Strong Fortress

13 04 2010

“I will say of the L-rd, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my G-d; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!…You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.”

-Psalm 91:2, 5-6

“You need to remember you are ready for anything through Christ who infuses inner strength into you. Paul prayed for the Church at Ephesus to be strengthened with all might and power in the inner man (see Ephesians 3:16). He knew if they stayed strong inwardly, they would be able to handle whatever came against them.

When you trust G-d, you don’t have to be afraid of the devil’s sudden surprises that stalk you. He is your strong fortress. No matter what may come against you, you will not be defeated.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I think that an important detail here is who is the refuge. We acknowledge Him as our Savior and Covering and then He’s the one dealing with our fears and silencing them. It’s not about us getting over our fears; it’s the L-rd extinguishing them. I think the “you shall not” is a declaration over us and not an order. If we are committed to the L-rd that doesn’t always mean dear will completely be non-existent, it means that He will start making the anxiety disappear in the light of Him. That’s why I love the song that says: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” The more He reveals Himself and we come to trust in who He is, the less sense our fears will make. Some of my fears from the past seem completely ridiculous because G-d has liberated me by showing me more and more of Him. I used to fear death a whole lot and have terrible nightmares. Now, I don’t lie awake in fear about it. Certainly, I have fears that are still in my life, but the L-rd is at work.

Don’t feel like a terrible child of G-d (because you are absolutely normal) when you have fear, just know that G-d loves you and is ready to start working out the fear one day at a time.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Don’t Fret–Rejoice!

13 03 2010

“Rejoice in the L-rd always…again I say, Rejoice!…Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in…everything by prayer and petition,…with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to G-d.”

–Phil 4:4, 6

“Twice in this passage the apostle Paul tells us to rejoice. He urges us not to fret or have any anxiety about anything but to pray and give thanks to G-d in everything—not after everything is over.

If you wait until everything is perfect before rejoicing and giving thanks you won’t have much fun. Learning to enjoy life even in the midst of trying circumstances is one way to develop spiritual maturity.

Live in the fullness of the joy of the L-rd by finding something to be glad about besides your current circumstances. You must learn to derive your happiness and joy from the L-rd who lives inside you.

Decide you will not fret or have anxiety about anything but will give thanks and praise to G-d, rejoicing in Him always.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I think the biggest mistake we can make is to assume that just because we can’t see how G-d is working that nothing is happening. It’s so easy to fall into this and that is exactly what satan wants us to do. If he can make us feel stuck or ignored, we will spiral into fear, depression, and hopelessness. Every time you choose to believe the truth about G-d’s love and His activity, the lies and doubts as to G-d not coming through will seem more and more ridiculous. He cares about you. He’s in every detail of your life—He either causes it or allows it to happen. He cares for your good more than you do. In my experience, the best way to banish the lies and feelings of hopelessness is to be grateful in the small things…no matter how small the blessing may be, like the fact that you were able to have a Poptart for breakfast or the flowers in your yard were in bloom this morning or the dryer only ate one sock today…Start looking for the little things and the greater things will come in His time.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Expect the Blessings of G-d

20 01 2010

“Wait and hope for and expect the L-rd; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.” –Psalm 27:14

“Sometimes you may feel discouraged, miserable, and depressed. In those times you need to take a close look at what’s been going on in your mind. Isaiah 26:3 tells you when you keep your mind on the L-rd you will have “perfect and constant peace.”

By focusing on the goodness of G-d and waiting, hoping, and expecting Him to encourage you and fill you with His peace and joy, you can overcome negative thoughts that drag you down.

Think and speak positively. Begin believing right now that you are about to see G-d’s goodness in your life. Wait, hope, and expect His blessings to be abundant in your life.”

(Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

I think Joyce is right on about the importance of our words and thoughts. If I allow an anxious thought roll around in my mind, it only leads to me experiencing more fear and anxiety. If I talk about a situation that is causing me worry, it only causes me to worry more about it. A wise friend of mine once told me that it’s important not to give the voice a forum. We need to choose not to entertain the thoughts and to not give the worries power by speaking them out. The Bible tells us in 2. Corinthians 10:5: “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to the L-rd.” This verse implies an active, forceful step. We need to banish the thoughts and words that don’t give credit to the goodness of G-d. He truly is so good and kind, so we should live like that and believe that He gives us no reason to worry or fret. We need to claim this truth over and over again. Keep on pouring the Word into your heart and mind so then the worries and anxieties will seem ridiculous to you and you can dismiss them fast. This is no easy task. It’s a moment-by-moment surrender and faithful choice to believe in the goodness of our G-d.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Stop Worrying

21 05 2009

worry

“Stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life…who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?”

-Matthew 6:25, 27

“Many people worry about everything, including what they will or will not ear or wear, or what they will do if a particular situation occurs.

Most of us have enough clothes, adequate food, comfortable houses, and serviceable cars. But when things get tough and you are faced with situations that seem impossible, the devil says, “What are you going to do now?” The temptation comes to worry but that isn’t the answer.

G-d wants you to know that worrying doesn’t add to your life—in fact, it will surely shorten it if you make it a habit.

Your heavenly Father knows about all the things you need before you ask Him. So stop worrying and focus your attention on the one who is able to provide everything you need and more.”

-Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

 

All I have to say is wow. A wise friend of mine told me a while back that whatever you struggle with is often times your ministry. This may be because you can empathize. Also this may be because you have made some positive steps that could be an encouragement to someone else. Or maybe it’s simply because you won’t be likely to accept credit for any wisdom or success that you impart to someone else. I have to admit that although I can sometimes do a good job hiding it, I truly do struggle with worry. Honestly, I thought about not posting this one because I felt horribly incapable to share wisdom because currently I am fighting with worry. Maybe you are also struggling with worry, but be encouraged that you are not alone, there are many others struggling hard, like you and me. Remember the promises of G-d in these times of worry, such as Romans 8:28—“For we know that in all things, G-d works for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.”  If we truly believe this verse, then there is nothing to worry about. Everything in our lives is under the control of G-d and will be used for our good. In addition to holding onto the promises, recognize the blessings that are in your life. You may be worrying about a job or a relationship or a bill, but try to think of all the things in your life that G-d has taken care of and let that inspire you to hope for the resolution of your current struggle. If we allow ourselves to be wrapped up in our worry, we will miss out on all the little blessings that He wants to rain down in our lives. I wish I could deliver inspiring words, but all I can say is:  no matter how we feel, His promises will stand. Keep on pressing on, holding onto the truth and know I’m struggling right alongside of you too.

On the mend,

Mere