Being Thankful During Hardships

How does being thankful help me?  No one can escape hardships, it is part of living in an imperfect world.  We can’t choose our hardships either, but we can choose how we respond.  Viktor Frankl, a Nazi concentration camp survivor, wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning.  The following is a quote, “Even in the degradation and abject misery of a concentration camp, Frankl was able to exercise the most important freedom of all – the freedom to determine one’s own attitude and spiritual well-being. No sadistic Nazi SS guard was able to take that away from him or control the inner-life of Frankl’s soul.”  Though your hardship may not compare to torture in a concentration camp, hardships cause you to focus on your loss, which causes stress on your mind and body.  I must admit, it is hard to be thankful if you are in an abusive relationship.  I will write more concerning this in the next post.  Please understand, Satan wants you to stay focused on your hardship and bring destruction in your life (see John 10:10).  To learn more, read: Four Realities of the Spirit World

No matter the hardship, we can be thankful for something.  Being thankful is an inner-life attitude that determines if we rise above our problems or sink deeper into despair.  You see, it is God’s will for you to be thankful in all circumstances (see 1Thes. 5:18 and Eph. 5:20).  If you find it hard to be thankful, call out to God for help (see Hebrews 4:14-16).  If you want to experience peace in the midst of your hardship, then do what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6,7Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to GodAnd the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When I am thankful for God’s love, provision, mercy, and grace and trust Him to take care of my problems, I feel peace and joy. When I focus on my negative thoughts, I became anxious and stressed again.  The bible says God gives us hope, Romans 15:13 states, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  Also, peace and joy remove the effects of stress in our bodies and minds.

Hardships are the main cause of offenses and resentments, which come from wrong thoughts of unfairness. If you don’t capture and loose these wrong thoughts, they will generate negative feelings and your negative feelings will produce false beliefs, which then direct destructive behaviors like anger fits, drinking, doing drugs, hurting others or yourself, depression, etc.  Being thankful transforms wrong thoughts and results in peace and joy despite the hardship.  I heard from a missionary to China, that the Christian Chinese people are joyful despite their hardships when many times everything is taken from them and they are put in jail.

During my job loss, I focused on God’s goodness, faithfulness, lovingkindness, and how He will cause all things to work together for my good. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”   Abuse and loss through death is different because that involves a loss of love, which I will cover in the next post.  Being thankful and focused on God and not your loss will fill you with peace and joy.  Read my story called Trust God to Keep His Promises  and how I experienced many miracles despite my loss in my divorce.

So, what can we be thankful for?  You can begin with the following 15 promises.  To learn more about each promise read 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

  1. We are saved from sin and death and have the hope of eternal life.
  2. God forgives all your sins and cleanses you from all unrighteousness when you confess your sin.
  3. God will never leave you nor forsake you because He loves you.
  4. You are more than a conqueror through Christ who loves you, and nothing will separate you from His love.
  5. God’s plans for you are for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
  6. God will cause all things to work together for good according to His purpose for those that love Him.
  7. God will supply all your needs according to His riches.
  8. When we come to God and do what He says, we will dwell secure and will find rest, without the dread of disaster.
  9. God is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
  10. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability to bear it.  With the temptation, He will provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
  11. God gives power and strength and helps us when we trust Him.
  12. God is doing a new thing in your life, and He will make a way where there is no way.
  13. God’s peace will guard your heart and your mind when you trust Him in every situation and pray with thanksgiving as you present your requests to Him.
  14. If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and if we know He hears us in whatever we ask; we know we have the requests we have asked of Him.
  15. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Practice makes perfect.  Practice being thankful every day so when hardships come you can be thankful and not let the hardship steal your peace and joy.

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Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

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Identify and Replace False Beliefs

The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control

We are told to be self-controlled and disciplined. But why can’t we? What blocks us from being self-controlled and disciplined? As I pondered this question and reflected on my own self-control issues, God showed me it is because of my pride and resentment.

In the last post, I wrote of our need to give up childish thinking, which includes childhood resentments. So, how do we know if our thinking is childish? Children are emotionally reactive when they don’t get what they want. In fact, we are born with a prideful, self-centered, sin nature, that causes us to focus on our own wants and needs. To have a base understand for this post please read my last post Self-control and Maturity

What does healthy emotional self-control look like?

