Learning to Walk with Jesus through the “Why”

Why is this happening to me?  WHY is this happening to me?  Why is THIS happening to me?  Why is this happening TO ME?  When painful things happen we are often left questioning “WHY?.”

Why does tragedy exist if God is a loving God? Why did this happen to me?  Why does God allow me to suffer? Why am I not able to move on from bad decisions of my past?  Why do people hurt me?  Why do I hurt people? Why am I selfish? Why are others selfish? Why do I hurt? Why?

Often this type of thinking leaves us looking for a response to questions that a human being can not completely answer.

When God created the world, He created it perfect and in His image.  When Adam and Eve sinned God was very clear as to what that would look like for mankind on earth from that point forward.

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God said to Eve:

“I will greatly increase your pains in child bearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

God said to Adam:

  • “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and dust you will return. “(Genesis 3:17-19)

Tragedy, pain and suffering are the result of evil (sin)

Evil/sin summarize the trauma, pain, death, crux, loss, and hurt of all of our earthly suffering and pain

God tells us that we will never be able to fully explain or understand the reason of our specific trails.

  • “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God allows suffering in our lives to expose the fullness of His character.  His love and mercy, His compassion and concern, His forgiveness and redemption, HIS GRACE.

John 16:33  We hear Jesus’ words of encouragement and comfort.  He says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus tells us that our peace for all of the suffering and pain that this world may throw our way is found in HIM.  He also tells us point blank and straight forward, ” In this world you will have trouble.”  He did not say “may have trouble”, “with any luck you will have a trouble free life”, or based on your good actions and intentions you will have less suffering and pain.”  Jesus tells us that indeed we will have trouble, but he does not stop there.  He tells us the good news of what he has done through HIS suffering and HIS painand HIS death.  “TAKE HEART!!!!!  I have overcome the world. ”  Oh what comfort and joy those words bring to a suffering heart.  Our Jesus has conquered our earthly strife and promises us the joys of ETERNAL LIFE through HIM.

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God allows suffering to bring us to the feet of Jesus our Savior

Today I spent some time reading about Hannah.  In Samuel 1:1-18, God tells us that Hannah was married to a man who had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah.  Peninnah was able to have children but the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb.  Not only did the inability to have children grieve Hannah but to make maters worse Peninnah would provoke and irritate Hannah.  Can you imagine,  not only having to share your husband but to have “the other woman”  give birth to the children which you so badly desired but where unable to have? Can you imagine, having your rival make fun, taunt, ridicule, provoke, brag, and be little you to the point of dispare.  The Bible tells us that this went on for years.  YEARS!!!!  Even Hannah’s husband became concerned with Hannah.  He asked, “Hannah why are you weeping?  Why don’t you eat?  Why are you downhearted?”  Hannah was in deep dispair.  Hannah suffered from depression.  Hannah was bullied.  Hannah had to share her husband.  Hannah was unable to have the childen she so desparately desired.  Hannah grieved.  It is evident that Hannah suffered loss, pain, and sorrow.

You see even people in the Bible experienced the same types trials, tribuation, pain and suffering  that we do today.  Are you struggeling with “WHY”?

Asking “why” creates an empty cycle of frustration and often leads to dead end answers.  “WHY” is the wrong question altogether and can lead you down the path into deeper into the pit you are screaming to exit.

The focus should not be on looking at the tragedy that happened, but on how to have a healthy response to tragedy. If tragedy consumes us then two tragedies result; not only will tragedy be an event, but it will also have the power to destroy us.  Not asking “why” something has happened allows us to move through suffering and come back stronger.

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Let’s look at how Hannah moved through her pain and suffering.  God tells us that Hannah went to the temple where Eli was the priest.  God says that Hannah, “In bitterness of soul wept much and prayed to the Lord.” We are told that Hannah was praying in her heart, that her lips where moving but no sound was coming out.   Eli the priest questioned Hannah and questioned her behavior.  Hannah told Eli about her pain, anguish and sorrow, and she explained to Eli that she was praying to the Lord.  Eli listened to Hannah and blessed her as she left the temple.  We are told that Hannah left the temple and was no longer deeply troubled.

Hannah acknowldeged her grief.  She took her troubled heart to the Lord.  She knew that the Lord knew her heart even if the words escaped her. She shared her grief with someone she trusted and Hannah looked forward.  Hannah chose not to focus on the diffulties of what was, but insted focused on what was to be.  Hannah did not focus on the “why”.

Moving through suffering requires that we do not get stuck on the “why”.  Why is there pain and suffering…………because we live in a fallen world.  Jesus tells us that indeed we will have trouble, but he does not stop there. He tells us that our peace for all of the suffering and pain that this world may throw our way is found in HIM.

