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How to Reduce Your Times in the Pit

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I am such an emotional yo-yo! Because of my propensity to be so easily moved by feelings, I often find myself in or at the edge of a pit. So much so, that Psalm 40:1-3 has become one of my life passages.

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (KJV)

The Lord impressed upon me to memorize and meditate on these three verses—to get them inside of my core being early on in my Christian walk. He knew how vital they would be for my well-being. He didn’t want me to live in a pit, even more than I did!

I can still quote it verbatim 30+ years later.

Why am I telling you all this? Because whether or not you are very emotional like me, you will find yourself in dark periods at times in your life. I’m here to help you know how to get out and better yet—prevent you from falling in.

I want to reduce your times in the pit!

The key is in your relationship with God and His Word.

Getting deep into God’s Word will keep you from falling deep into a pit!

At the very least you’ll be able to come out quicker, not lose hope, not perish in your affliction (Ps 119:89), and not waste your pain.

The Lord always uses the difficulties of life for a good purpose—perhaps He’s teaching us to rely solely on Him. Sometimes He may even allow us to stay in the dark longer, because He’s doing something that cannot be accomplished in any other way.

During those times when you find yourself teetering on the edge of a pit here are some practical tips to keep you from falling in (Note: many of these can also be used while in a pit):

  • Cry out to God at your first awareness of a negative attitude.
  • Immediately recall those things that you know to be true—especially about God. Speak them to your soul—out loud if possible.
  • Get into God’s Word. Read or listen to the Bible, a Christian broadcast, or praise music.
  • Force yourself to praise and worship the Lord even when you don’t feel like it—because you won’t!
  • Think about and thank the Lord for all your blessings.
  • Be aware that it might be Satan trying to push you in.
  • If applicable, stop doing whatever is making it worse (like eating and watching TV).
  • Do something productive and God-honoring.

During pit times: Grab unto Jesus, your Rope of Hope, and apply the things above.

During good times:

  • Work on your relationship with God; increase your awareness of His presence. That will prevent many pit experiences!
  • Evaluate your previous times in the pit so you can be proactive (on guard), not reactive.
  • Remember how horrible it felt to be in a pit. This will motivate you to do the right things—like getting into God’s Word.

Usually, my pit experiences are my own doing—when I have shifted my focus off of God and His eternal purpose unto myself. But I think my frequent dark times in 2020, were at least in part, God’s plan for me. How else can I help other emotional yo-yos get out of their pits?! It lines up with my God-given purpose of using my emotionality to help others.

I’m in the trenches, and sometimes the pits, with you—pointing you to Jesus Christ, the Living Word and only way out.

So my friends, let’s help each other to reduce and redeem our times in the pit. Let’s make them count for God’s kingdom! More on that next time!

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long…. (Ps 70:14-15)

 

Helpful Resources:
How to Control Your Emotions God’s Way
How to Get Out of Our Pits
7 Tips to Help You Refocus During a Meltdown

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Are You Perishing in Your Affliction?

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All of us at times find ourselves in a pit, to one extent or another—when we feel like we’re not going to make it.

Are you perishing in your affliction?

You don’t have to be. King David often found himself in a pit (see Ps 28:1; 35:7; 40:2; 69:15).

So why could he say…?

“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” (Ps 119:92)

Isn’t God’s law just a set of rules? Dictates and precepts spoken and written by a prophet, just another person? Ah, but these are not just words. These (God’s laws) are the very words spoken by a loving, good, and faithful God!

At least nine times in Psalm 119 alone, David expresses that he delights in God’s Word. He had personally experienced the faithfulness of God. He had done his part by listening, reading, meditating and applying what God says (Ps 119:94). In just this one small section of Psalm 119:89-96, he says that God’s Word is:

  • Eternal and stands firm in heaven (v 89)
  • Trustworthy because God’s faithfulness endures to all generations (vv 90-91)
  • Life-giving (v 93)
  • Unforgettable (v 93)
  • Sufficient, never lacking (v 96)

Why can I, an emotional yo-yo, say…?

“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”

Because I, too, have personally experienced the faithfulness of God.

I remember the first time this verse became alive to me. My husband and I were in the middle of fighting cancer which eventually took his life. Ed was my soulmate. How could I ever live without him?! But then I remembered the Lord—the countless times He had come through in the small, big, and humongous trials; of how He had always helped me and sustained me with His grace. And had even given me joy despite the pain. My God will come through again.

