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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. 

More Tactics to Use AGAINST the Enemy of Your Soul

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Whenever you step out and start serving the Lord, Satan isn’t happy. He will try to discourage you. That’s what’s been happening to me.

My last few blogs have been on spiritual warfare and how to defeat our greatest enemy. I knew going in that I was going to jostle the hornet’s nest in writing them. Nevertheless, I had to obey Jesus, my Commanding Officer.

The point? Satan has been using one of his most effective tools against me–discouragement.

Any of you been there?

Even though I was guarded, and recognized that my melancholy of late was due to spiritual attack, I still couldn’t seem to shake it. Although I did have respites from the gloom it continued to return again and again and again.

Why, Lord, why? Am I sinning? Do I have unconfessed sin? Did Satan win another skirmish? These are all valid questions I asked. But do you know what I discovered?

In this case I didn’t lose the skirmish. I didn’t sin. Emotions in and of themselves are not a sin. It’s what we do with them that counts. In my sadness I did:

  • Turn to God
  • Speak His truth to my soul
  • Persevere and do what I needed to do.

Not perfectly, and only with His enabling grace, but I did the best I could with a heart to follow God.
That’s when my precious Lord gave me this new insight:

Discouragement/sadness is not my enemy it is a tool of the enemy.

Satan tries to make me sin; he tries to stop me from fulfilling my God-given mission. My battle is with him not my cloudy mood. If the blahs remain, but I keep doing what I know to be right (i.e. not sin):

It means I have won, not lost the battle! It means I have persevered!

And if I get relief from my melancholy, but it returns in short order, it’s simply just another attack from my enemy. (I have to remember my first blog in this series that the struggle is normal.)

Here’s another thing I realized:
I know why Satan has been attacking me a lot lately.

First, he’s annoyed that I’m revealing some of his tactics. Secondly, I am going full force with my workshops on “Handling Your Emotions God’s Way.”

Do you see the connection? I sure do!

I am an emotional yo-yo. It’s one of my vulnerable areas. Of course the devil will attack me more from this angle! I’ve seen that time and time again.

God is allowing these strong repeated assaults to:

  • Make me stronger
  • Help me identify Satan’s schemes quicker
  • Pass these new insights on to you
  • Keep me fully relying on Him

In what areas are you vulnerable?

Friends, sometimes Satan’s attacks are subtle. Sometimes they are intense frontal attacks. Sometimes they are repeated, fierce and unrelenting attacks—or a combination of them all!

I cannot and will not quit! I hope you won’t either!

Our biggest weapon is:

Greater is He [Jesus] who is in us [believers] than he [Satan] who is in the world. (John 4:4)

P.S. After writing this I don’t feel so blah anymore! Thank you, my Deliverer! But I must remain en-garde!

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.  

More Tactics to Use AGAINST the Enemy of Your Soul

Free Download

Whenever you step out and start serving the Lord, Satan isn’t happy. He will try to discourage you. That’s what’s been happening to me.

My last few blogs have been on spiritual warfare and how to defeat our greatest enemy. I knew going in that I was going to jostle the hornet’s nest in writing them. Nevertheless, I had to obey Jesus, my Commanding Officer.

The point? Satan has been using one of his most effective tools against me–discouragement.

Any of you been there?

Even though I was guarded, and recognized that my melancholy of late was due to spiritual attack, I still couldn’t seem to shake it. Although I did have respites from the gloom it continued to return again and again and again.

Why, Lord, why? Am I sinning? Do I have unconfessed sin? Did Satan win another skirmish? These are all valid questions I asked. But do you know what I discovered?

In this case I didn’t lose the skirmish. I didn’t sin. Emotions in and of themselves are not a sin. It’s what we do with them that counts. In my sadness I did:

  • Turn to God
  • Speak His truth to my soul
  • Persevere and do what I needed to do.

Not perfectly, and only with His enabling grace, but I did the best I could with a heart to follow God.
That’s when my precious Lord gave me this new insight:

Discouragement/sadness is not my enemy it is a tool of the enemy.

Satan tries to make me sin; he tries to stop me from fulfilling my God-given mission. My battle is with him not my cloudy mood. If the blahs remain, but I keep doing what I know to be right (i.e. not sin):

It means I have won, not lost the battle! It means I have persevered!

And if I get relief from my melancholy, but it returns in short order, it’s simply just another attack from my enemy. (I have to remember my first blog in this series that the struggle is normal.)

Here’s another thing I realized:
I know why Satan has been attacking me a lot lately.

First, he’s annoyed that I’m revealing some of his tactics. Secondly, I am going full force with my workshops on “Handling Your Emotions God’s Way.”

Do you see the connection? I sure do!

I am an emotional yo-yo. It’s one of my vulnerable areas. Of course the devil will attack me more from this angle! I’ve seen that time and time again.

God is allowing these strong repeated assaults to:

  • Make me stronger
  • Help me identify Satan’s schemes quicker
  • Pass these new insights on to you
  • Keep me fully relying on Him

In what areas are you vulnerable?

Friends, sometimes Satan’s attacks are subtle. Sometimes they are intense frontal attacks. Sometimes they are repeated, fierce and unrelenting attacks—or a combination of them all!

I cannot and will not quit! I hope you won’t either!

Our biggest weapon is:

Greater is He [Jesus] who is in us [believers] than he [Satan] who is in the world. (John 4:4)

 P.S. After writing this I don’t feel so blah anymore! Thank you, my Deliverer! But I must remain en-garde!

A Sure Fire Way to Get Out of the Doldrums

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I wrote this blog originally about 5 years ago, but these truths are timeless and worth revisiting. So here we go:

~~~~~

I’ve been feeling down a lot lately—not constantly, but too frequently for my tastes. One of the reasons has been chronic back pain. Being in pain has always been difficult for me. Can anyone relate? Plus yesterday I went to a funeral which always stirs up missing Ed, my dear husband now 4 years gone. On top of that we’ve had gloomy wet weather. Certainly I’m not the only one experiencing the blues today.

It’s ok to be sad once and awhile, but the Lord doesn’t want us to stay depressed all the time. Through the years my wonderful Lord has shown me how to encourage myself in Him.

There are many things He has taught me, but one way that always works in getting me out of the doldrums is:

To praise and worship Him!

This morning the Lord led me to reread my gratitude journal penned in 2010—my first year as a widow. Within its pages was a love letter to God. I have discovered that whenever I reread this letter, I am always lifted up. So it was no surprise that once again my faithful God came through!

The reason this works is because of truths in these verses:

“Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me…. He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (Ps 50:14-15, 23, emphasis added)

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Heb 13:15-16)

Praising and thanking God during difficult times is a sacrifice. It’s a laying down of our feelings on the altar as a way to express our love and worship to Him. It is His just due. After all, didn’t He sacrifice everything in order that we may be reconciled back into a right relationship with Him?!

Interestingly, by praising and thanking God during hardship, a way is made for God to reveal His deliverance out of the doldrums! (See Ps 50:23) Praising God pleases Him. And when God is pleased He likes to tell us—at least that has been my experience. 

So this morning, I was overwhelmed with the sense of His presence and pleasure in my choice to thank Him despite my physical pain and melancholy.

And in His presence there are pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11).

But you know what? Even if God didn’t lift my spirits, I would still try to praise Him—no matter how I may feel at any given moment. It is what He deserves. How could I not thank Him for redeeming my pitiful soul from hell?!

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies [which includes feelings] as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Rom 12:1)

~~~~~

So until next time, my friends, choose to praise God whenever you are down and watch your spirits rise.

The way up is found by lifting His name up.

 

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

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!

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