People who have emotional self-control do not over-react, but are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (see James 1:19). In the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, he describes what it means to be a principle-centered person and not reactive. Instead of being reactive self-controlled people are proactive. Principle-centered people stand apart from the emotion of the situation and from other factors that would act on them, and they evaluate the options.

Besides the Bible, this book was the next best book to helped me transform my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs.  Covey’s book describes how a healthy person should think and act. I wrote thought transforming truth statements for each chapter of Covey’s book and put them on my website called, Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

What is resentment and how do we develop it?

The dictionary defines resent as feeling or showing displeasure and indignation at (some act, remark, insult, etc.) or toward a person, from a sense of being injured or offended. A person who has resentment will show anger and ill will for any real or perceived wrong or injury, which they believe is unfair. If you remain resentful, you will become bitter, which will keep you self-focused and prevent you from maturing. The dictionary defines bitter as causing or showing sorrow, discomfort, or pain, and bitterness is feeling or showing hate or resentment. When people are prevented from getting what they want, they will show anger and resentment in how they respond. Resentment will control your reactions when triggered, as I explain later in this post.

Watch how you react to disappointment.

When we become depressed and pouty, or angry and unkind, it is because we have become offended by a disappointment. Disappointment creates an offense when there is a real or perceived sense of unfairness, and you feel wounded. Dealing with disappointment in a healthy way will prevent becoming offended and resentful. So, if you currently become offended by disappointment when someone or something does not do what you want, it shows self-centered immaturity. To learn more, read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.

I recommend the following actions to handle disappointment in a healthy way. First, capture (acknowledge) offended thoughts.  Offended thoughts are evident when you do not feel peace and joy. Once you acknowledge you are offended, then ask what disappointed me? Next, forgive the person who has disappointed you or accept the situation you are disappointed by.

For example, if you did not get a raise, or was demoted. You may feel disappointed or you may feel it was unfair and become offended and resentful. If you were honest, you will first feel depressed, angry, and resentful, which is very destructive. Remove yourself from the emotional response and seek to understand and learn why, then either develop a plan to do better, or accept it and move on to another job you can excel at.

A personal example. I was disappointed when my husband could not help me with a garden project that I wanted to get done that day. It so happened, my husband had lost his driver’s license, so he was focused on finding his license, then getting it replaced. Instead of understanding his situation, I became offended and let wrong thoughts control my emotions and spoke hurtful things in revenge for disappointing me. I know I am not the only one with this problem, and therefore, I am writing about self-control right now.

I began to capture my wrong thinking and loose them from my mind, next, I asked God’s forgiveness, and then replaced my wrong thoughts with truthful thoughts of thankfulness, see my post A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER. But I did not gain full self-controlled until I accepted my disappointment and loosed the false beliefs concerning my husband that controlled my destructive behavior. I have a great husband and I should be thankful. I repented and asked my husband for forgiveness. My husband put Proverbs 25:18 on the bathroom mirror, and I have been pondering that verse ever since. To understand how false beliefs control our emotions, read UNHEALTHY BELIEFS: What are they and where do they come from?

God showed me how my wrong thoughts were created by painful memories of resentment. When I was a teen, my mother made my sisters and me do all the chores, including laundry, cooking, and hand-washing dishes for five people. I developed resentment because I perceived my sisters did not do their part, and I felt this was unfair and became resentful. My mother had just divorced my father, and went off to college, so she was focused on getting her education and did not help either. I never saw my father again, which created a host of issues.  So, I did not have parental guidance to learn how to handle disappointments and the resulting resentment.

I went through the five steps to heal my heart and purify my soul to heal these resentments.  See; Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul. God also showed me I had current resentment toward my husband for not meeting other expectations when I needed help. I took those resentful thoughts captive and loosed them and then asked God to forgive me and asked my husband to forgive me.

Put away resentments so you can mature.