And He has—with flying colors! He still does!

 

Why can I say…?

“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”

Because Jesus is the Word (Jn 1:1). Delighting in God’s Word is delighting in Jesus Christ Himself. These words became alive in me because they are The Living Word—Christ Himself. That’s why I am not perishing in my affliction. That’s why you don’t have to perish in your affliction either.

 

Can you say…?

 “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”

—even in the midst of whatever suffering you are currently experiencing? Are you perishing in your affliction?

My friends, if you cannot say this, would you like to?

 

You can say this…

By getting into God’s Word for yourself.  Not a verse here and there. But by listening, reading, studying, meditating, and applying God’s Word.

So my friends, will you commit this year and choose like King David by getting into God’s Word? When you do, you will find yourself delighting in God’s Word and in Him just as the Psalmist had, just like I have.

O taste and see that the LORD is good! (Ps 34:8)


Pray along with me…

Lord, I don’t want to perish in my affliction—in my current suffering of ________. Don’t let me be overtaken by my seemingly countless and never-ending trials. I choose You, Jesus, the Living Word! Your Word is eternal, an anchor for my soul–giving me hope not only for my future but also in the here and now.

I commit to seek You, to read Your precious life-giving words regularly; to think about them deeply so that I can apply them to my life. In so doing, I know You will prove Yourself faithful and true. Then I’ll be able to say and continue to say, with a grateful praising heart:

“Because I have delighted in Your Word I did NOT perish in my affliction!”

 

Scripture taken from New International Version (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide. 

 

How to Get Out of Our Pits

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I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. (Ps 40:1-3 NLT)

Are you in a pit? In a place where you are frequently or constantly in a negative frame of mind? 2020 has been one of the most difficult years I’ve experienced in a long time. And I know I am not alone.

When I’m in a pit I want to be rescued—immediately and with one fell swoop of the Lord’s hand. Don’t you? And sometimes God does rescue us that way. But sometimes you and I have to patiently wait and do our part to get out of our pits!

Before I go any further, I need to clarify my usage of the term pit. I am using it here broadly to include everything from severe depression to a period of sadness, discontentment, or discouragement in which you cannot seem to escape.

So, how do we do get out of our pits?

(Assuming you want to!)

By grabbing onto Jesus, our Rope, and holding on tight with all our might, as He pulls us out.

What does that really look like in everyday life? How do you and I actually grab unto the Rope of Hope?

First, understand that Jesus Christ is the Word, the Logos, which basically means the whole of Scripture, its message in its entirety.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Jn 1:1)

But there’s another often-used Greek word—Rhema, which means a specific utterance—a specific truth (e.g. Eph 6:17).

And these words are alive (Heb 4:12)!

Jesus, the Logos, utters Rhemas down to us. He speaks specific pertinent truths which we need to hear, take hold of (i.e. believe), and apply to where we are, so He can pull us out.

Jesus, the Living Word, our Living Hope is speaking living truths that will set us free!

 

As He pulls me out of the deep mire, I hear Him speak…

  • Kind words of comfort and love:

“I am the God of all comfort. I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (2 Cor 1:3; Jer 31:3)

  • Encouraging, life-giving words:

“You can hold on. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” (Phil 4:13)

  • Logical words:

“My truth is what will set you free. Your way doesn’t work. Try it My way.”

  • Strong words:

“Come on! Keep fighting! Keep your eyes on Me, the Author and Perfecter of your Faith (Heb 12:2). You will receive what I have promised if you don’t give up! (Heb 10:32-37)”

  • Sobering words:

“There’s too much at stake for you to give up! Don’t waste all that you have done! Don’t waste this pain!”

  • Pleading words:

“Do it for Me—out of your love for Me.”

And

  • “Whatever else I need in that moment” words

How can you hear these words for yourself? Simply by taking the time and making the effort to read and absorb God’s Word for yourself. The more familiar you are with The Logos (the whole Bible—not just a few verses here and there), the more easily you will be able to hear and grab onto His Rhemas, His specific truths for you, and be pulled out.

You and I may not be able to see Jesus now, but we can hear His pit-saving words.

There may be times, though, when you need someone else to help you hear—to point out what those specific relevant truths are. That may be a friend, teacher, pastor, or even a counselor. There’s no shame in that—only be sure that their advice is biblically-based.

