CAUTION – HOW TO GET OUT OF THE PIT

Have you ever fallen into the pit of despair, feeling deep sadness and hopelessness?  Have you ever dug a pit of despair? Are you in one now because of the pandemic? Thoughts of despair lead to depression and illness.  I remember when I found out my brilliant son was a heroin and meth addict.  My heart was broken beyond despair. The emotional anguish caused me to become crippled from muscle cramps.

I am reminded of the scene in the movie, “The Princess Bride,” when Wesley is taken to the pit of despair by the albino (you can Youtube the scene). Have you ever felt stretched beyond what you could bear, and your life was being sucked out of you from the stress of loss and hardships? What were you thinking?  To learn more about the power of thoughts, read What Controls Your Thoughts? and Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

How do you dig a pit of despair?

In my last post, I explained how difficulties and hardships are inevitable throughout our lives and maybe every day.  Hardships are supposed to make us stronger and increase our ability to persevere through hardships, thus, making us more patient and mature. Romans 5:3&4 states, “but we rejoice in our sufferings (tribulations, afflictions), knowing that suffering produces endurance (patience), and endurance produces (prove) character, and character produces hope.”  Ironically, we are to be happy for hardships because they create hope.  But instead, we think about what we don’t like and what is unfair, and we lose the hope for what we desire. So, we dig the mental pit of despair and writhe in the mud of sadness. The pit is where many people will commit suicide, so look out for those who are in despair, and give them hope.  Read my post about how to have hope:  HOPE: How it Motivates and Inspires BUT God’s Sovereignty….

Why do you fall into the pit of despair?

  1. Negative thinking helps you dig the pit of despair in your mind and will keep you there. Change your thoughts from negative to positive and you will see your way out of the pit.  POSTS on Thoughts
  2. You fall in the pit because of disappointment when you think you will never get what you want.
  3. Focusing on your loss blinds you, and you fall into the pit and remain there until you begin to claim the promises of God. 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

How do you avoid the pit of despair?

You already know—change your thinking. The best way to change your thinking is to replace your false beliefs with the truth of God’s Word.  Read the following Scriptures and record in your journal what mental changes you will make when going through hardships and you find yourself in the pit. Identify wrong thinking and false beliefs you may have in your particular hardship that needs to be loosed/put off from your mind. And then write out the truths in these Scripture passages to bind/put on to your heart and mind, to transform your wrong thinking and false beliefs.  To learn how to replace your thoughts, read Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul.

Matthew 6:33-34 states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34) Therefore, do not be anxious (worry) about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  (Read my post called, How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?)

1Peter 5:6-7 states, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”  (Pride keeps us in the pit because we have the false beliefs we have the right to be anxious and deserve to be miserable.)

Philippians 4:6-7 states, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 26:3 states, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.

Romans 8:18 states, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

2Corinthians 4:17-18 states, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18) as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Trusting God’s promises help you triumph over the hopeless thinking that comes with every hardship. The demonic world uses hardships to cause you to doubt God and pridefully live independently of Him. Everyone battles a prideful, self-centered, sinful nature. Hardships expose your pride, wrong thinking, and false beliefs.  To learn more about pride, read HOW PRIDE DESTROYS.

Conclusion:

The pit of despair and deep sadness is easy to fall into, so don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself in one. Your thoughts control how you feel, believe, and behave, so changing your thinking will keep and get you out of the pit. Instead of thinking negative thoughts, think on the positive truth found in God’s Word.  I remained in the pit of despair and depression over my son’s addiction problem for over a year. I got out of the pit when I changed my thinking and put my son in God’s care and prayed for Him to fulfill His purpose for my son’s life.  I had a positive vision of Jesus being with my son as He leads him out of the pit of addiction.  When looked up to God and changed my thinking, I was no longer crippled by muscle cramping.  What thoughts do you need to change?  What lies do you believe that is keeping you in the pit of despair? Look up and seek God’s help.

You have hope for complete healing as you transform your thinking and painful memories.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

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Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two)

Have you seen transformation shows on TV? Isn’t it amazing how they transform people, houses, yards, and furniture?  I refinished a lot of furniture in my time, and the part I hated most was stripping off the old paint.  But it was worth the effort when the project was completed.  Renewing your mind is a similar process.  The mind determines what you think, perceive, feel, and believe, which then influences your decisions and behaviors.  So, when you renew your mind you are transforming your life.