The bible says in Ephesians 4:31,32  “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32)  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” To put something away is to no longer be emotionally invested in the negative or painful memory. Putting away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice involves asking God to reveal painful childhood memories that caused you to become resentful of a real or perceived wrong done to you. Many adults have subconscious bitterness that keep them stuck in self-focused childish thinking. To find these subconscious memories, begin reading my book here 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories to understanding the why and how for healing past issues to mature and love well.

After you put away any wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice from your heart, then bind in kindness and forgiveness to your heart.  See my post called; Relationship and World Changing Kindness and WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.

There is hope for maturity and self-control as we put off resentfulness from disappointments we perceived as unfair. When we put off resentfulness and accept disappointment then we can be self-controlled.

Related Posts:

SELF-CONTROL Issues

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Patience — Freedom from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

Do you wake-up grumpy or maybe dread going to work? Are you upset by what people do? Are you depressed and worried? Do you want to be joyful and positive? Our mood reflects the level we are offended by unmet expectations or someone. The more offended we are the more despaired or angry our mood is. You may have a good reason to be upset, like when you go through an ugly fight, a divorce, or job loss. I’ve been there and done that, I know. But, allowing those negative thoughts to control your life is not healthy, nor is it good for other relationships. The number one way to change your negative thoughts and negative mood is to be thankful.

You may be thinking, no way, I can’t do that.  Being thankful may be hard and sometimes impossible but with God all things are possible. Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Also read Mark 9:23 and Mark 10:27. And, 2Corinthians 15:57 states, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Also read 2Corinthians 2:14.

How thankfulness changes a negative mood

When someone says thank you or doesn’t say thank you, how does that make you feel? If someone sends you a thank-you card, or you send a thank-you card. Do you feel positive or negative? The act of being thankful takes the focus off yourself and onto something positive. Have you noticed the more you focus on yourself, the more miserable you feel? My last post describes how sub-conscious negative thoughts affect our relationships and how to change your relationships and the world with one simple act. You can read it here if you haven’t read it yet: Relationship and World Changing Kindness

I was a depressed, miserable, angry, anxious person for a long time before I discovered the power of forgiveness, transforming painful memories, and being thankful. I discovered in my research that every thought has a life energy (positive) and a death energy (negative). Being thankful transforms a negative mindset into a positive mindset. A positive mindset makes you feel happy and at peace with yourself and your world. It is amazing how powerful thankfulness is in your life or circumstance. Being thankful is difficult to do at times because we tend to gravitate toward misery for some strange reason. I struggled being thankful my whole life.

What prevents a thankful heart?

First, PRIDE prevents us from being thankful people because a prideful person is only focused on getting their needs and expectations met! I was so focused on myself and having my expectations met, I couldn’t be thankful.  Not appreciating the things my husband did put a strain on our marriage.  Every person wants to be appreciated.  I wrote about how I became free from this roadblock to happiness in my blog called The Core Negative Heart Issue.

Second, painful memories prevent a thankful heart. Conscious and sub-conscious painful memories dictate our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, behaviors, and destiny. Read the following post to learn more: HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR. Growing up in an abusive and dysfunctional home created a host of negative issues in my life. Read my post on how I transformed these painful memories: WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story.  I also wrote a post on how I overcame the negative effects of a sadistic divorce and job loss: Trust God to Keep His Promises.

And third, unforgiveness keeps our mind focused on the negative, hurtful action that offended us and prevents us from being thankful. To learn why and how to forgive read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.

How to be thankful

My husband heard we should think of two things we can be thankful for when annoyed or frustrated. Thinking a thankful thought instantly changes a negative mood. Try it. Think of something that is irritating you right now. Now think of two things related to the situation you can be thankful for. For example, if you are having issues with your co-worker. Think of two positive things about your co-worker and think thankful thoughts about those positives. Keep in mind, everyone has negative issues and trash thoughts that spills out of their mouth, that comes from painful memories or focusing on self-interests. If slow traffic annoys you, be thankful you don’t have to walk, you are comfortable, and you have extra time to pray and worship God. Upset with your partner? Find two to three positive traits or actions and be thankful for them.

(Take a few minutes and try this exercise.) How do you feel?  Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself to be thankful and for what.