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My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ if you are struggling, look to your Jesus.  DO NOT GET STUCK IN “WHY”.  Take your hurt to HIM in prayer.  Find someone that you can trust, seek professional counseling, and be patient and gentle with yourself.  “TAKE HEART!!!!!  I have overcome the world. ”  Oh what comfort and joy those words bring to a suffering heart.  Our Jesus has conquered our earthly strife and promises us the joys of ETERNAL LIFE through HIM.

Blessings,

Terri

Adapted from: Becoming Resilient How to Move Through Suffering and Come Back Stronger by Donna Gibbs

 

WORDS HURT

“Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

Research shows the truth is that words actually have long lasting and profound effects in the development of children and in relationships. Often times we forget that what we say matters. We live in a society that so frequently is filled with words that are negative, discouraging, and judgmental. In relationships, words of anger are fueled by unmet expectations and bring discontentment setting the relationship on the course of destruction.  As parents, words of disappointment and harsh rebuke can shatter a child’s self- esteem and make them feel unworthy of love.  Phrases such as, “Hey stupid”, ‘ What is the matter with you?”, “Can’t you do anything right”, “I hate you”, “You disgust me”, and “Don’t you know how to listen” are spoken to both child and partner alike.  These types of words can create messages of, “I am not worthy to be loved”, “I am worthless and have no value to anyone”, “I can’t do anything right”, that play over and over in person’s thoughts creating a negative self- image. God instructs us in Proverbs 15:1 that “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  Our God tells us there is a definite difference in the way others respond to soft and harsh words.  Soft words turn away wrath and harsh words stir up anger.  WOW!!!!
Just as words can tear down a person, words can build a person up.  God tells us in Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”  He encourages us to choose our words wisely and to use them to build each up.  We are to use words that help someone want to be a better Christian, stay clean and sober, perform better in a race, score higher on a test, be a better spouse, and teach our children that they are worthy of love and affection.  The words we use can bring healing to soul and body.  Something as simple as the words we choose can help a person heal both emotionally and physically.

Sticks and Stones can break bones.  Broken bones hurt and typically leave visible wounds. Usually time will allow the body to repair and the visible brokenness disappears. Contrary to the poem, words DO hurt and cause internal wounds which cannot be seen.  Healing from these internal wounds, internal brokenness, feelings of unworthiness, feelings of being unlovable and shattered self-esteem is sometimes very difficult.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” cannot be further from the truth.  Words Matter.  My prayer for each of us is that we take a moment and reflect on the message we want to convey and the words we choose to convey it.

May God Bless each of you and may your words be ones of encouragement and love.

Blessings,
Terri

 

My Insecurities Make Me Feel Not Good Enough

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

I want you to take a moment for self-reflection.  Take a moment and dig deep into your most inner self and consider how many times that you are really unkind to yourself, relentlessly comparing yourself to others.  Consider that in spite of how many times that you have heard you are loved you are convinced that that is not possible.  That somehow you just don’t meet the criteria to be loved by anyone.  We find our inner thoughts searching for evidence that we don’t stack up, that we are not living to our full potential, that we are just “not good enough.”

  • I am not good enough
  • I am not kind enough
  • I am not loving enough
  • I am the worst mom ever
  • I am the worst friend ever
  • I am the worst sibling ever
  • I am the worst child ever
  • Nobody could possibly like me because I am always sad
  • I am always angry
  • I am a terrible Christian.
  • People would be so disgusted if they saw my heart.

We find that our thoughts are filled with negative self-chatter.  These thoughts are often all consuming affecting our ability to function in our normal lives.  We find that we are stuck in a relentless circle of negative self-talk and cannot get off of the self-loathing merry-go-round of insecurities and feelings of not being “good enough.’  Is this you?

Take heart there is HOPE!

The struggle is real.  The struggle is a spiritual battle not an earthly character flaw.

IT IS A SPIRITUAL BATTLE

Make no mistake about it my friends, insecurities are a spiritual battle.  Insecurities are Satan sitting on our shoulder and whispering “sweet nothings” into our thoughts creating self-doubt and spiritual weakness. It is when we are feeling most vulnerable mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually that we must remember God’s clear command for us.  He tells us, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)  We are not alone in our battles against the evil one and his venomous infiltration into our lives.

Each day we must mindfully battle against Satan and his attacks on our spiritual health.   Each day we must put on the whole armor of God. The Armor of God, described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians is our spiritual defense against attacks by Satan.

 

THE ARMOR OF GOD

Armor of God

(Zavada, Jack. “The Armor of God.” ThoughtCo, Jul. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-armor-of-god-701508)

                Belt of Truth

The belt of truth holds up your spiritual pants so that you are protected against the attacks of Satan and his lies.  We expose the lies of Satan by comparing them to the truth of what God tells us in the Bible.  Deception is one of Satan’s oldest tactics.  Satan whispers into our thoughts doubts, creating self-doubt and            spiritual weakness.  The belt of truth places God’s word at the center of discernment protecting us from the lies of Satan.