First, gather your supplies, in the case of renewing your mind, you must make sure you have God’s forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.  Read part one if you haven’t already;  Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One)

Next, find out what you are dealing with, ask God to search your heart and mind to show what sinful and wrong thoughts control your behavior (Jeremiah 17:10; Revelation 2:23; Psalm 139:23-24).  Write them down so you know what to tackle first.  To make this job easier, you need to remove pride first, read  The Core Negative Heart Issue

The two tools you need are Scripture and prayer.  The prayer tool is the binding and loosing principle.  Matthew 16:19b and 18:18 states, “whatever you bind (Greek meaning: knit, tie, fasten) on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (Greek meaning: release, destroy, put off) on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  You loose wrong thoughts the same way you loose and remove rust and old paint, then you bind on truthful thoughts the same way you put on a new coat of paint.  To learn more about authority in prayer read; Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

Ephesians 4:22-24 explains the instructions, put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (lusts), and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Corrupt in this passage means perverted, which deviates from what is right, natural, or true.  Deceit is the act of representing as true what is false; a lie; a trick.  Lust is an intense desire to gratify the senses; bodily appetite or pleasure.

Do these three exercises to renew your mind and transform your life:

  1. Put off fleshly desires (sin nature).  “For the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (see Romans 8:7-8).  Gal 5:19-21 states, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Colossians 3:5-7 tells us to, “Put to death (crucify); therefore, what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  6) On account of these, the wrath of God is coming.  7) In these, you too once walked, when you were living in them.”  We have divine power to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus (see 2Corinthians 10:3-5). Begin by removing one sinful, wrong thought at a time.  Next, put on the corresponding characteristic of the Holy Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness/meekness, faithfulness/truthfulness, and Self-control found on my website.
  1. Put on your new self, which is the image of God, righteous and holy.  Review Ephesians 4:23-24 above.  Colossians 3:10 also states, “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (Jesus).”  Wow!  Our new self is in the likeness and image of Jesus, and we are righteous and holy (see Eph. 4:24)!  Our new self does not automatically happen in one instance, but we transform one thought at a time by renewing our minds with the truth of God’s Word.
  1. Now live according to the Spirit by setting your mind on the things of the Spirit, which is truth.  Just as you live, abide, and spend time in your home, live, abide, and spend time in God’s Word.  Read my post called; Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

John 8:31-32 states, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Also, John 15:7 tells us, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”  What a great promise.

Romans 8:13-14 states, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and daughters] of God.

Gal 5:16 states, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”  Live and walk according to the Spirit by showing His fruit in your life. – Galatians 5:22-24 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24) And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  You keep your mind on the Spirit by turning every thought into a prayer, praising Him, and pondering Scripture.

You also need to renew your painful memories, explained in my book on my website.  Also, on my website is a worksheet for each characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit.  Each worksheet lists wrong thoughts, beliefs, right thoughts, and transformational truth statements.

I hope the information in this post helps you to be victorious over sin and addictions.  Renewing our inner self is a day by day process.  There is hope for complete healing and victory as you submit your mind to God and His truth in His Word.  I appreciate your comments because I like to learn from others.

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Begin reading my book: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Bondage to Unseen Controls

What are the unseen controls that keep us in bondage?  Do you feel hopeless to overcome the things that seem to control your decisions?   For me, I felt hopeless to control my reaction of anger and anxiety.  I also felt hopeless to control my sugar addiction.  As I work with incarcerated girls at the county jail, they tell me of their hopelessness to control their bondage to drugs and alcohol.   There are many unseen controls influencing us, such as our painful memories from offenses and demonic activity influencing our thought life.

We have a choice to submit our thought life to God or to the devil.  My series of posts on Psalm 91 contain helpful information on how to overcome the bondage and unseen control of the demonic activity around us.  I will be honest; this topic can sound scary.  The reason the unseen demonic world is scary is because we lack understanding.  Our lack of understanding causes us to feel helpless and hopeless to control what happens.  My posts on Psalm 91, explain how to overcome the unseen control of demons and not be afraid:  Psalm 91 posts.

