Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

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

You may not have a drug or alcohol problem, but if you are honest, you also have some mechanism for escaping inner pain (e.g., binge eating, shopping, watching TV/movies, workaholism, etc.) For example, I was a workaholic, and my accomplishments helped me feel good, which concealed the pain in my heart. I also felt helpless to control my anger when I was offended. As a result, I believed I was unlovable and worthless for close to 50 years. I have good news; with God’s help, I was able to transform my unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts with His truth.

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

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

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

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

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

d) The demons want to keep you defeated by destroying your peace, self-worth, and ability to feel loved. Children are their favorite target because they are so vulnerable, then as adults we wonder why we have so many offenses in our hearts. Feeling unloved and offended can lead to various destructive actions and addictions, which result in feeling more defeated. For instance, when I am offended and get upset, I desire to binge eat, especially chocolate, or I get angry and tell the person off. Both responses are destructive; binge eating is destructive to my body and anger destroys my relationships. We can choose to respond with peace and love, which I know sounds impossible. Choosing a non-destructive action requires us to constantly check our thoughts and control them, though I still need to improve. Awareness of how we are offended is the first step.

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) God is our only source of peace. Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him/her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he/she trusts in You.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Also see 1 John 5:4) The key to lasting peace is to keep our minds on God through continual prayer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Freedom from the Spirit of Jealousy

Can a spirit control us? I say yes, based on my experience and observation. So, do we have an excuse for atrocious behavior or making wrong choices? No, because we still need to love God, others, and ourselves from a pure heart! So, if we have unloving behavior, then we need to look for the source.  For example, at a family gathering, I became emotional because I felt discounted and said things I should not have said. I was embarrassed by my reaction, so I asked God to reveal the source of why I became emotional. He showed me I had a spirit of jealousy (Numbers 5:13, 30; Ezekiel 8:3). I discovered that corrupt spirits attach themselves to memories of being offended by unloving actions or unkind words. In my case, God revealed I was jealous of my younger sister. I cannot remember specific memories as I was to young, but I do remember being angry with her our entire childhood.

Being a twin meant I already had to share my parent’s attention and care. Then, thirteen months later, my second sister was born, which meant I had to share my parent’s love and attention with two other needy beings. Unfortunately, my new sister was born with a disorder and was hospitalized often. This meant that she received more attention than I did. Even babies and toddlers can be offended when their perceived needs are not met, especially for love and attention.  Humans have a natural need to love and to be loved. So, because I had to share my parents attention with my two sisters, I understand how I became offended and how the spirit of jealousy attached to my soul. This spirit controlled my reactions when I thought I was being discounted.  Have you ever felt discounted?

Furthermore, on my website (chapter 3 of my book), I describe how I became free from the mental strongholds of injustice and unfairness and how they protected the wrong beliefs and behavior of being impatient. Consider the following, when something unfair happens to us as a result of another person’s advantage over us, then jealousy naturally occurs. As a result, we become resentful towards that person, which displays itself through anger. For example, someone gets VIP treatment because of their high position in the company, and you are sent to the back of the line. Or, someone gets a better parking space because they have more money.  Or, your spouse gives their attention to someone else.  Have you ever experienced this?  The next time you get irritated, ask God why you are getting irritated.  You may have a jealous spirit.  I never thought I had a jealous spirit until God showed it to me.

Thankfully, God is all knowing and knows everything about us, and He alone can reveal repressed memories and unhealthy beliefs.  God showed me I had developed the unhealthy belief that my sister was the favorite and received preferential treatment. Because of my resentment towards my sister’s advantage over me, I mistreated her, which caused her to fight back, which then lead to my punishment. So, I believed I was  being unfairly punished for things she did or instigated, which caused me to resent my sister more. Another unhealthy belief was being unlovable and feeling worthless. Consequently, from early childhood, I tried to earn my parents attention and love by working hard and doing things for them, such as, cleaning the basement and garage. In the same way, doing work for people’s attention and approval carried into my adulthood. Therefore, my sense of worth was based on what I did and what people thought of the quality of my work. I was freed from this mental stronghold as well.  Do you feel you have to please people to get their love and attention and to feel accepted and wanted?  Do you have a sibling you feel was favored, maybe they were a better athlete or had better grades?  Do you have a co-worker that receives more privileges because they are favored by the boss? 

