our sleep, the result of a prolonged illness, a traffic accident or a natural disaster may claim our life. However, the end result is the same – we enter our eternal glory with the Lord.

We can thank God for our thorn in the flesh and live with it with patience as Paul did His. When God is through using the infirmity to work out His will in our life for His glory, He will heal us in this life or the next.

Prayer:
Father God, death is the ultimate healer. Some people look at death as defeat; but Jesus took the sting out of death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). We no longer dread passing from this life to the next, because the end result is an eternity in Your presence.

We cannot thank You enough for sending Jesus to reverse the curse on this earth, which came as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Although we may experience physical illness during our lifetime, we promise to trust in Your goodness as You use it for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
Through suffering, our soul is strengthened, our witness pronounced, and our trust in God enhanced, as we realize that God’s love is greater than our affliction.

A Contagious Smile

A smile is a wonderful blessing. It lights a fire in our heart every time we see one. It inspires us to inhale a deep breath and to exhale the tension built up in our body.

Sometimes, all a person needs is for someone to smile at them. Even if they are a stranger to you, they may need your sincere smile to revive them from their desperate thoughts.

Medical science agrees with the Bible when they say that a smile improves our mood (Proverbs 15:13-15), strengthens our immune system and lowers blood pressure (Provers 17:22), reduces pain (Proverbs 15:30), and relieves our stress (Psalm 126:2-3).

The easiest way to keep a smile on our face is to think only about issues that are accurate, moral, true, wholesome, divine, commendable, exceptional and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

The Apostles recommended that we even consider our trials as a joyous occasion. Trials test our faith in God’s faithfulness and mature us as spiritual beings (James 1:2-4; Matthew 5:12).

Our hope in the Lord gives us something to smile about, so that through prayer we can have patience in any affliction (Romans 12:12). God smiles on His Saints as He teaches us His ways (Psalm 119:135, 4:6, 31:16).

Prayer:
Father God, we can smile throughout our life, regardless of the circumstances, because they strengthen our confidence in You and our hope of eternal salvation, through Your steadfast love, as they develop Godly character in us (Romans 5:3-4; Psalm 31:16).

Help us to change our focus on the negative aspects of our life, so that we can change the expression on our face and smile (Job 9:27

Thought for the Day:
A smile is actually contagious, so give someone a smile today and bless their life.

Understanding Our Soul – Part 2

Analyzing Transactions in Our Soul

Once we realize that our subconscious mind controls many of our thoughts, word and actions in our present life, we can come to God for healing of the wounds stored in that miraculous filing cabinet. The simplest and most efficient way to uncover the stored memories in our subconscious is to pay attention to the conversations in our mind.

We are not going crazy. These are not usually demonic voices or multiple schizophrenic personalities. These conversations are simply the interaction among our Inner Parent, Adult and Child (PAC). As we analyze these transactions or conversations, we soon see a pattern. We learn to identify the message, which our three ego states are trying to communicate to us.

We are usually so busy that we neglect our soul. Therefore, we need to make time to listen to these transactions. Keeping a journal is the easiest way to decipher what our subconscious mind is attempting to bring to our conscious mind. Once we learn to identify these messages, journaling will no longer be necessary, because we will readily recognize what our soul is telling us.

Start by asking questions such as:
1.) What is bothering me? The issue may be recent; however, sometimes we do not know the source of the issue, because it lies in our subconscious mind and has its roots in our past.

2.) When did this start? Maybe this is a recent issue, or it could have started in our infancy or youth. Looking at photo albums may give us clue to its origin, or accessing memories from our subconscious mind that God’s Spirit brings to our conscious mind. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

3.) Where did it start? At home, school, church, neighborhood. And with whom did it start? Parent, relative, neighbor, teacher, friend or our friend’s parent.

4.) Is the issue physical, emotional or psychological? Do we feel unwarranted shame or fear because of something someone said or did to us in the past? Does our negative self-talk come from things someone said to us and we believed? Did Satan plant a lie in our past that we believe, and which is fueling our negative health or feelings?

Our Inner Child may be reticent about divulging this information to us, especially if we neglected our soul all of our life. As we start to pay attention to our negative thoughts and feelings from now on, our subconscious will cooperate with God’s Spirit, as He brings these aspects to our conscious mind and heals us of the residual affects they have on our life.

Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing too difficult for You (Jeremiah 32:17, 27). You understand our thoughts and know our life from beginning to end (Psalm 139:13; Isaiah 46:10). You do not want Satan to use the words and actions from our past to cripple our present life. Give us the courage to come to You for clarity about these issues and healing from these wounds to our soul.

Thought for the Day:
It took a lifetime to program our subconscious mind to think, feel and react to life, and it may take some time for it to respond to the healing of God’s Spirit; have patience and give God your full attention during quiet spaces of reflection during your week.

Understanding Peculiar People

When we experience a negative event, which is stressful, abusive, unexpected, out of our control or happens regularly, we give it the term “trauma”. Devastating traumatic experiences will cause permanent damage in our soul, which medical practitioners call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This will often cause people to exhibit eccentric and sometimes abusive behavior.

