11—God Promises to Give You Peace and Rest

Would you agree that we live in a world full of chaos and hate? Does the world news make you anxious? Do you feel stressed by the pressures of life? If so, God promises to give you rest and peace.  Imagine that you are lying in a hammock under a shady tree, relaxing by a pool or lake somewhere, or sitting on a porch swing reading a captivating book. Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? God promises to give you everlasting rest and peace that rivals the ultimate relaxation situation.

What do you need rest from?

We need rest from carrying our worries and responsibilities. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When our eyes are on Jesus, and we pray about everything, we will stop striving and feeling weighed down by the world’s concerns. 1Peter 5:7 states, “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  King David said in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” So when you pray and give your cares to God, He promises to sustain you, and you won’t be moved, that is, to be provoked. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Doing evil is disobeying God.

We also need to enter God’s eternal rest. Hebrews 4:1, 6, 11 explains, “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” 6) “Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience.” 11) “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” These verses encourage us to strive to obey God, so we don’t lose our eternal rest. In my last post, I explained how God promises to rescue us from His wrath when we obey Him and do what is right.  Hebrews 4:1 says we are to “fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it [His rest].” This type of fear is forsaking evil and not giving in to our sinful nature and lustful desires but turning to God and obeying His commands.

How do you achieve peace in a world full of troubles and chaos?

I found that peace resides in my heart when I look to Jesus and give Him my concerns. My favorite go-to Scripture verse is Isaiah 26:3,You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” I wrote a series of posts about trust because trust is so hard to do, and we become disappointed when our expectations are shattered. Understanding God’s promises help us trust Him. 2Corinthians 1:20 states, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” God keeps His promises because it brings Him glory.

Troubles Are Inevitable, but Peace Is a Choice We Make

Jesus said in John 16:33,I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus has overcome the world, but how do we overcome the world?  1John 5:4 explains, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Because we have faith that God keeps His promises, we don’t have to carry the cares and troubles of the world. The Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:7-8, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” If you don’t give God the issues that cause you anxiety and worry, then you choose not to have peace.

When We Obey God, We Will Have Peace

I don’t know about you, but I feel miserable and guilty when I sin. I have no peace when I say or do something that hurts another person. But when I repent and ask forgiveness, I also must ask God to take my guilt to feel peace again. Proverbs 3:1-2 tells us, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.” And Isaiah 57:21 states, “There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.” Wicked people do not have peace, which is why our world has so much chaos and hate.

Conclusion

I hope you have been blessed by this post, and I pray you will have peace and rest during these troubling times. Keep your focus on the things of God and not on the issues of our world. There is nothing that escapes God’s notice. 2Chronicals 16:9 tells us, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him [completely His].” God keeps His promises; you can trust Him.

RELATED POSTS

POSTS about God’s Promises


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website.

Check out my first book called Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

7—God Promises to Fight for You

I love hero movies where someone fights for the weak and disadvantaged and rescues them. I am so glad I have the God who created the Universe fighting for me. Why do we think we have to fight for our rights or fight for what we believe? We have GOD!

You may never have faced a situation where you needed God to fight for you, but if you don’t know the promises, you can’t seek God to keep His promises to fight for you. I was facing a rough divorce and custody battle. I claimed God’s promise to fight for me. I had peace and just let God do His thing, and it was amazing to see. My ex-husband tried everything to get custody of our children because he promised that if I separated from him, I would never see the children again. I immediately thought he was going to kill me or the children or all of us. You hear these horror stories of an ex-husband who kills their ex-wives or kills their children. Therefore, I developed severe anxiety, which I am still working with God to overcome.

I feel an anxiety attack coming on as I write this. To stop an anxiety attack, first take a deep breath and relax all your muscles to stop the parasympathetic nervous system from overreacting. Pray and loose the fearful thought or memory from your mind and bind in God’s promises or be thankful for God’s protection.

I can share many examples, but here is one amazing way God fought for me. My ex-husband hired a psychologist to evaluate the children and to testify that I was abusing them. This is the same psychologist we went to after we separated to see if we could keep the marriage together. She later told me that I needed to divorce my ex-husband for my safety. My personal psychologist, who was helping me deal with the abusive relationship with my ex-husband, also advised me that I needed to divorce him.

