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

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

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.  Jesus begins 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 begins with judging others, asking to receive, the golden rule, the fruit of false prophets, who will enter heaven, and obeying His words.  Matthew 6:33 is in Jesus’s explanation to not being anxious (see Matthew 6:25-34).  I wonder if this is the message He received from His Father while He was in the wilderness.

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

 

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, which will 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.

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

Understand why you were attracted to a person who is destructive.  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 unking 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 them 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. Read Trust God to Keep His Promises

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 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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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 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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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 hearts 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 hearts is to memorize it.  Get involved in a Bible-teaching church and take part in Bible studies to stay focused on heavenly things. Be quick to forgive people who offend you and pray for them.  And, fellowship with other Christ-centered believers.

If you don’t want to wreck your life by sinning, then it is best to not hang out with people who take part in sinful enticements. Sinful 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.

The Bible says 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 should focus our minds and hearts on the things of God, not the things of the world.  Because we are citizens of heaven, we are called ambassadors for Christ.  In 2 Corinthians 5:20,21 it 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.

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WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

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