So my friends, when you’re in a pit and can’t seem to get out, remember that Father God has let down a Rope of hope into your dark place. He is the Living Word, our Living Hope. Grab unto Him. Listen to what He is saying. He’s not letting go; He won’t let you down (literally), and will help you not to let go, even when it feels like you have no more strength left. Do your part like King David who said…

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. (Ps 63:8)

Then you’ll be able to say like him…

Here are some resources that will help you grab unto the Living Word of God:

Getting into the Word and Getting the Word into You Revive Our Hearts Podcast Series

How Do I Begin Reading the Bible? Living on the Edge Ministry

On My Father’s Lap: Drawing Near to Your Father in HeavenNew Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from New International Version (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide. 

I’ll Always Be an Emotional YO-YO and How I Deal with It

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I have to face it! I’ll always be an emotional yo-yo—up and down in what I’m feeling. I want to stay high or at least even-keeled, happy, and always at peace. But that’s an unrealistic goal for me—at least in this fallen world. I must learn to deal with it.

Maybe some of you are like me? (Perhaps we should form our own Yo-yo’s Anonymous group!)

I don’t like being so easily moved by my feelings. Nevertheless, that is the way God created me, and my Maker doesn’t make mistakes. Understanding my makeup was my first step in dealing with it—God’s way. I used to see my emotionality as a curse. Now I am wiser; my perspective has changed. The reality:

 It is both a strength and a weakness.

I am passionate, enthusiastic, and motivated. I get a lot of things done. I love and feel deeply. I am sensitive. I experience great joys and excitement.

Yet I easily get discouraged, hurt, disappointed, and flustered. Impatience is one of my biggest enemies. Depression comes knocking often. “Scaredy cat” is my middle name.

I could use my makeup as an excuse; rationalizing away poor responses. I could have a big pity party when I fail and stay in a defeated pit, or become prideful with success. I could retreat into my shell when hurt. I could make joy my ultimate goal and repeatedly flop.

OR

I can admit, accept and submit my tendencies for God’s purposes.

I can’t change what I feel, but I can change what I do.

I can respond by letting truth lead me instead of my emotions.

Without an awareness or admission of my propensities, I remain unguarded; vulnerable to satanic attack. Satan used to have a field day with me. Now I am aware of his conniving schemes (2 Cor 2:11). I truly don’t have to let my emotions control me; making me sin and reducing my impact for God’s Kingdom!

But I cannot do this on my own! I need the power of God and gratefully it is available (2 Cor 10:4-5, 2 Pet 1:3-4).

Under God’s control these tendencies can be used for His glory; under my control, they result in “yo-yoness.”

I am learning how to better manage my emotional state. My highs are still high, occur more frequently and last longer. My lows are not as low (usually), happen less often, and are shorter—IF I choose to submit myself to God and abide in Him consistently.

I am definitely more emotionally stable now. I have had significant victory in Christ over my emotions. But to think it’ll ever come naturally for me—that’s a pipe dream. I will always have to put out major effort—even fight—so as to not be overwhelmed and consumed by my feelings. I will always be a yoyo. But that’s ok because God loves me just the way He made me.

What are your propensities? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do some prayerful soul searching. You may not be an emotional yoyo, but be honest with who you are. Accept it and allow God to use your makeup for His glory. It is a much better way to live!

My friends, I originally published this blog in 2016. It’s content is so pertinent to the message of He’s So Worth It Ministries that I had to resurface it.

If you are an emotional person and have trouble in dealing with your feelings, may I encourage you to let me help you? I am going full force with offering emotions workshops and seminars. They have helped many women and I believe God wants me to help more of you. Please visit my How to Handle Your Emotions God’s Way page for more information.  

I’ll Always Be an Emotional YOYO and How I Deal with It

I have to face it! I’ll always be a yoyo—up and down in my emotional state. I want to stay high or at least even-keeled, happy, and always at peace. But that’s an unrealistic goal for me—at least in this fallen world.

Maybe some of you are like me? (Perhaps we should form our own Yoyo’s Anonymous group?)

I don’t like being so easily moved by my feelings. Nevertheless, that is the way God created me, and my Maker doesn’t make mistakes. Understanding that was my first step in dealing with it—God’s way. I used to see my emotionality as a curse. Now I am wiser; my perspective has changed. The reality:

 It is both a strength and a weakness.