We were both Christians, and I didn’t want a divorce because I firmly believed God disapproved of divorce, and I wanted to please God. I am digressing, back to the courtroom. The psychologist who evaluated the children was put on the stand to testify. She testified on my behalf that I was not abusing the children. Another amazing thing happened. My ex-husband’s lawyer was also on my side and said so in the courtroom. My ex-husband was so furious that he fired both the psychologist and his lawyer and then stormed out of the courtroom. God is so amazing; to Him be the glory.

I wasn’t a perfect Christian, but I humbled myself and looked to Him to help me and fight for me. But to experience God’s promises, you need to be reconciled to Him by believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sin and was raised from the dead and is seated in heaven (1Cor. 15:3-6 and Rom. 10:9-10). God promised that we could be his children when we receive Jesus, His Son, and believe in Him (John 1:12). God loves His children and will protect them. Carefully read each Bible passage below and note the condition that you are expected to satisfy and what God said He would do.

Exodus 14:13-14 “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Isaiah 41:11-12Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. 12You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all.”

Isaiah 54:17No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” 

Psalm 18:3  “I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

Conclusion

You will never experience God’s strength and deliverance until you humbly look to Him to give you the strength to endure. As long as you pridefully fight the battle on your own, God will let you, but as soon as you relinquish the battle to Him, begin to praise Him and give Him glory. Trust Him with the troubling situation so that you will have peace and joy. We won’t be afraid when our mind is set on the things above where Christ our Savior is seated. Knowing God is with me in my troubles and is fighting for me encourages me to rest in Him.

Claiming the promises of God in prayer may not yield the results you desired. But the results are part of God’s good plan for you. We all experienced disappointment when our prayers weren’t answered as we wanted. I wrote a series of posts on why God sometimes does not hear our prayers or wants us to wait for His timing, or He says “No.” You can find these posts here. In my third post, l focused on claiming God’s promises to answer our prayers. Remember, most promises are based on meeting conditions. The primary requirement is having faith and believing that what God says, He will do it, and nothing is impossible for Him. Romans 4:20-21 states, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Abraham had to wait 15 years to see the promise of God fulfilled, yet he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God because he was fully convinced that God would keep His promise. Are you convinced that God will keep the promises you are claiming in prayer?

RELATED POSTS 1—God’s Promises – Introduction

2— God Promises to Deliver Us from Our Troubles

3- God’s Promises to Answer Prayers

4—God Promises to Provide for Your Needs (Updated 3/19/22)

5—God Promises Always to Be There to Help You

6―God Promises to Be Our Protection, Shield, Stronghold, and Refuge


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Check out my first book on Amazon called Fighting Unseen Battles.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Life-Changing Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

2— God Promises to Deliver Us from Our Troubles

Dear Friends,

Are you concerned, maybe worried, about what is happening in America and around the world? Do you wonder how God will deliver you from your troubles? I have been pondering God’s promises, which gives me peace. But if you don’t know His promises, you can’t claim them.

Never forget that God keeps His promises. 2Corinthians 1:20 tells us, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” Also, Romans 4:20-21 states, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” But for you to claim God’s promises, you need to be reconciled to Him by believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sin and was raised from the dead (1Cor. 15:3-6 and Rom. 10:9-10).

Troubles are inevitable

Jesus says in John 16:33 that “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Tribulations also mean troubles or trials. Everyone has problems and hardships. We often have to endure difficulties before God delivers us because He uses them to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29) and to perfect us (James 1:2-4). No matter what happens, God will deliver you from all your troubles in His timing. The following scriptures define God’s promises to save you from your troubles. You may say that God did not answer my prayers, so why should I pray? But why didn’t God answer your prayers? There are many reasons for unanswered prayer. To learn about these reasons, please read my blog series in Posts on Prayer.

Do You Humbly Call on God through Prayer?