Be sure to tell your partner or co-worker what the positive things you are thankful for in them. Telling someone what you are thankful for will powerfully and positively change attitudes. For a while my husband and I kept a little note pad around and we randomly wrote thankful or kind things about the other person. It was so much fun to see what my husband wrote, and I enjoyed writing thankful and kind things about him. It powerfully and positively changed our marriage. Try it.  It was recommended to keep the thankfulness notepad in the bathroom.

Scriptural command to be thankful

The following are Scripture texts commanding us to be thankful and give thanks. Remember, when you disobey God’s commands, you are in sin and will suffer the consequences of unthankfulness, which allows misery and despair.  God knew focusing only on ourselves was self-destructive. He commands us to be thankful so we can experience joy and peace.

Ephesians 5:20-21 state, “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21) submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” How would your life, marriage/partnership, friendships, and work environment change if you gave thanks all the time and for everything? 1Theselonians 5:18 states, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Giving thanks in all circumstances is difficult, especially if you are diagnosed with cancer. The people who can find something to thank God for, are the most content and joyful people.  I heard a missionary to China say how joyful the Chinese Christians are despite risking the lose of their homes and being put in prison.

Ephesians 5:4 states, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” Does the conversation at your family get-togethers digresses into gossip, foolish talk, and so on?  Next time, ask them what they are thankful for.  Other ways you can prompt wholesome conversations can be found in this post: Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Philippians 4:6 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When I am thankful for God’s love, provision, mercy, and grace and trust Him to take care of my problems, I feel peace and joy. When I begin to focus on the negative issue, I became anxious and stressed again.

Colossians 3:15, 16 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” When I memorize Scripture, then I can teach and encourage others, and I can use those Scriptures to give thanks in my prayers. See my post on the things we can thank God for in Psalms 103: County Jail Study on Psalms 103. Also read, Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers Colossians 4:2 also states, Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

The Old Testament gives us other reasons to give thanks to God:

1Chronicals 16:34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (Also see, 1Chronicals 16:41; 2Chronicals 7:3,6; 20:21, Ezra 3:11; Psalm 106:1; 107:1,8; 118:1,29; 136:1-3.)

Psalm 9:1 A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” (Also see Psalm 86:12; Psalm 105:1.) Many times, I was so angry with a situation that the only thing I could be thankful for was the wonderful things God did for me in the past and will do in my current situation. By keeping my mind focused on Him, I was not focused on the negative situation or circumstance.

Psalm 116:17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.” (Also see Ps. 50:14, 23; 107:22; Amos 4:5.) Sometimes we must give a sacrifice of thanksgiving even when we don’t feel like it. God is pleased with this sacrifice and will give you joy instead of misery.

Conclusion

Thankfulness is like guardrails that prevents your car from going over a cliff. So, thankfulness prevents your mind from crashing down the cliff of despair. Now, God commands us to be thankful so when we are not, we sin. Ask Him to help you be thankful when it is hard, and He will help you. You can be more than a conquer over negative issues in your life (see Romans 8:31-39), these verses also produce a thankful heart.

I wrote a short book called “Hope for Complete Healing.”  I describe how to transform negative issues in your life by taking the offending thoughts captive and loosing them from your mind.  Then to transform the associated negative, painful memories with truth to render them powerless. Transforming painful memories involves thankfulness to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  I describe this process in my book and in this blog post: Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul. I made this book available on my website and I can send you a paper copy. If you want me to send a copy of my booklet, please contact me and let me know.

There is hope to change a negative mood into a positive mood through thankfulness.

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POSTS on Thoughts

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

You have heard the saying, “If you are too heavenly minded then you are no earthly good.”  This saying is a lie. I am definitely no earthly good when I am angry, prideful, and anxious.  By surrendering my mind to God, I have become free from anger, pride, and anxiety.  With my new heavenly mind, I now trust Him to take care of all the things that concern me.  So, as long as I am heavenly minded, I will not give in to the temptation to sin in my reactions when I am angry or be anxious and become depressed or be prideful and not treat people with kindness.