There are two extremes people take concerning Satan and demons. One extreme is to ignore the fact that the unseen demonic world (see Ephesians 6:12) can tempt and influence us.  The other extreme is the Christian who has a fearful preoccupation or fascination with Satan and his unseen kingdom of darkness. The writer, C. S. Lewis, also said there are two wrong extremes, which are to deny the existence of evil spirits or to see them everywhere.  To understand the spirit world better, read the following post: Four Realities of the Spirit World

The Bible, which is the Word of God, is the authority on the unseen demonic world.  Ephesians 6:10-15 tell us how we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  Ephesians 2:1 tells us that the devil is the ruler of this world.  It is in our best interest to understand how the demon’s work in our lives. When I share this reality with the precious ladies in my county jail Bible study, they are fill with hope that they can be free from the bondage they are in.

I am now editing a book describing the schemes the unseen demonic world uses to put thoughts in our minds that cause relational damage with God and with others.  I hope to publish it soon. I am researching publishing options.  If anyone has any advice for me, please share.

The second source of unseen control in our lives is from our past experiences.  I have overcome many unseen controls in my life, especially strongholds, and I share my message of hope in the book on my website.  My book explains a successful method to overcome the bondage of the unseen control from our painful memories.  Painful memories are created when we take offense to someone’s perceived or actual wrong actions toward us.  I explain the effects of painful memories in my book and how to heal them.  I give this book to the precious ladies I meet at the county jail, and I have seen marvelous results. To learn more about how offenses destroy us and our relationships and how to overcome them, read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.  I invite you to read my short book of hope starting here: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories.

 

What Controls Your Thoughts?

Just like this waterfall, we are constantly thinking, but where do our thoughts come from?  We know thoughts control our behavior, but what controls our thoughts?  If we can control our thoughts, then we can control our behavior.  I have been pondering this question for several years, and I came up with five scenarios of what controls our thoughts and where they come from.

The first scenario: Does knowledge affect our thoughts?  For instance, I know that eating certain foods create health problems, yet I mindlessly eat them.  Why?  Apparently, knowledge does not control our thoughts, but they should.  However, paring knowledge with a feeling will affect our thoughts and decisions.  For example, I knew corn was not good for me to eat, but I loved eating tacos and corn chips with salsa.  It wasn’t until I associated eating corn products with my severe joint and back pain that I changed my thinking.  Now when I see anything with corn, I have no desire to eat it because I associate pain with this knowledge.  To learn more, read my post about becoming free from infirmity.  Or, you may have knowledge that so-and-so lies, but it means nothing to you until that person deceives you, and you associate feelings of distrust to that knowledge.

The second scenario: Words and images create and control thoughts because they create and control our feelings, both good and bad.  Feelings then create memories, that then create beliefs and the corresponding behavior.  For example, when you see a beautiful sunset or hear beautiful music that makes you feel good, you will remember it.  And for instance, watching the news, a movie, or a TV show that causes you to feel happy or sad, security or fear, peace or anxiety, etc., which then cause those thoughts to become a memory.  For example, I watched a movie where two women were abducted, and bad things happened to them.  After watching this movie, I became fearful of being abducted. This fear was irrational because the fear was not credible. See the post about becoming free from anxiety to learn more.  And how I became free from anxiety disorder; Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

The third scenario: Unseen spirits putting thoughts in our minds, which then direct our feelings, beliefs, and behavior.  You may have seen the image of a devil figure on one shoulder and an angel figure on the other shoulder.  The devil figure is telling you to do something bad, and the angel figure is telling you to do something good.  You can’t say, the devil made me do it, to avoid punishment because all thoughts are within our control, which I will explain in another post. This scenario may sound funny, but I have studied these phenomena and have written a book (now editing) about this topic.

The fourth scenario:  Do our habits indirectly create thoughts?  Have you driven somewhere and out of habit you turn at a certain place even though you did not intend to turn there?  How often do we automatically or mindlessly do things out of habit?  Habits can be beneficial, i.e., brushing your teeth or harmful, i.e., not brushing your teeth.  Because bad habits generate automatic responses to do something harmful, they need to be reprogrammed.  For example, I have a bad habit of eating candy from the candy dish at work.  I know this is not good for my health or weight (scenario one).  So why do I do it?  Some bad habits are controlling addictions, e.g., smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, watching too much TV, eating too much food, etc.  Read my post on becoming free from addictions to learn more.  The next time you automatically do something, ask yourself the question, why?  And, “Is this what I really want to do?”  “Is this good and beneficial?”