So many people stay stuck in their troubles because they are too prideful to ask for help, and they think they can take care of it themselves. God will let them stay in their difficulties until they repent and humbly pray and ask Him for help. Psalm 50:15 states, “And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” The condition is to call upon God. The result is to bring God glory. First, we need to be humble and realize we need His help and deliverance. It is humbling to ask for help. Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us, “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. 15For 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. 16Let 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.” When you are tempted to sin by what you think, say, or do that disobeys God’s commands, you can call on Jesus for help in prayer anytime.

In case you do not realize it, worry and anxiety over hardships are sins we are continually tempted to commit. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Matthew 6:31a says, “Do not be anxious.” To be anxious is to be full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune (Dictionary.com 3/2022). Not being thankful and complaining are sins too.

The following scripture is so cool. Psalm 107:13-14 states, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 14He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.” The NIV says that God broke away their chains. Do you sometimes feel you are bound up, especially when anxious or depressed? The times I was depressed were the darkest times in my life. I felt so bound up, and I didn’t have hope of being free from my distress. Depression is complex, but the majority of depressed people are focused on their troubles and feel no hope, instead of looking to God who is their hope of deliverance. For example, when I was going through a nasty divorce and custody battle, I was very anxious and depressed. Still, when I humbly looked up and cried out to God for help, He was there with me and delivered me from all my troubles. You can read about the many miracles God did in my post called Trust God to Keep His Promises.

Do You Hold Fast to Him in Love?

We may not understand why we have to go through abuse or suffering, and why doesn’t God rescue us sooner? Psalm 91:14-15 explains, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.” The condition is to hold fast to God in love and call on Him. Sometimes, God walks with us through our trouble while He rescues us, and His will is accomplished in our lives. We just need to trust Him and keep our minds on his presence as we endure. Isaiah 43:2 states, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” This is a promise you can claim as well.

For example, when my supervisor at my old job was harassing me because she wanted me to quit, I was in trouble because I needed my job. I did not like the hardship I was enduring, but God was with me and helped me persevere. He amazingly transformed my character. I still lost my job, but He had another plan for my life, and everything worked out for my good. Romans 8:28 explains, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Here again, we need to love God to see the good and His purpose.

Are You Righteous?

Psalm 34:17 states, “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” If you don’t know, the righteous are those who have received the Spirit of God into their hearts through Jesus Christ and now live through Him by faith (Rom. 1:7; 4:5; 5:19; 1John 2:29). When we sin, we become separated from God until we repent and confess our sins, then He will remove our unrighteousness (1John 1:9). 1Peter 3:12 explains, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil [sin].” I can share so many more verses, but I encourage you to open up Biblegateway.com or Biblehub.com and ponder the scriptures on righteousness. Only the righteous will enter the kingdom of God.

May God bless you richly as you obey His Word and claim His promises.

Joyce


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Check out my first book on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Uncover the lies that are destroying your life.

What lies are you believing about yourself, other people, life, or God? A false or unhealthy belief is a lie about the true nature of reality. 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 many false beliefs about myself, other people, life, and God. I share my story and how I was transformed in more detail in the following post: My Story.

The following nine categories of false, 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

How suppressed lies cause self-destruction.

We internalize these lies 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 false 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.

How to uncover the lies you are believing.

Do the following to uncover your false 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 false, unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking.  The book called “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey was especially helpful in transforming my wrong thinking.  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. As you read through each day, write down any thoughts of disagreement or doubt because they indicate a lie you are believing.  Read my book on my website to  learn how to transform these false beliefs.


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

In Matthew 6:33 Jesus tells us “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  I wonder if I am seeking first the kingdom of God and what does that look like?   I found a variety of interpretations during my research that were interesting but not enlightening.  I would like to know what your thoughts are.

Context of This Verse

I began by looking at the context of this verse.  The context, history, and who the audience is helps us understand the meaning.  After Jesus is water baptized by John the Baptist, the Spirit of God leads Him into the wilderness to fast 40 days.  While in the wilderness, the devil tempted Him to sin, which He did not sin (see Hebrews 4:14-16).  After the 40 days, He begins His ministry.

Matthew 4:23 and 24, describe His audience, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel (good news) of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.  24) So, his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them.  Seeing the big crowds following Him, he went up on a mountainside and preached His first sermon.  The picture with this post is of the mountains around the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus was ministering.