After learning the source of my jealousy, I asked God to lose and remove the memories of being offended (not getting the love and attention I wanted) and to remove the spirit of jealousy from my soul. I then replaced my wrong beliefs with the truth. For example, the truth is my mother did love me, but it was overwhelming to take care of my sick sister. Another reality was the fact that it was not my sister’s will to be sick, she could not help it, and I can show her compassion. Then, I sought forgiveness for my spiteful behavior. Now when I think of the current situation that revealed my jealous spirit, I no longer get upset. You can learn more about how to heal memories and transform unhealthy beliefs with truth by reading my short transformation testimony book on my website, hopeforcompletehealing.com.

7 Choices to make to have great relationships; 8 choices for SUPER GREAT

1) Always stay in forgiveness and not hold onto grudges. Expect that your partner/spouse/friend will let you down and not meet your expectations from time to time. Offense blocks reactions of love, kindness, peace, joy, and patience.
2)
Be thankful for the strengths and abilities of your partner. It is easy to focus on what you don’t like.
3)
Be committed to one another. Genuine commitment is to be wholly focused on what is best for your partner and what will strengthen the relationship.
4)
Communicate complete thoughts. My husband says, preferably in the same room and fully dressed is best. When you ask what the other person is thinking, do not react negatively to their thoughts, but ask questions to understand better.
5)
Resolve conflicts using the Pen Method. The person holding the pen explains their perspective and logic. Then hand the pen to the other person, and they reflect on what they heard you say and explains their perspective and rationale.
6)
Create a relationship vision or mission statement. Ask yourself and each other this question: “How do I want our relationship to be in 5, 10, 15, or 30 years. Write out a plan to accomplish your vision or mission.
7)
Work through past issues, so your reactions and expectations are not controlled by your past.
8)
Make the Lord and the Word of God priority in your life and relationships. Remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so if you want to be wise, then God needs to be your source.

I came up with these eight choices as I reflected on my marriage and why it is super great. I am not saying that we don’t have issues from time to time, but it’s how you handle the inevitable problems.

I heard that a marriage is only as healthy as the weakest person. I was that weak person in my marriages. My choices in how I reacted to issues were very harmful and destructive. The discovery of healing my past through memory transformation and reprogramming parental programming set me free to make healthy choices. Today, the choices I make when negative issues arise are more loving and patient. For a good example, read my blog called “Disrespect, Unworthiness, and Failure: What do they have in common?”

I found that forgiveness and thankfulness was the key to a loving relationship. To forgive and to be thankful was only possible as my painful memories and parental programming were transformed and healed. Read about how this is done in my book listed in the right-hand margin, begin with chapter one to understand the scientific and spiritual theory of healing.

Each person is to focus on transforming and healing their own negative issues. For example, even though my husband has not yet dealt with his past issues, I still can react in a healthy, stable way with love and not condemnation and disrespect. It actually feels great not to be controlled by anger anymore.

Try the above eight choices to have super great relationships.

PEACE—A Parenting and Marital Goal

What would it be like if our children lived in peace with each other and we had a peaceful marriage?  Let us take a moment to imagine that the people in our lives are serene, tranquil, calm, undisturbed, friendly, kind, and helpful.  How does this make you feel?  Does this make you feel relaxed?  Does this describe how you relate to people?  Consider, with me, three causes that deprive us of peace and how to restore peace.

Peace was the only Mother’s Day gift I would ask from my children, which never happened.  The reason was because I never sowed peace into my children.  Have you ever heard the saying, “you reap what you sow?”  A farmer sows seed into the ground and depending on what the seed is that is, what the farmer will reap.  So, if you don’t have peace in your family and marriage then maybe peace has not been sown.  If there is strife in your life, consider where the source of strife is coming.