The fifth scenario:  Do our thoughts come from subconscious memories?  I can testify that this is true.  Conscious and subconscious painful memories generate poor behavior when triggered by the current feelings.  Read my post about memories to learn more.

I would love to know what your thoughts are about thoughts.

Also, read my short book to learn how to transform thoughts: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

A false or unhealthy belief is a lie about the true nature of reality about us, life, and God. For example, if you believe you are not worthy of love, you believe a lie. These lies come from words spoken over us and from memories of offenses done against us. For example, I grew up in a very dysfunctional angry “Christian” home, and I developed a lot of false beliefs about myself, other people, life, and God. I share my story in more detail in the following post: My Story.

The following nine categories of unhealthy, destructive beliefs distort the way we view everything in life.

1. I am unlovable. I am insignificant. I am flawed.

2. I am hopeless. I am worthless. Life is hopeless.

3. Something bad will happen. The future will be like the past. I’m not OK.

4. Something must change right now for me to be OK.

5. People will take advantage of me. People are too sensitive.

6. I am bad. I am not good enough. I am unforgivable.

7. People are out to get me. I must be in control. It’s not fair.

8. People must think well of me for me to be OK.

9. I can’t do it. I am not capable. Others should do it for me. It’s not fair.

The Healing Codes Manual by Loyd and Johnson, p. 55

We internalize these unhealthy, false beliefs at a subconscious level.  And, they cause us to live in self-destructive ways. There are many self-destructive behaviors, such as cutting, alcohol and drug abuse, uncontrollable anger, self-debasing comments, anxiety, etc.  The beliefs mentioned above may result in addictions to cover over the painful feelings these beliefs generate.  To learn more about addictions, read my post called Addiction Strongholds. Unhealthy beliefs also create stress in our bodies that lead to illness and disease, which is explained in detail in my book on this website.

Do the following to uncover your unhealthy beliefs.  First, pay attention to your thoughts and reactions and write down strong emotional reactions. Second, ask God to show you the unhealthy belief(s) that is generating your wrong thinking in your reactions.  Third, trace backward from negative fruit in your life, and prayerfully ask God to show you the answer to the following question, “what is the root of this fruit?”

Wrong thinking creates negative feelings, which directs unloving, destructive behavior so ask God to show you the link.  Also, look for a link to a trauma memory, offense, and word curses because they also create unhealthy belief(s).  Some examples of word curses are: “I will probably fail. I will most likely end up in divorce. Nobody likes me. All politicians are evil. A godly person can’t succeed in business.” Have you thought these?  He will show you so you can then remove it through prayer and repentance, which I explain how on my website, 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Reading self-help books will also reveal unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking.  I especially like the book called “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.  I encourage you to read my adapted summary of the right beliefs and thoughts we should have according to Mr. Covey.  Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Read each of the Issues Worksheets to learn about other subconscious unhealthy beliefs we can have and the truth to replace these unhealthy beliefs.  LOVE Issues, JOY Issues, PEACE Issues, PATIENCE Issues, KINDNESS Issues, GOODNESS Issues, TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues, MEEKNESS, HUMILITY, AND GENTLENESS Issues, and SELF-CONTROL Issues.

Read, who God is and what you can be thankful for to replace the lies you believe about God and yourself.

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Many of the women I minister to feel there is no hope for overcoming their situations. And sadly, I often meet women who are put in jail right after having a baby that tested hot for drugs. Equally sad are the women whose children have been taken away from them, which drives them to use drugs and alcohol to escape that emotional pain. These women feel defeated and hopeless. When I asked them why they use, 99% of them say it is to avoid feeling emotional pain. They know the drugs and alcohol takes them further away from the life they desire. But they feel they have no inner strength to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. Their hearts are full of emotional pain from unloving acts from those who should have loved them. Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have a love hunger that they are trying to satisfy with everything but the true source of love.

You may not have a drug or alcohol problem, but if you are honest, you also have some mechanism for escaping inner pain (e.g., binge eating, shopping, watching TV/movies, workaholism, etc.) For example, I was a workaholic, and my accomplishments helped me feel good, which concealed the pain in my heart. I also felt helpless to control my anger when I was offended. As a result, I believed I was unlovable and worthless. I have good news; with God’s help, I was able to transform my unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts with His truth.  Read about my transformation here.