Complete victory over sin can only occur when we invite Jesus Christ to rule our lives and receive His forgiveness for our sins.  After we surrender to His Lordship, then we can ask His help when we are being tempted.  Hebrews 2:18 states, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”  Also read Hebrews 4:14-16.  Have you surrendered your life to God’s loving care?  If not, please take a few minutes to do that now.

Can we be too heavenly minded and no earthly good? No, because sin begins in the mind from temptations to do wrong (see James 1:13-15). Our conscience sends a signal of discomfort when we are being tempted to do wrong.  So, when we rebel against the good God says we should do and give in to the temptations, that is sin.  Sin corrupts our heart and messes up our lives.  So, to be victorious over temptations, keep your mind on what pleases God instead of what pleases your self-centered desires.

Paul encouraged the Colossians to seek the things of Heaven and not focus on the things of earth.  Colossians 3:1-2 states, If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  In fact,  Ephesians 2:6 says we are raised up with Christ and seated in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus after we are saved by His grace from the control of sin and God’s wrath. But, keeping our thoughts on the truths of God is hard to do because the world offers so many enticements to take our minds away from Him.  And, there is so much to be anxious and angry about.  The solution is to ponder Scriptures and turn every thought into a prayer to protect your mind from temptations to do wrong.

So, if you want to prosper and succeed, you must resolve to keep your mind on spiritual principles found in the Bible.  In Joshua 1:8, he explains, This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”  King David said in Psalm 119:11, I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  The best way to store God’s Word in our heart is to memorize it.  To stay focused on heavenly things, get involved in a Bible teaching church and take part in Bible studies. Be quick to forgive and not take offense.  And, fellowship with other Christ centered believers.

If you don’t want to stumble by sinning and wreck your life, do not hang out with people who take part in earthly enticements. Earthly enticements could be gambling, sexual sin, drinking, drugs, hate, violence, lying, stealing, etc., which are no earthly good. It is also wise not to immerse yourself in foolish, worldly entertainment such as plays, concerts, hours of television, or non-Christian movies. Think for a moment. If the people creating the entertainment have not submitted their minds to God to bring Him glory, then their foolish, evil thoughts are directing their actions and creativity. Worldly entertainment deceives you into thinking the foolishness and evil is acceptable, when the goal is to enslave you in sinful thoughts and actions.

King David said, I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” What you view on the internet, television, and at the movies clings to your mind and cannot be unseen. I also recommend not spending much mindless time reading social media and other worthless materials that do not encourage you to love God and other people. Do the magazines and books you read draw you closer to God or draw you closer to self-centered worldly thinking. Each of us should consider how much time we want to waste on unprofitable activities and instead seek the things above where we are seated with Christ in the Heavenly places.

Remember, Christ following Christians are strangers and exiles on the earth (see Hebrews 11:13 and 1 Peter 2:11), and our true home is heaven. Philippians 3:20 states, but our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. So, if our true citizenship is in heaven, it stands to reason, we focus our mind and heart on the things of God, not the things of the world.  We are called ambassadors for Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:20,21 which states, Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  

An ambassador represents another country while living in a different country. The ambassador speaks on behalf of their home institutions. How are you doing as an ambassador of Heaven?  Are you representing the Kingdom of Christ well?  Are you helping your neighbors, friends, and family be reconciled to God?

There is hope for complete healing as we turn our minds to Christ and the things of Heaven.

Related Posts:

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Why, What, and How to Submit to God

The Core Negative Heart Issue

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

POSTS on Thoughts

 

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). What does this look like? What does it mean to submit? Webster dictionary says to submit is to yield or surrender to the actions control, power, etc. of another. In this verse the “another” is God. Why don’t we submit to God? Guess what the main reason is? That is right, pride.

My pride kept me from surrendering my anxious and angry thoughts to God for many years because I wanted to be in control of outcomes.  When I became anxious and angry, I also became defensive.  Can you guess what happens when we don’t submit to God? That’s right, we will unwittingly surrender to the devil who will steal our peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, gentleness, trust, and self-control. We will be miserable and unable to love others well. The devil will then lead us into all kinds of fleshly sins to bring destruction to our lives, relationships, and our faith in God. So, who do you want to surrender your life too? A loving God who gives peace and life, or the devil who wants to destroy us (John 10:10). Also, review my post on the four realities of the spirit world.