The Apostle Matthew records Jesus’s first sermon in Chapters 5-7. Luke also records His first sermon.  I wonder if this is the message He received from His Father while He was in the wilderness. Jesus begins His sermon with how they can be blessed (made happy).  He explains how they are the salt and light of the earth as they do good works (Matt. 5:16), and He taught how He came to fulfill the Law (see Romans 8:3-4). Other topics He preached in chapter five were anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, and loving your enemies.  Chapter six continues with giving to the needy, how to pray, fasting, investing in heaven, not being anxious.  Chapter seven continues with judging others, asking to receive, the golden rule, the fruit of false prophets, who will enter heaven, and obeying His words.

Matthew 6:25-34 is Jesus’s explanation why we should not be anxious but instead seek the kingdom of God first.  In Matthew 6:25 Jesus identifies the problem, “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?”  Then, Jesus explains the solution in verses 32-34, “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” 33) 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 about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” The Apostle Paul told the Philippian church in Philippians 4:6-7: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication (requests) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Based on these verses, it is safe to say that being anxious is a natural reaction of our flesh when we don’t trust God.  Not trusting God is a sin because being anxious is not faith in God’s ability to help us.

Interpretation Based on Context

The key belief is our heavenly Father knows what we need, and He will give us what we need (see Philippians 4:19).  So, instead of being anxious about how to get our needs met, we are to seek Him and His righteousness.  Seek means to look for or inquire.  And the Greek translation for the kingdom is rule or reign.  So, if we seek (look for) the reign of God in our lives and seek to do what He says is right, then He promises to give us what we need.  James 4:7 says to “submit to God”  that is, be under God’s authority and yield by surrendering to the action, control, and power of God.  Romans10:3 states, “For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

Romans 14:17 explains, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Only as you renew your mind and submit to God, will you experience righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Your sinful flesh prevents you from entering the kingdom of God (see Galatians 5:19-21 and 1Corinthians 6:9-10).  So, you need to put off your sinful thoughts and put on His character of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. through the Holy Spirit.  Read my post on Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).

During several tough times in my life, I submitted to God and His righteousness, and I can testify, that God does provide what we need.  One difficult time was enduring a nasty divorce and custody battle for two toddlers, and I had no job or a place to live.  God provided miraculously when I humbled myself and sought His help through prayer, praise, and pondering the scriptures. I do have to confess that I was going to walk away from my faith in God.  I was so angry at Him for not answering my prayers to heal my abusive marriage because I did not believe in divorce, that I told God I was going to not follow Him anymore.  He has only spoken to me a handful of times and this was one of those times.  He said, “What is the alternative?”  I thought about it, and I knew the devil would destroy me, and I probably would have committed suicide because I was so depressed.   Read my amazing testimony in Trust God to Keep His Promises.

To not be anxious, you must first submit all your concerns to God as you seek Him through prayer, praise, and pondering His promises.  Because I grew up in a dysfunctional home and married an abusive first-husband, I developed an anxiety disorder.  I share how God set me free in the blog post called  Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE.

Know for Certain You Will Enter The Kingdom Of God

John 3:3-8 Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

5) Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 

6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 

8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 

The Bible uses the term “born again” two other places.  1Peter1:3-5 states, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven (the kingdom of God) for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  By believing that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God (see Romans 8:11), then His Spirit dwells in us, and we are born again by His Spirit.

      1Peter 1:22-25 states, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news (gospel) that was preached to you.”  God’s Word is living and abiding, which means when you internalize His truths, it creates life in your soul and will abide with you and help you to purify your soul as you obey its truth.

Painful memories and our sinful desires corrupt our hearts.  My short book on my website called, “Hope for Complete Healing,” was written to help you put off wrong thinking and sinful desires and put on right thinking and righteousness, so you can love with a pure heart.  Begin reading: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Part of seeking the kingdom of God is to seek for God to keep His promises.  In Ephesians 1:3, we learn that we are “blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”  Heavenly places are where God’s kingdom is.  And, when we are saved through grace by faith in Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:6 states that God, “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  So, to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness is for our advantage and a matter of priority and position.