The following five facts have helped the women in jail have hope to achieve lasting peace, love, and victory.  I pray they help you as well:

1. Know the source of offenses that steal your peace, love, and sense of worth.

a) Taking an offense to something is when you feel resentment for something done or said which often causes hurt feelings or displeasure. These resentments build up in our hearts throughout our lives.

b) The demonic powers around us are destructive forces in our lives. In Ephesians 6:12 it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Also see Eph. 2:2; 2Cor. 4:4.

c) The Bible says that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). The lies we believe cause us to be offended, which results in resentment and hate. For example, my oldest son believed the lie that I hated him because I disciplined him. He believed the lie that my discipline was abusive, therefore, he says he hates me. I can’t change what he believes because resentment is consuming, and the demons keep it stirred up in him to keep him in bondage to these destructive thoughts.

d) The demons want to keep you defeated by destroying your peace, self-worth, and ability to feel loved. Children are their favorite target because they are so vulnerable, then as adults we wonder why we have so many offenses in our hearts, also called unresolved childhood issues. Feeling unloved and offended can lead to various destructive actions and addictions, which result in feeling more defeated.

For instance, when I am offended and get upset, I desire to binge eat, especially chocolate, or I get angry and tell the person off. Both responses are destructive; binge eating is destructive to my body and anger destroys my relationships. We can choose to respond with peace and love, which may sound impossible. Choosing a non-destructive action requires us to constantly check our thoughts and control them, though I still need to improve. Awareness of how we are offended is the first step.

2. Know your source of help to resist the demonic attempts to destroy you.

a) Jesus knows what it is like to suffer demonic attacks and temptations. He overcame the devil and defeated the enemy of our souls and can help us overcome (see Hebrews 2:17&18; Heb. 4:15&16; and 1 John 3:8).

b) To receive this help, we need to put off the pride of being self-focused and the lie that we don’t need Jesus.  Then, humbly ask Him by faith to transform our lives. When we do this, then we will be rooted and grounded in His love and nothing can separate us from His love (see Ephesians 3:17; 1 John 4:9-10; and Romans 8:35-39). Also, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit who is our helper (see John 14:26; 15:26; and Romans 8:24-27).  To learn more about pride, read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

c) After receiving Jesus into our hearts and submitting to God, which is to obey Him, then we will have all the divine promises in Christ Jesus. We will also have his divine nature and power to have lasting victory over all our issues and addictions. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4) For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” We tap into this divine power by faith through prayer and believing. We do not see the divine power in us, but we know it is there by faith and that it is ours through prayer.

3. Know the true source of love, peace, and victory.

a) God will always love us, and He gives us His worth. (See Colossians 3:12). He is our only source of love; not our parents, not our boy/girlfriends, not our family, not our spouse; no one can love us as God does. Our love is flawed because each of us has wounds and hurts (offenses) from the sins and weaknesses of those around us.

b) God is our only source of peace. Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him/her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he/she trusts in You.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “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.” (Also see 1 John 5:4) The key to lasting peace is to keep our minds on God through continual prayer.

c) God is our only source of victory over the demonic world; James 4:7,8 says, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Victory occurs when we submit to God and resist the devil through prayer and standing firm in our faith.  Victory also requires that we remove sin from our lives. Also see 1 Peter 5:8,9a.

4. Know the truth and pray the truth to stay in perfect peace, love, and victory.

a) Our responsibility is to keep our minds on the truths of the Word of God and remain with Him through prayer. As we stay in prayer, we will be victorious over the many temptations to believe the devil’s lies and become offended (see John 15 and Colossians 3:1-3). But first, we need to humbly confess our sins through prayer and seek God for forgiveness (see 1 John 1:9). You see, sin blocks our prayers and God will not hear our prayers because He is Holy (see Is. 59:2).

b) If we keep our minds on our problems and what we don’t like, then we will be worried, fearful, angry, depressed, etc. So, when you find yourself focused on a problem or an offense, then turn it into a prayer of repentance and submission to regain your peace, love, and victory. For example, we can get upset with a family member for the things they did or said or how they said it, and it can consume us. But when we turn the problem over to God and trust Him with it, then we will be filled with peace and love again. I have also found that being thankful keeps me in peace. As you know, when you don’t feel peace in yourself, you are not at peace with others around you.

c) Our prayers and words have power and we can take every thought captive in the name of Jesus and command them to be gone. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh (live in the world, NIV), we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (this world), but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (strongholds). We are destroying speculations (arguments) and every lofty thing (pretensions) raised up against the knowledge of God (truth), and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Taking our thoughts captive is critical to have lasting victory over our destructive emotions and actions.