The first and main source of strife comes from past offenses stored in our memories and unforgiveness in our hearts.  Because I was an angry person inside from the many painful memories of being abused, I could not live in peace with anyone, though I desperately wanted to.  After God healed my painful memories, offenses, and unhealthy beleifs, I no longer was upset about everything all the time.  I can now live in peace with those around me, including myself.  Had I known about this when when I was raising my children, I would have dealt with the strife differently.  I would have located the offenses in their hearts, instead of reacting in anger.  To learn more, read the chapters of my book, listed in the right margin.

The second source of strife comes from daily offenses that we react too.  Just drive in the city, and you will have plenty of reason to be offended.  Being around people offer many opportunities to be offended.  These little offenses steal our peace, and the best solution is to take those thoughts captive by first, recognizing them, acknowledging them, and then taking hold of them.  Next, ask God to remove those thoughts of offense, forgive if necessary, and then ask God to give you patience and love for those around you.  Again, I elaborate more on this in my book on my website.

The third reason we lack peace can also be from the following peace robbers.  In fact, these peace robbers greatly affected my health and your health.  I share my testimony of how I transformed these peace robbers in my book found in my website.

  • Tension: mental or nervous strain
  • Fear of something bad happening:
  • Dread: to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension
  • Fright: sudden fear or terror
  • Nervousness: emotional tension; agitation
  • Anxiety: distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
  • Worry: to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret
  • Anger: a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath
  • Terror: intense fear

For example, my husband took my two young sons (10 and 12) spelunking in an abandoned cave.  I objected greatly but the boys wanted to go, and my husband was an experienced spelunker.  Needless to say, I experienced all the above peace robbers.  Thankfully, the Lord was watching over my children and husband as there were many dangers.  My husband had fun but my children to this day never want to go spelunking again.

Not only do we need to pray and ask God to remove these peace robbers from us but also the associated unhealthy beliefs.  The following are some examples of unhealthy beliefs that need transforming through prayer and truth:

  • Something bad will happen.
  • The future will be like the past.
  • There is no peace for me.
  • I don’t deserve peace.
  • Why even try to get peace? It is useless to try.
  • I lost any chance for peace when I lost _____.
  • I caused ____ to lose peace.
  • I am afraid I will never have peace.
  • If I have peace, bad things will take it away.
  • If I can just get more ____ I will have peace.
  • My lack of peace is due to my lack of ____.
  • Other people have taken my peace from me.
  • If only others would leave me alone I would have peace.
  • They don’t deserve peace.

The following truths can be used to transform the above unhealthy beliefs and any other unhealthy beliefs that God shows you when you ask.

  • The peace of Christ rules in my heart, and I am thankful. 3:15
  • I pursue peace and do what is good. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:11
  • I can be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for others. Titus 3:2
  • When I make peace, I will be blessed and be called a child of God. 5:9
  • The peace that comes from God is beyond understanding when I give my troubles to Him and thank Him. 4:6
  • God fills me with all joy and peace as I believe and trust Him, and I will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 15:13
  • I will have great peace and will not stumble when I love God’s Word. 119:165
  • I can be at peace with others. 9:50; Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14
  • Peace comes when I trust Jesus, and I will not let my heart be troubled or anxious. John 14:27; John 16:33; Phil. 4:6, 7; 26:3

Minimize Memory Clutter

Do you know any minimalist? My husband and I read a book on being a minimalist. The author said that a minimalist sells, throws away, or gives away possessions they do not use or does not have sentimental value. Minimalists say that decreasing ones possessions will reduce stress and free up time. My husband wants to be an extreme minimalist and reduce our possessions to the smallest amount possible. I think he wants to get rid of my things that he thinks is unnecessary. I told him to start with his things, such as the crow decoys in the shed and hunting blinds in the basement that he never uses. Do you have an attic, basement, garage, spare room, or shed full of stuff you know longer use or need? For more information, watch the YouTube videos.

So, can our memories be mental clutter that keep us from being productive and stress free? I learned from Dr. Caroline Leaf that most of our memories are in our subconscious mind and we are not even aware of how much they are controlling our thinking.  It is my experience that my subconscious painful memories dominated my life and caused tremendous stress. The reason was because my memories controlled my thoughts, which often led to emotional stress and dysfunctional reactions.