There is hope when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that God will provide what we need because He promised.

RELATED POSTS

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Psalm 91 Posts

All Scripture is from the ESV. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Check out my first book on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

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If you read my book and find it helpful, please leave a review. Also, if you want to do a Bible study with it, email me and ask for a free PDF of the leader’s guide. The PDF will have suggested discussion questions after each section. Quick links to all the scriptures in the endnotes for you to review or to copy and paste into your notes. Website links to review supporting material. Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

How Patience is a Sign of Maturity

Did you pray for patience, then went through difficulties? Or, do frustrating things happen all the time, but now you realize you need more patience?  So, why is patience so hard and why do difficulties increase patience? You can determine your level of patience by making a note of how you react to other drivers on the road.  I was over-reactive and impatient with everyone, including myself. And driving was very stressful for me.  This post explains why you can’t be patient, why you should be patient, and how you can be patient.

I learned that mature people are patient because they are not self-centered.  They know that getting upset when something doesn’t go as planned does not change anything, except create stress.  And mature people understand life is not fair so they accept it and choose to live in peace.

When we can’t be patient.

  1. You can’t be patient when you believe something is unfair, especially when suffering an unjust wrong. Can you remember a time when you protested that something was unfair? When you felt this, you developed an offense to the unfair treatment or event. It could be a discipline you felt was unfair, the death of someone close to you, not getting what you asked for, etc.  That offense created a painful memory you may have forgotten about.  The painful memory still exists and has created unhealthy beliefs that cause you to over-react or become frustrated and irritated when an event happens that triggers unhealthy beliefs.  To heal those painful memories, read my short book on my website: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories
  2. You can’t be patient when you are not at peace with yourself or others because you are offended.  Read: Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory
  3. You can’t be patient if you are self-centered? Pride thwarts patience because pride wants to be in control of what happens.  Prideful people do not think they have to wait, be inconvenienced, or endure hardships.  Read my posts on pride to learn more: The Core Negative Heart Issue and HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

Why be Patient?

  1. Be patient to reduce stress in your life and stress in those around you. Have you been around an impatient person?  Did you feel stress?  For example, waiting in a long line or waiting in a traffic jam can test your patience.  If you get upset and frustrated, will that help the line move faster?  No, it only increases your blood pressure and the blood pressure of those waiting in the same line. Stress causes health problems in you and the surrounding people.
  2. Be patient and hopeful and do not worry because you know God will act on your behalf and do miracles. When you get impatient because something is not happening fast enough, you become anxious, which causes physiological stress that then affects your health.
  3. Be patient and eliminate strife. When you are not patient, you will say and do unkind things.  Read: Relationship and World Changing Kindness
  4. Be patient because love is patient (see 1Corinthians 13:4). When you are patient with other people, it shows you love them. God tells us to love others as Jesus loves them and as we would want them to love us.  Ephesians 4:2 states, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,”  Notice, being patient means we bear with others.  When you bear with others, you are self-controlled when subjected to annoyance or provocation, which requires humility and gentleness.  Read my posts on self-control to learn more: Self-control and Maturity and How to be Self-controlled in What We Say
  5. Patience is the fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, patience is a sign of a mature Christian who yields to the work of the Holy Spirit through the trials and hardships of life.  Thankfulness is evidence of patience.  Read: Being Thankful During Hardships
  6. Be patient because Jesus is patient. 1Timothy 1:16 states, “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” So, we too are called to be patient (see Romans 12:12; 1Theselonians 5:14; James 5:7; and James 5:8 states, “You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

How to be Patient.