Trauma colors our view of life, blows current events out of proportion and causes suspicion, insecurity and fear. We are permanently stuck in a flight or fight mode in dealing with life. Our soul uses anger, depression, insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, mistrust, unpredictable behavior, physical ailments and sometimes self-inflicted injury to attempt to protect our self from future abuse.

The effects of trauma not only upsets those of us who suffered the ordeal, but we also traumatize the significant others in our life, when they unwittingly scratch the covering off these deep-seated, emotional wounds. Our negative response to current issues is much more intense than the problem warrants and people wonder why. We may react in intense anger or physical blows to protect our self from perceived injustices.

Putting time and space between us and the people or events, which continually trigger our pain will help us to calm down and get in touch with the reality of the present moment. We can take a walk, go for a drive, sit alone to journal or spend the night at a friend’s house. Then, we can go home with a clear mind and brainstorm with our significant others on how to prevent these flare-ups in the future.

They can help us by realizing that our over-reaction is prompted when their behavior causes us to flash back to the pent up pain in our soul. This way, they will not take our reactions personally and they will dwell with us with understanding; they will help us to calm down and see the reality in the situation; they will stop their behavior, which triggers our past pain; and they will provide us with patience, unconditional love and a calm, stable environment.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for revealing to us the lies, which Satan planted in every one of those negative events in our past, and for speaking Your truth, which displaces those lies in our soul and sets us free from the pain and effects of the trauma we experienced ( http://www.theophostic.com ). Your Spirit helps us to put the trauma of our past and the current behavior of others into an eternal perspective, so it will not bother us so much.

You also teach us not to judge other people who get on our nerves, who do not respect our boundaries or whose behavior makes us feel abused or misunderstood. Remind us to allow You to use us to pour out Your love and understanding on these wounded individuals, and thank You for putting people into our life who help us to heal from the trauma of our own past.

Thought for the Day:
Negative emotions in our soul, signal an issue, which we need to bring to God for healing or for repentance and surrender.

The Glory of the Lord

God tarries His coming, not because He is slow to keep His promises to us, but because of His patience to allow everyone the chance to repent and believe (2 Peter 3:9, 13). As we draw close to God, His glory fills our life. We allow His glory within us to reflect to the world around us, as His Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

God’s glory appeared in the pillar of fire and the cloud, which protected the Israelites in their desert wanderings, as well as the consuming fire on the mountain and on Moses’ face when he descended from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 16:10; 24:17; 33:22). God’s glory within us also allows us to face trials with victory and faith.

God’s glory within us is more precious that the finest gold, and is the result of a life spent reading His Word, obeying His Spirit and giving Him all praise, glory and honor until we see Him face to face (1 Peter 1:6-7). God’s glory fills the life, which has faith in His faithfulness, rather than bitterness over the past and fear of the unknown future (Isaiah 6:3, 40:5).

When we finally see Jesus, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him in His glory (1 John 3:2). In our Heavenly residence, we will live in our immortal body and enjoy the benefits, which Adam and Eve had in the garden, and which Jesus had after His resurrection. The rewards God has in store for us are everlasting and glorious, and we will finally attain to the fullness of Christ.

Prayer:
Father God, we pray that we will decrease, so that You can increase within our mortal body even now. We want to reflect Your glory as it increases within us. Remind us to surrender all of our cares to You, because You care about us, as well as everything, which pertains to us on this earth (1 Peter 5:7). Even in the face of persecution, strengthen us from within and keep us in the palm of Your hand (John 10:28). Thank You for giving us Your glorious new life through Your Son’s sacrificial death and resurrection.

Thought for the Day:
At the coming of Christ, the whole earth will be filled with His glory.
– Psalm 72:19

Forgiveness Sets Us Free

How do we forgive someone who hurt us? By hearing and following God’s advice to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who abuse us. When someone takes something from us, we give him/her more of what they want. We treat others the way we want them to treat us (Luke 6:27-31).

Forgiveness does not take the offender off the hook, but it does set us free (Romans 12:19). Our fellowship with God is broken by unforgiveness and His blessings cannot freely flow into our life. With God’s help, we can gain freedom from Satan’s strongholds in our life as we readily forgive those who hurt us and walk in God’s Truth.

We also learn to exhibit patience with other people who mistreat us, because we realize that their behavior comes from their wounded soul. Once we forgive those who hurt or offend us, the fruit from the root of bitterness ~ anger, anxiety, depression, irritability, meanness, pride, indulgence and doubt ~ are pulled out of our soul.

The Holy Spirit can then move into our spirit and plant the seed of His fruit in the place of our old carnal nature. As God’s chosen people, His holy ones, we cooperate with God’s Spirit and put on the cloak of love, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience. We bear with one another and forgive each other, just as the Lord forgives us (Colossians 3:12-15).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to put on Your love, because it binds everything together in perfect harmony. This allows the peace of Christ to rule in our heart, and we live in gratitude for all You do for us each day. Help the word of Christ to richly dwell in us. Whatever we do, in word or deed, we will perform it in Your name (Colossians 3:16-17). Once we find Your forgiveness for our self, we can give it to those who hurt us, and receive healing from the lies Satan planted in our wounded soul.

Thought for the Day:
Satan wants us to live in bondage to the law of sin and death, but Christ already freed us by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. – Romans 7:22-8:3