I already surrendered to God the things that made me angry so they no longer control me.  But, I never considered submitting my anxiety disorder to God until I began self-medicating.  I first had to acknowledge I had a problem, then I asked Him why I was so tense and anxious all the time. The answer came when I read James 4:7 and encouraged an inmate to submit the problem generating her angry thoughts to God and resist the devil. I asked her to think of what happens when we don’t submit our minds to God. That’s when God spoke to my heart and said, are you submitting the problems creating your anxious thoughts to Me.  Whoa! Read the inmate victory testimony here.

I asked God to show me the source of my anxious thoughts. God reminded me that my mother was also diagnosed with anxiety disorder and was always stressed about something. So, I asked God to break the negative stress energy and the predisposition for anxiety from my genetics and remove all DNA markers that trigger stress reactions. I felt peaceful and calm after that prayer. But worldly issues still may trigger anxious thoughts, especially when things are outside your control.

Jesus’s first sermon was called the Beatitudes or Blessings. The Apostle Matthew records a part of his sermon in Chapter 6, where Jesus tells us in verse 25, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Verse 27, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”  The key verses are 33 and 34, which state, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” It is clear that being anxious is a sin, and I knew this fact.  But, it is one thing to know something but another thing to repent and surrender to God. The Apostle Paul expresses anxiety at times throughout the new Testament. So, don’t feel guilty but be aware of your thoughts and don’t let them torment you and hold you captive. Remember, you can take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5b).

So, how do we submit to God?

  1. Check your peace and calm level toward various areas of your life (husband, children, job, church, friends, and so on.) As you think about these areas, and you become tense, it is a sign you have negative stress energy from subconscious anxiety and fear.  It is hard to accept the fact you cannot control situations or people. You can only control your actions and reactions. You may have been abused as I have, so you feel the need to control.  I get it.  Give everything outside your control to God, because emotional stress causes physical stress. Stress is very damaging to our health, especially our GI system, if you are unfamiliar with the deteriorating effects of stress, I recommend you research it.
  2. Next, ask God to remove pride. Pride develops when we are wronged in some way. These painful memories need to be healed as well.  If you are easily offended, you have pride. Pride desires to control what people do and how they think. Read these posts for a better understanding: #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution and The Core Negative Heart Issue and HOW PRIDE DESTROYS
  3. Write all your concerns and what you desire in a prayer format to God, giving Him control and accepting the outcome though you may not understand. Pray for wisdom to know what to do and how to respond. Put your prayers in an appropriately labeled box or journal, and each time you feel anxious, angry, or stressed, remind yourself that God’s got it.  Philippians 4:6,7 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,”  Do you want this kind of peace in your life?  I do.
  4. The hardest part of submission is giving a thank offering to God during hardship. Being thankful and forgiving is the keys for peace in our lives. Thank Him for the opportunity to grow and to be more like Christ. Thank Him for being your Shepherd and for shepherding those outside your control. Thank Him for helping you to trust Him and to accept His Sovereign will. Continue to give a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. The page on my website called Who is God — A-C-T-S prayers will give you plenty to praise Him for and to be thankful.
  5. Go through the five steps to heal your heart and purify your soul.

After you have submitted to God; now resist the devil’s temptation to sin.  To resist the devil describes a struggle, so don’t be hard on yourself, keep struggling but don’t give him an inch. If you continue to sin and feel guilty, that’s not a struggle, that’s giving in.  Galatians 5:1 states, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of bondage.”  A yoke is being bound to something like two oxen are yoked together. Jesus said in Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

We struggle to make progress on this road called life and not be defeated.  When we are yoked to Jesus, He is right there to help us when we struggle.  We become yoked to Jesus when we are surrendered to God by focusing our mind on the things of God and ponder His Word.  Furthermore, you have the authority as a follower of Jesus Christ to command the devil to be gone in Jesus’ name, and the devil will flee. Hallelujah.