  1. Webster defines being patient as the bearing (enduring) of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation. Are you patient according to this definition? If not, go through the Patience Issues Worksheet and the chapter called “Finding Painful Memories” to heal the painful memories and unhealthy beliefs, so you can be mature and patient.
  2. Acknowledge you are prideful and ask God to take it from you and then give you His humility and gentleness towards other people’s issues.  Work through MEEKNESS, HUMILITY, AND GENTLENESS Issues
  3. Do you have a hard time waiting? Hope helps you wait with patience. Romans 8:25 states, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.Romans 12:12 states, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulations, and be constant in prayer.”  Doing this will help you wait with patience.
  4. Ask God to show you the painful memories of offenses of when people were not patient with you or you were not patient. Then go through the healing described in “5 Steps to Heal the Soul.” Painful memories and unhealthy beliefs prevent the fruit of patience from manifesting in your life. As I have healed the painful memories of unfair treatments and disappointments, I have been much more patient and calmer than ever before. Since my painful memories were healed, I have stopped over-reacting and being controlled by my emotions.
  5. Put on patience and love. Colossians 3:12&13 states, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Slowly, read this verse again.  You are chosen.  You are holy.  You are beloved.  Another sign of patience is forgiving someone when you feel offended.  If this is hard for you to do read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE
  6. You develop patience by going through hardships, to become strong and complete. James 1:3-5 states, “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (patience, endurance). 4) And let steadfastness (patience) have its full effect (perfect work), that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” 

Conclusion

You don’t want to pray for patience, but developing patience is necessary to be mature and complete.  To become patient, you practice being patient during difficult and trying circumstances.  Just like you have to practice an instrument or a sport to be good at it. Practicing is hard work and often not pleasant.

You also need to put off pride and painful memories so the fruit of the spirit of patience can grow in your life.  Just like getting the rocks and weeds out of your garden allows your flowers and vegetables to grow.  Last, you are to be patient because Jesus is patient with you.  Having peace, being forgiving, and being kind is the evidence of being patient.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment.

RELATED POSTS:

7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1)

Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well

Patience — Freedom from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

Have you ever felt forsaken by God? Jesus has, I have.  So, why does the Bible say, “He will never leave you or forsake you?”  We feel forsaken when our expectations are not met.  This is true with our human relationships as well.  The next time you feel forsaken, asked yourself what expectations were not met.  Were they realistic expectations?  Remember, God is the only one who can be faithful and loyal to you.  My last blog post explains how to recover from broken trust, and I encourage you to read that if you haven’t: Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to trust again.

Maybe you feel God has abandoned you when He did not answer a prayer.  Unanswered prayer is an unmet expectation that causes an offense to form in your heart. God did not answer my prayer to heal my abusive first marriage and keep my family together. I felt forsaken and despaired as I faced divorce.  I felt abandoned by God.  I poured my heart out to Him and told Him I was going to walk away from my faith. And God answered, “What is the alternative?” I thought about it and knew that Satan would love to destroy me and my children.  So, I stayed tight with God by submitting my many troubles to Him while going through the divorce.  I do not encourage divorce but sometimes we don’t have a choice.  I experienced many miracles because God was faithful to me, which I share in the post, Trust God to Keep His Promises.

The Bible says, He will never leave you nor forsake you when you seek Him (read Deuteronomy 31:6&8 and Hebrews 13:5). This promise is for those who are followers of Jesus Christ who believe and confess Him as their Lord and Savior.  When you believe, you are promised forgiveness of your sins and are promised eternal life (see John 3:16). Read my post on the 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

―Are you afraid?

What are you afraid of?  Deuteronomy 31:6,8 says you must “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.” Again, in verse 8 God says, “Do not fear or be dismayed.” These two verses are part of Moses’s last message to the Israelites before they enter the Promised Land (Israel). When I think about being courageous, I think of David and Goliath.  David knew he could take Goliath because he compared the size of Goliath to the size of God.  By faith, David conquered his foe with God’s help.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Also, read James 4:8.

Are you afraid you don’t have enough money? Hebrews 13:5 says to, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”  You can trust God to provide for you, so you don’t need to be anxious about how much money you have or don’t have. Philippians 4:19 explains, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  When I was a single mother with two toddlers and no job.  I began a sewing business and God provided for my every need when I trusted Him.  I was never in need of anything. Because there was a 90% chance I would marry another abusive husband, I did not date. After a time of healing, God provided an awesome husband, who is totally submitted to Him and compatible with me. God is truly good.

My favorite promise is in Isaiah 41:10, which says, “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.”  Really think about this promise and claim it when you are facing a tough situation.  Fear and worry are indicators you are not trusting God. You will have peace when you keep your mind on the Lord God through prayer, praise, and pondering scripture.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.”  I wrote in a previous post, how you know you are trusting God when you attain righteousness, peace, and joy.