5. Lastly, remove the many offenses in our hearts through prayer and forgiving.

a) Offenses hinder love but purifying out hearts by removing offenses allows us to feel love and to love others. Purifying our hearts begins with obeying the Word of God, that is, to do what it says. 1 Peter 1:22 states, Having purified your souls (heart, mind, and conscience) by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” We can love with a pure heart when our soul wounds are healed as outlined in my healing booklet found in my website (hopeforcompletehealing.com).

b) One of the truths we need to obey to be victorious over offenses is to forgive those who offended us. Then to put off the lies we believed. (See Matthew 6:12; Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32). Our unforgiveness perpetuates the inner pain we feel and keeps us in bondage to it. We will never have lasting peace, love, or victory if we do not forgive.  If you find it hard to forgive, read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

I hope you found these five facts helpful and know that lasting peace, love, and victory is possible. In my website, I list many truths concerning key character traits to help you replace the devil’s lies with truth. I encourage you to  look at these and be blessed.

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Escapism; Protected by Strongholds of Loneliness and Discontentment

#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

 

 

Escapism; Protected by Strongholds of Loneliness and Discontentment

When we don’t feel loved, we feel lonely.  Every living person has felt lonely at one time in their lives. Some of us feel lonely all the time. It is my experience and observation that loneliness comes from a love deficit, both in receiving love and giving love, but more than that, it is a lack of felt love.  The loss of felt love often happens when there is a death or divorce.  It also happens when a person is in or from a dysfunctional or abusive home that lacked felt love.  Moreover, we were created by God to be loved and to love, and when love is missing, we feel empty and alone, like an empty building, and we want to escape.

Loneliness is often accompanied by depression, which is a feeling of sadness and dejection.  Many married couples feel lonely because they do not know how to love well.  More often than not, one or both partners have not experienced a healthy love, which carries over into their marriage, and is passed down to their children. We marry looking to feel loved but when one or both have no love to give, therein lies the beginning of a dysfunctional relationship and a dysfunctional family.  The unmet desire to be unconditionally loved makes us want to isolate ourselves and to suppress our desire. We often isolate ourselves by escaping into drugs, alcohol, work, shopping, entertainment, sports, etc.

If you have not experienced healthy love, you may have a stronghold of loneliness that keeps you in bondage to unhappiness and depression. The stronghold of loneliness also protects the stronghold of discontentment.   If you are unfamiliar with double strongholds, please read the following post first: STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

Discontentment, according to Webster, is to lack contentment; to be dissatisfied; to have a restless desire for something more or different. To be content is to be satisfied with what one has and is not disturbed by a desire for something more or different.  Discontentment also happens when we have unrealistic expectations. The stronghold of discontentment protects the authority seat of escapism; that is, the desire to escape from our loneliness and discontentment through many different means. Some of the means of escape are: drinking alcohol, using drugs, watching TV, spending hours on social media, working long hours, playing video games, uncontrollable daydreaming, buying things, etc.

The following are the unhealthy beliefs this stronghold combination protects. The loneliness stronghold protects the following unhealthy beliefs: First, “I am alone because I am unlovable.” Second, “I need to isolate myself because I don’t trust that I won’t get hurt or I will be let down.” Third, “I am alone because I am different and unaccepted.” Some of the unhealthy beliefs, protected by the discontentment stronghold are: First, “ I need more because what I have is not enough.” Second, “I need to have something different (i.e., life, car, house, furniture, spouse, job, etc., [different for each of us]).” Discontentment has many facets, but the remedy is thankfulness and trusting God to provide the things we need (and sometimes want).

Next, evaluate what is on the escapism seat of authority (the throne) that controls your choices. I found that I needed to be busy all the time to not feel my loneliness or discontentment. I also found that I would daydream to escape the discontentment and boredom of life. Most times my thoughts were unproductive, futile, unprofitable, and empty musing. The escape mechanisms you choose may be different than mine.  Also, our escape mechanism often becomes an addiction that controls our thoughts. Please visit my website to learn how I overcame this stronghold combination and addictions with the help of God, and how you can as well. https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/