Put your hope in God when you begin to feel anxious.  The following Scriptures should be memorized and pondered often.  Psalm 16:8 states, “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”  Also, ponder Isaiah 41:10, which states, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  And, Isaiah 26:3 states, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  For more encouragement see HOPE: How it Motivates and Inspires BUT God’s Sovereignty… and Psalm 91 Posts

There is hope for complete healing, and I am praying for you.  Be blessed.

To understand suffering and God’s sovereignty read 7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1) and Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well

Other related posts:

Freedom from Anxiety and strongholds of worry and fear

POSTS on Thoughts

Posts on Trusting God

Free from Anger–County Jail Testimony and Teaching

I have been teaching the girls in the county jail how to recognize and overcome wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs. One lady received court papers concerning her children being adopted out. Her mother is now the foster parent for the children. The inmate was furious. Her angry thoughts generated a plan to hurt those whom she perceived as hurting her. This situation was a great opportunity to teach why we need to take our negative thoughts captive, and how to transform them so they don’t control our behavior.

I set aside my lesson that night and prayed for God to help me as I helped her apply what I had been teaching. As she shared why she was so angry, she revealed several unhealthy beliefs and the painful memory triggering her anger. She believed her mother wanted to keep her from raising her children. She had painful memories of growing up with a controlling mother who still was trying to control her. I began to ask questions to help her recognize her wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs. I explained how our wrong thoughts come from many sources, such as painful memories and demonic forces creating misunderstanding, wrong perception, misinterpretation, and wild imaginations not based in reality. To learn more about the reality of the Spirit world, read: Four Realities of the Spirit World

Wrong perception and misunderstanding generated negative feelings of anger. We discussed each wrong thought, and the related unhealthy belief. It is amazing how wrong thoughts affects our emotions that then negatively feed our wrong thinking. When you recognize a wrong thought and unhealthy belief, you need to capture them by first asking God to help in your weakness to control your thoughts, then pray to loose (release) and put them off from your mind and heart. Then I led her to think positive thoughts and find things to be thankful for. She admitted she loved her mother and did not believe her mother would deliberately hurt her. She also had a wrong belief that CYS had lied to her.

We explained that her mother and Child Youth Services were not the enemy, but that demonic forces were.  We read and discussed Ephesians 6:10-12, which state, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12) 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.” Then we read 2 Corinthians 11:3, which states, But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” My co-teacher explained how the devil wants to destroy our faith in God and to resist believing the lies and trust God to work everything out for her good and the good of her children. Many who read this post may not believe demonic forces of evil can influence us. According to the Bible, demonic forces are actively looking to devour us (see 1 Peter 5:8,9) but we must stand strong in our faith. If you have this wrong belief, please capture this thought/belief by acknowledging it and pray to loose/put off the wrong thought/belief, and then bind-in/put on the truth found in the Word of God. We need to daily submit our minds to God and resist the devil’s schemes and influence to derail our faith (see James 4:7).

Next, we read and discussed Romans 8:26-28, which state,Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27) And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (The Holy Spirit is in those who believe in Jesus Christ and received Him as their savior from eternal death and the wrath of God for sin.) I explained how the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and will intercede for us according to the will of God. And know whatever happens, when we love God, He will use it for our good to accomplish His purpose. Then we talked about how we know we love God, and we read John 14:15; 1 John 5:3; and 1 John 3:21-24. Next, we went to our theme verses in Hebrews 4:14-16, which state, Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  This verse is key to living a victorious life because we are weak to control sinful desires and we need the help of God.  God’s grace gives us the power to overcome our weaknesses to sin.

Then I shared my testimony of how my ex-husband promised that I would never see the children again if I left him. He tried to fulfill his promise, which created tremendous anxiety in my mind. But God came through because I trusted Him. My X even brought a psychologist to court to testify that I was not a good mother and my X should get full custody of the children. God caused the psychologist to testify on my behalf. To learn more about how God showed up for me and the many miracles I experienced read: Trust God to Keep His Promises. After sharing my testimony, the inmate could see how her thinking was wrong and how trusting God was better than being tormented by angry thoughts from the demonic forces at work to destroy her and her faith in God.