―How do you make God your refuge in times of trouble?

      Psalm 9:9-10 states, “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.

What do the following phrases mean?

  • The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed”?  Refuge means a place of shelter and protection from danger. The word oppressed means to feel burdened or heavy by troubles in your body, spirit, and mind.  We make the LORD (God) our refuge through prayer by giving Him all the things that burden our hearts and are heavy on our minds.
  • A stronghold in times of trouble.”  A stronghold is a strong fortress that we can run into and be safe.  Psalm 37:39, also states, “The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.”
  • Those who know Your name trust in You for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You Are you seeking God? Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Also, read Matthew 7:7-11.

God can be trusted, though He may not answer all your prayers the way you want Him too.  His knowledge and ways are greater than ours, and He has a good purpose and plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Isaiah 55:9).  You will never know His good purpose for your life until you have submitted to Him.  Submitting to God means accepting His sovereign plan for you and give Him the authority to take over.  I wrote a post on how to submit to God.  When I finally submitted, I became free from an anxiety disorder.  Read: Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE


Pray the following truth statements if you find it hard to trust God. Found in TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues.

It is safe to trust God and do what is good, and He will direct me. Ps. 37:3-5.

I can trust God’s faithfulness to be a shield around me as I put my trust in Him, and I will not be afraid. Ps. 91:4; 56:4,11.

Trust believes the good thing God is doing, and my heart need not be troubled, for He is my salvation.  John 14:1, Isa. 25:9.

I can be trusted, and I am faithful with what God has given me. Lk. 16:10.

I can trust and believe my life has a purpose, and God has a plan for my life, which gives me hope… Jer. 29:11-14.

As I trust in God, He is my refuge, and His unfailing love and favor surround me. Ps. 32:10; 7:1; 5:12.

When I trust and believe in Jesus, I will not be disappointed.  Rom. 9:33; I Peter 2:6b.

I will not put my hope in the uncertainty of riches but in God who richly supplies me with all things to enjoy. I Tim. 6:17; Phil 4:19.

I am blessed when I trust and hope in the Lord, and I make him my confidence.  Jer. 17:7.


There is hope for complete healing when you seek God with all your heart and trust Him. The short book on my website is the result of God healing my heart when I trusted him to show me my wounds and sin so I could repent and be healed.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

I am praying for you.  If you have a prayer request, I would love to pray with you, send me an email, or if you comment with a request, I will not publish your request, unless you give me permission.

RELATED POSTS

Read my posts on Psalm 91 found in Psalm 91 Posts


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Healthy Boundaries for Toxic Emotions and People

What is a toxic person? The answer is simple, a toxic person is someone who has no control over their emotions and thoughts. This person is controlled by subconscious painful memories.  You do not have to be fearful of out-of-control people but put your trust in God.  The Bible says, God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind (see 1 Timothy 1:7).  In this post, you will learn how to have power, love, and a sound mind so you can establish healthy boundaries.  In my last post, I shared a study that described how felt love improves your well-being.  Read it here: Are Your Relationships Improving Your Well-Being?.  Being around negative, angry, fearful, and insecure people wear down your well-being.

You can find many articles on how to set-up boundaries for out-of-control people, so I won’t teach that here.  I recommend the book called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud, which I read when I was married to an abusive ex-husband.  The instructions in the Boundaries book was very helpful, but I couldn’t set healthy boundaries because I was toxic and out of control myself.  Then I read a book called Why Should I Be the First to Change?  by Chuck and Nancy Missler, which transformed my victim mentality.  In this post, you will learn why and how to change yourself before you can set healthy boundaries.

  1. Have healthy beliefs about yourself so you can set healthy boundaries.
  2. Love and respect yourself so you will maintain boundaries.
  3. Apply the truths in God’s Word to heal your toxic emotions and your toxic relationships.