          Breastplate of Righteousness

Our heart is susceptible to the wickedness of this world but our protection is our righteousness that comes from Jesus.  We cannot become righteous through our own good works. Let your Christ given      righteousness cover you and protect and strengthen your heart.

             Shield of Faith

Our shield of faith guards us against one of Satan’s deadliest weapons, doubt.  Satan shoots arrows of doubt when God does not act immediately or visibly.  Our shield holds because of the One our faith is in, Jesus Christ.

            Gospel of Peace

Satan scatters traps for us; the gospel of Peace is our protection, reminding us that it is by Grace that souls are saved.  The gospel of our salvation through Christ brings us peace.

            Helmet of Salvation

We are free from vain searching, free from meaningless temptations of this world, and free from the condemnation of sin.  The Helmet of Salvation to protect our thoughts and minds is crucial piece of armor

            Sword of the Spirit

The Sword of the Spirit is our offense.  This is God’s Word.  We can use it to strike against Satan.  When we are tempted by Satan’s lies we are able to counter his lies with the truth of Scripture.  The Bible is our best defense.

             The Power of Prayer

Keep that line of communication open with your Commander.  Satan hates it when we pray.  

It is by donning God’s armor that we find our strength each day.  We fight each battle as it arises and take each challenging moment one moment at a time.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember that the “not good enough feeling” is not a feeling at all, it is a view point.  That’s right it is not a feeling.  It is a point of view, a way of considering a matter.  Christ has deemed us worthy through His death on the Cross.  His Grace supplies us with a Holy view point, one filled with love and forgiveness.  Christ has changed our view point from condemnation; both eternal condemnation and condemnation of self to one of victory.  It is by placing Christ at the center we are able to rejoice in knowing our view point is one of victory over both eternal condemnation and over self-condemnation.

Be strong and courageous in your battle against insecurities and self-doubt.   The struggle is real.  Die to self, give up sinful ways, habits, thoughts, actions and put on the whole Armor of God.  Put on God’s armor and ready yourself for the fight against Satan’s negative chatter.    When Satan whispers “you are not good enough” You scream at the top of your lungs “You are wrong Satan.  You are wrong!  Be gone with you.  My Jesus has changed my point of view from condemnation to victory.”

I pray that God provide you with through His word the strength to face each day, each moment, each challenge with the view point of victory and strength.

Blessings my friends,

Terri

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Stress let’s break up

 

Strengthening our spiritual self will aid in producing strength, wisdom, knowledge and judgement needed in relation to stress and anxiety.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Stress and anxiety are at the center of so many of our lives these days. The combination of a fast-paced competitive society, our own internal struggles and fears, and the challenges presented by the economy, our families, our jobs, and day-to-day life leaves us feeling overwhelmed and on edge.

Anxiety is a reaction to stress.  Whether in good times or bad, most people say that stress interferes at least moderately with their lives. Chronic stress can affect your health, causing symptoms from headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep.

In the fast-paced culture we live in it can be easy to become discouraged.  Take heart there is HOPE!   God tells us that we should call onHim in our times of trouble.  Not only does He promise He hears us but he promises to answer us.  What do you do when you are in trouble? Do you worry? Do you complain? Do you take it out on others?  

Or do you pray? Psalm 120 shows us the best way. When in trouble, pray.  And the reason why is simple and yet at the same time so remarkable. God hears you when you pray. That’s what the psalmist says in verse 1: “I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.”  That is astonishing. When you pray, the God who created all things, the God who is bigger than the universe, hears you. He pays attention to you. He hears your every word. Never take that for granted. God hears you when you pray.  Through Christ’s death and resurrection we are assured of salvation-our ultimate HOPE. Our founded HOPE.  Our Eternal Hope.

THERE IS HOPE

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Strengthening our Spiritual self is essential when working to strengthen ones physical, emotional and mental healing. Strengthening our Spiritual self will aid in producing the strength, wisdom, knowledge and judgment needed in relation to stress and anxiety challenges.

We better manage our stress when we distinguish what we can control and what we can’t.  We all have a normal stress zone in which we function quite well.  Everyone’s zone is different.  Each of us has learned to cope within our normal stress zone.  When factors happen that push outside of our normal stress zone that’s when anxiety can happen. When this happens we need tools to feel more in control to our body’s response to stress.   “For God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power and self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

Where do we start our journey of  “breaking up” with stress and anxiety?  First, we tend to our Spiritual needs.  We take time to pray and meditate, we spend time in His word, and we reach out to fellow Christians for love and support.   We make it a priority to have a physical health check-up and tend to our emotional and mental health.  In addition we make sure that we make time for self-care, set healthy boundaries and make time to do things that bring relaxation. Today is your day to start your journey to a life that is less stressful and more peace filled.

Blessings my friends,

Terri