The next week she reported good news. When she talked to her mother, she realized she mis-interpreted the court papers and her mother’s intentions. She realized she was allowing her imagination to torment her, and God was for her and the devil was against her. Next, we discussed Ephesians 1:7-9, which state, In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ.” Then, we discussed a few things the Bible describes as the will of God outlined in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18. When we do the will of God, we are training our minds to think right thoughts so the demonic forces cannot torment us with negative thinking, unhealthy beliefs, and out of control emotions.  I also explained the main purpose of God for our lives is to conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Lord willing, that will be my next lesson.

There is hope because God is our help in our time of need.

Related Posts:

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

POSTS on Thoughts

POSTS Related to Trusting God

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Why do I become offended?  Why don’t I consider the interests of others?  Why do I want to control what other people do or don’t do to satisfy my interests?  Why do I find it hard to do what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:3-7 (ESV)?

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  NIV – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  KJV – Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  NASV – Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. NIV – not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  KJV – Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. NASV – do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

5) Have this mind (attitude) among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Why is it hard to value others as more important or significant than ourselves? God put His finger on the core issue of my heart. PRIDE. When someone doesn’t do or say what we want, then we get hurt or angry. Why?  According to verse 3, we may not value others as more important than ourself.   When God does not answer my prayers the way I want, I get hurt and angry.  Pride says, “What I want is more important than you or what you want.” The fact is, pride fuels every negative thought and emotion we have. To learn more about pride read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS.

You know you are free from pride when you consistently do what the Apostle Paul exhorted the Philippians to do in Chapter 2, verses 3-4. The Apostle Paul says we are to do nothing from selfish ambition, selfishness, strife, or conceit. HELP. James tells us in Chapter 3, verses 13-18 that selfish ambition is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. YIKES. I need to repent.

James 3:13-18 state, Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness (humility, gentleness) of wisdom.

14) But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

15) This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (sensual), demonic.

16) For where jealousy (envy) and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile (evil) practice.

17) But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

18) And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Are you a person who is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere? Pridefulness prevents us from being wise.  We need to put off our pride if we are to have the same attitude as Christ. We are born self-centered beings, which only gets worse. So, what is the remedy? Since pride generates negative heart issue and is a sin, go through the five steps to heal your heart and purify your soul.  I have added the process for purifying sin from our soul since it was first posted. Remember, sin is doing evil by not loving and valuing others and God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.


I know I am being vulnerable when I share my prayer, but I want to be the example of how to purify your soul.  As I was asking God to show me the things I needed to put off, I wrote them down.  This was not an easy prayer to pray and I was visibly shaking because pride had such a grip on my soul.  It is through our pride that evil spirits can control our thoughts and emotions, so it needs to go.  I use the name of Jesus because we are commanded to in John 14:13, 16:24 and other Scripture passages. Read, Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess the contributing issue to not loving others well, and not considering the interests of others, or seeing them as more significant than me is the sin of pride. I loose and put off the sin of pride out of my soul and the negative spirit attachments in Jesus’ name. Lord, forgive me for being prideful and not seeing others as more significant than myself.

Forgive me for wanting others to serve me instead of me serving others in love. I bind in your attitude of humility and servitude into my heart and mind in Jesus’ name. Lord, help me to focus on doing what pleases You and not on the negative issues of (I prayed through the various issues God brought to my mind.)

Lord, I loose and put off the unhealthy belief that my interests are more important, and people should do what I want. I bind in the spirit of humility to every cell of my body, so I can have the wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere, in Jesus’ name. I loose and put off all selfish ambition from my mind and heart, in Jesus’ name. Forgive me for insisting that things are done my way and becoming ugly and say unkind things. Loose and put off the negative energy I put into my family associated with my prideful attitude and the unkind things I said, in Jesus name.

Remove the guilt from the sin of pride from my heart and mind. Lord, loose and destroy the generational sin of pride from my genetics and the genetics of my children, in Jesus’s name. I thank You, Lord, for helping me in my weakness when I focus on my needs to focus instead on You through praise, prayer and pondering the Scriptures. Thank you for cleansing me from all unrighteousness and making me a more loving person.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Posts:

Love From a Pure Heart

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Wise Thoughts vs. Foolish Thoughts

Bondage to Unseen Controls

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?