You cannot change how a person behaves, you can only change yourself.  As you change, your unhealthy beliefs, then you can set healthy boundaries on the destructive behavior of others.  Boundaries identify the problem, consequences, and the way to reconciliation. Boundaries help the emotionally unhealthy person see their need to change.  You can pray for God to intervene and change the person, but God cannot change a person’s will if they do not want to surrender their lives to Him and do what the Bible says.  Romans 8:7 tells us, “For the mind that is set on the flesh (sin and pleasing yourself) is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law (love); indeed, it cannot.” God’s law is love: Romans 13:10 states, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” And, Galatians 5:14 states, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Also, read James 2:8.)  Toxic people are focused on their on sinful, selfish desires and cannot love others well.

1.  First, you must have healthy beliefs about yourself so you can set healthy boundaries.

Understand why you were attracted to a destructive person.  For me, I grew up in an abusive home and had no sense of self-worth and no sense of how a healthy person thinks.  When I first went to a psychologist who understood abuse and the damage it does to the soul, I learned I had an unhealthy belief that I did not deserve to be loved.  And, because I did not love myself, I felt I deserved the abuse.  I believed I needed to try harder.  But I couldn’t because I was a toxic person as well.  As a Christian, I saw my relationships were not loving according to the Bible.  The Bible tells us the kind of love we are to have in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (ESV).”  Does your life or relationships reflect this kind of healthy love?

Painful memories cause people to be toxic.  Painful memories generate unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking, which shows in what we say and do.  To be a healthy, loving person, you need to heal your painful memories and develop healthy beliefs about yourself, others, and even God.  As your memories are healed, oppressive spirits are removed, and unhealthy beliefs are transformed by Biblical truth, then you can set healthy boundaries on your behavior and other’s behavior.  I explain how to do this in my short book called, Hope for Complete Healing.

2. Love and respect yourself so you will maintain boundaries.

When I began to receive the love of God and learn to love myself, I began to see myself as valuable.  I knew I needed to respect myself, but I couldn’t.  So, I began to practice putting boundaries on my thoughts and emotions.  But because I relied on my will-power, these boundaries only worked to a limited extent.  Lasting change came when I healed my painful memories and transformed unhealthy beliefs.  Desiring to love and respect myself forced me to seek God to show me my painful memories and to heal them.  The Bible says I need to forgive those who sin against me as God has forgiven me. So, as I continued to forgive the unkind people in my life and focused on the things I could be thankful for, I felt peace and joy.  When I saw the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, trust, and self-control in my life, then I could respect myself.

The following quote from Eleanore Roosevelt helped me in a hostile work environment, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Meaning, I can choose not to feel inferior by those who do not respect me and say unkind things.  My psychologist explained that the things my ex-husband was saying about me did not represent the truth or reality.  This helped me to not internalize the unkind things my ex-husband said to me.  I was able to set a healthy boundary around my heart to not internalize unkind words and actions.

3. Apply the truths in God’s Word to heal your toxic emotions and toxic relationships.

Knowing Biblical truths, help you identify the problem and explain why you must set boundaries.  Let the toxic person know you value them and the relationship.  The person may get angry or anxious and will try to manipulate you or make you feel guilty, but don’t be afraid.  Depending on God to help you is the only way to have the power to set boundaries and see lasting change.  Be accountable to an older person who knows the truth of God’s Word and is secure enough to point out your wrong thinking.

Recently, I had to establish a separation boundary with a person I thought was my friend but who did not respect or honor me.  This was hard to do because I thought I could help her. Helping hurting people is not a bad thing if they submit to God’s work in their hearts and minds and obey Him.  Feeling the need to support and be loyal to unloving people makes a person co-dependent to that person.  You can read many articles about co-dependency, so I will not cover that hot topic.

You can read how I trusted the promises of God during my divorce and custody battle in the post called Trust God to Keep His Promises.


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

OTHER RELATED POSTS:

How to be Self-controlled in What We Say (updated)

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words Produce Death or Life Energy

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 amid 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, loving-kindness, 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 are 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 in Trust God to Keep His Promises  and how I experienced many miracles despite my loss in 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.


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

RELATED POSTS:

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

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

Victorious Thinking to Live a Successful Life

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

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. 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, 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 and resentment 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 MUST 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, so they can read it before going to bed.

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 loss 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.

Other Related Posts:

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Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).