I am passionate, enthusiastic, and motivated. I get a lot of things done. I love and feel deeply. I am sensitive. I experience great joys and excitement.

Yet I easily get discouraged, hurt, disappointed, and flustered. Impatience is one of my biggest enemies. Depression comes knocking often. “Scaredy cat” is my middle name.

I could use my makeup as an excuse; rationalizing away poor responses. I could have a big pity party when I fail and stay in a defeated pit, or become prideful with success. I could retreat into my shell when hurt. I could make joy my ultimate goal and repeatedly flop.

OR

I can admit, accept and submit my tendencies for God’s purposes.

I can’t change what I feel, but I can change what I do.

I can respond by letting truth lead me instead of my emotions.

Without an awareness or admission of my propensities, they remain unguarded; vulnerable to satanic attack. Satan used to have a field day with me. Now I am aware of his conniving schemes (2 Cor 2:11). I truly don’t have to let my emotions control me; making me sin and reducing my impact for God’s Kingdom!

But I cannot do this on my own! I need the power of God and gratefully it is available (2 Cor 10:4-5, 2 Pet 1:3-4).

Under God’s control these tendencies can be used for His glory; under my control, they result in “yoyoness.”

I am learning how to better manage my emotional state. My highs are still high, occur more frequently and last longer. My lows are not as low (usually), happen less often, and are shorter—IF I choose to submit myself to God and abide in Him consistently.

I am definitely more emotionally stable now. I have had significant victory in Christ over my emotions. But to think it’ll ever come naturally for me—that’s a pipe dream. I will always have to put out major effort—even fight—so as to not be overwhelmed and consumed by my feelings. I will always be a yoyo. But that’s ok because God loves me just the way He made me.

What are your propensities? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do some prayerful soul searching. You may not be an emotional yoyo, but be honest with who you are. Accept it and allow God to use your makeup for His glory. It is a much better way to live!

7 Steps From a Defeated Mindset to One of Victory: Part 1

Does this picture describe you most of the time?

Are you seeing life through defeated or victorious eyes?

I am so sadden by the number of people I meet that are living down-trodden lives—even Christians. Do you know people that always have this heavy sigh in their voice and countenance—like they’re carrying this oppressive load; a load from under which they will never get out? Perhaps that describes you. Don’t be dismayed. There is hope. As Jesus said:

“…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)

We don’t have to approach this Christian living with a defeatist or discouraged mindset. We are on the winning side through our Victor Jesus Christ. “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom 8:37). Jesus isn’t winning the battle; He’s already won it!

But sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, does it? Does it seem like you can’t:

  • Ever pray enough?
  • Be consistent with reading the Bible?
  • Stop worrying about_____?
  • Forgive that wrong done against you last week, last year, or even as a child?
  • Stop a sinful habit?

What you need is a new perception and perspective; a new way of thinking. How do I know that? Because God doesn’t desire for His children to live so heavily burdened (Mat 11:28-30). Where’s the abundant life in that?! If there’s ever incongruity between our way of thinking and God’s, then the problem has to be on our end—not His. God is perfect and never wrong. He is truth (Jn 14:6).

So here’s a key truth you must sink deep within your soul:

You will always fall short of being like Jesus this side of heaven!

That’s why you and I need the power of the Gospel day in and day out. We don’t have the power to save ourselves nor do we have the power to live a redeemed life. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. And He is very good at what He does. If only we would surrender our will to His!

Living the way God wants is not difficult—it is IMPOSSIBLE! Instead of feeling defeated, we should feel our desperate need of a Savior. Here’s how theologian Andrew Murray puts it:

“When we pray for the Spirit’s help [in whatever you are failing in], it will no longer be the fear that [it] is too great an effort for us. Instead, we will simply fall down at the Lord’s feet in our weakness. There we will find the victory and power that comes from His love.”**

This is the first step in living life with a smile instead of a heavy sigh. Take time to really ponder this truth. Do you believe it? Will you ask the Lord to renew your thinking so that you can be transformed into a winner?

Instead of failing in the Christian walk, live in victory by falling at the feet of Jesus; admitting your desperate need of Him!

Next time:

How to change this failure mentality into a victorious one. You don’t want to miss it!

Please pass this along to others that you know are living defeated lives. Thanks!

 

*Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.

**The Prayer Life by Andrew Murray, 22.

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