For years, I fussed and fumed over big issues as well as little grumbles and gripes. I lived in a world of “What if . . .?” and “Why didn’t . . .?” My disappointments and discouragement caused my emotions to spiral into depression.
There are snags in the fabric of my life that have gotten caught on trials and tribulations. These include such things as anxiety, anger, and unforgiveness. The Lord began to teach me how to stand against these things the enemy brings into my life by wearing the armor of God and learning to use my five senses in godly ways.
Prophets of old had their dark nights of the soul. Jeremiah was once so discouraged he said, “I wish I had never been born” (Jeremiah 15:10 CEV). God was his only source of hope to lead him to the light of a new day.
When King David was depressed, he wrote: “I’m slipping down a dark slope, shaken to the core, and helpless” (Psalm 109:23 TPT). However, he added five verses later, “All their efforts to destroy me will fail, but I will succeed and be glad” (vs. 28). Thank God, David continued to lean on the Lord as he struggled through difficult seasons.
Although David bounced from one extreme emotion to another, experiencing highs and lows, he was called “a man after God’s own heart.” (see Acts 13:22). He depended on the Lord to pull him out of the depths of discouragement. I laughed when singer, songwriter, and minister, Mark Lowry, said if Prozac had been available in David’s time, we would have never had the book of Psalms.
After our Savior’s resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit to take us through basic training, so we could win our battles. We have the Bible as our textbook to teach us how to live a victorious life.
Jesus left us a cradle of peace for R and R (rest and recuperation). The Holy Spirit came as our Comforter—a blanket of warmth to wrap around our souls. When we’re besieged, we can be as calm as a baby at his mother’s breast.
As we follow in the steps of the Lord, He leads us through our struggles to higher ground. Look up. Help is on its way. Climb on board with Jesus for the ride of your life.
We weren’t ushered into the land of Shangri-la when we became Christians. We became prime targets for Satan in an all-out war. The prince of darkness considered nothing too despicable to use as a weapon to destroy our relationship with Jesus, the Prince of Peace. And no doubt, the enemy’s most vicious attacks have been against God’s strongest believers and those with the greatest potential.
In Arizona in 1991, scientists completed what was known as Biosphere 2, a three-acre enclosed capsule with the major components of a mini-world. Their purpose was to create an environment to see if man could exist in a similar dome in outer space.
The trees inside grew quickly but collapsed before they matured. Scientists discovered the trees failed to survive because there was no wind to develop what they called "stress wood."
The Greek word for "spirit" means "wind" or "breath." At times, the Lord allows the winds of adversity to broadside us. Thankfully, he teaches us how to deal with the stresses that come with those powerful winds. Rather than toppling, our deep roots in God’s Word hold us steady so we can continue to stand tall. It’s likely we’d never know the strength of our faith if we were never tested.
Throughout the ages, the enemy has bombarded God’s people with assaults of disappointment, discouragement, and depression. These can be a slippery slope into depression. But the Lord knew we’d be attacked and made sure we were equipped to win our battles against them. The following scripture gives us encouragement: "Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies." God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one who is in the world "(1 John 4:4 CEV). The Lord provided armor as a defense against our enemy, Satan, to keep him from destroying our faith and making us stumble and fall in our walk with the Lord. Keep following for more input from my up-coming book, "Ditch the Dirty Ds."
Though we didn’t witness the Christmas star 2000 years ago, we always have Jesus as our Bright and Morning Star. He was born as baby to make it possible for us to be born again.
The wise men brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh--fit for a king. We can bring Him our lives, purified by fire and come forth as pure gold. Our prayers are as frankincense to go up before the throne room of God as sweet incense,
We come as anointed with myrrh as a symbol of death to self and alive to Christ. What are you bringing Jesus for His birthday?
After I've backfired, sputtered and coughed, I sometimes wish God would hit the recall button on my life.
But since the Creator of the Universe made man out of dirt, I'm sure he can tidy up a messed up life. Then we can come to Him with clean hands and a pure heart.
Each of us is unique—designed for a special place the Lord has for us in the body of Christ. “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay for special purposes and some for common use?
Make the commitment to God to allow Him to continue to work on you. Remember He has a special design and purpose for each of us—to become more than we ever dreamed possible.
Raising Hands Releases Feel-Good Emotions
Raising our hands releases feel-good emotions in our brain. As believers, we typically raise our hands for three reasons.
Raising Hands Reason #1:
We lift them as a sign of surrender when we admit we cannot save ourselves and we cannot direct our own steps. Raised hands is the universal symbol of surrender.
Raising Hands Reason #2:
We also raise our hands to receive from God whatever He has planned for our lives. Even when the enemy attacks us with pain and sorry and we receive things we don’t want or expect, and we accept them without grumbling or complaining, we are blessed. We place our trust and take our stand that “all things work together for good, for those that Love the Lord, and are called according to His promise” (Rom. 8:28).
Raising Hands Reason #3:
The third and most important time to raise our hands is when we are praising God. Quite possibly, is won’t be for what is going on in our lives, but rather that Almighty God is still in control.
Conclusion: Raising Hands Helps Win the Battle!
We are also confident that what the devil plans for evil, God can always use for good. It may help us establish faith, trust or perseverance. But we always win the battle when we keep our eyes focused on God, rather than staring disparagingly at our problem or circumstance.
The huge waves we encounter on this lifeboat to eternity may feel like we’re in a raging storm.
1.We pray for the strength and agility to navigate the twists and turns we encounter in a sea of
2. Pray for the Lord to be with us.
3. We're not to throw up our hands and quit.
4. Ask for the strength and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
5. Pray for the winds of the Spirit to blow us into a safe harbor.
Make the decision now to hold steady before storm clouds begin to gather
The Lord commissions us to be the salt of the earth. Salt, as we know it, is made up of tiny, seemingly insignificant granules that make bland foods quite tasty. In a similar way, when we add sprinkles of compliments and encouragement to our conversations, bland relationships become “tasty.” “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6 esv).
The taste of food is enhanced when spices are added to give it flavor. We are to also add flavor to the lives of others. Scripture explains our purpose: “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?” (Matthew 5:13 msg).
Our lives become a blessing when God uses us to add flavor to other’s lives. I was asked to join a couple of believers who visit an assisted living facility each week. I agreed to go with them once. Joining them was not a top priority, but I reluctantly tagged along. One man plays the guitar. The other person and I joined him in singing happy songs and praying for the residents.
It made an impact on me when I saw the residences faces light up when we entered their rooms. Some sang with us. A number of them reached out to hold our hands when we prayed for them. Compassion swept over me when I realized how long the hours must seem as they lie there staring at the ceiling day after day.
I was shocked when they seemed amazed we took the time to visit. Most of their countenances brightened when we acted as if we cared. Some clapped their hands. Most all of them expressed sincere gratitude because we came to encourage them. It was a profound reminder that life is not all about me. Forgive me Lord, for my insensitivity. Yes, I plan to go again.
Salt acts as a preservative. Reaching out to others is a way to show God is at work in our lives. It helps preserve their faith in God and man.
Copyright Louise L Looney 2016-2022
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