So why should we minimize painful memories? First, you will think more clearly, that is, your memories will not control your thoughts. Secondly, you will be free to choose loving and kind responses to stressful situations instead of following programmed memory behavior scripts.

How do you know if you need to minimize memory clutter? Do you think about the painful things done or said to you? Do you feel angry, impatient, irritated, or frustrated? Do you complain? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then you need to clean out the unloving and unkind memories that do not help you to be a loving and kind person.

So how do you minimize memories? Romans 12:2 states, “… but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  The last blog I posted was on this topic of inner self transformation and renewing your mind. So, I will not repeat what I wrote and would encourage you to read that post to learn more. Also, 2 Corinthians 4:16 states, So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

We minimize our memory clutter the same way we minimize our physical clutter; one item at a time. The only exception is we need God to search our minds and to bring those memories out of our subconscious to be eliminated. I explain how to do this on the pages listed on my website.

Reducing memory clutter of all the negative, painful, and disappointing experiences in my life freed me to enjoy my life, love others, and to be thankful.

WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION?

When you view yourself in the mirror what do you see; a beautiful butterfly or an ugly caterpillar?

Before my life transformation, I looked in the mirror and saw a lonely, hurting, unlovable child in an adult body. My desire is to change into a person who would know, feel, and show love. But because of the many offenses in my heart from my abusive and dysfunctional past, I had unhealthy beliefs and unloving thoughts.

So what does it mean to love? To love is being patient, kind, polite, humble, fair, appreciative, compassionate, forgiving, preferring others, etc. Does your inner life match this definition?

People throw the terms abusive and dysfunction around, but what do they mean? So I will define these terms, and the term offenses according to Webster’s dictionary.

Dysfunctional is to be abnormal and/or impaired. An abnormal person is not emotionally stable, secure, or peaceful. And someone who is impaired cannot relate emotionally because of alcohol, drugs, mental illness, addiction, etc.

Abuse is the mistreatment of others that causes physical, emotional, and mental harm.  This also includes using insulting, coarse, or bad language about or to someone.

Offenses are resentments, hurt feelings, and displeasure from the pain of being unfairly treated, mistreated, disrespected, betrayed, unaccepted, and ignored. These painful memories continually generate offense, which in turn generate angry thoughts that are exposed by what we say and do to those around us. But because we live in a sinful world, not one of us can escape the pain of not being purely loved and accepted. Therefore we all need an inner life transformation from God who is love.

I had a significant life transformation at eight years old when I heard the good news about Jesus Christ and I believed. After asking Him to come into my heart, I felt His life in me and I had hope. Unfortunately, I still continued to live in a dysfunctional and abusive home. Painful memories and the related emotional stress continued to build up in my heart. Because I didn’t feel safe, I became fearful and anxious. In addition, I was lonely and discontent, which led to different escaping behaviors. Though both my parents professed to be “Christians,” yet they continued to sin because of offenses in their hearts from the painful memories of their dysfunctional pasts.

My first marriage was to a hurting “Christian” man who would be abusive because of the offenses in his heart. Therefore, I became depressed, even more insecure, angry, and controlling. I realized I needed to change for the sake of my children, myself, to please God, and to be an effective Christian.  So, I went to several psychologists; read many self-help books; and attended several bible study groups, but did not experience change in my life. These activities only exposed the depravity of my heart. And since inner life transformation did not occur, I continued to act out of my wounded sinful heart.

I asked God to show me why I reacted with so much anger instead of love, and how I could change. I was the perfect person to test what worked and did not work for transforming unloving sinful behavior into loving behavior. So God showed me how to heal the hurts and offenses in my heart using specific prayers and requests as outlined next.

  • Uncover and eliminate the painful memories that caused the hurt. And to forgive those involved.
  • Identify and eliminate the unhealthy beliefs that cause unloving thinking and replace them with the truth.
  • Identify and eliminate strongholds that protect the painful memories and unhealthy beliefs from being healed.
  • Identify and eliminate generational curses and sins that prevented transformation of dysfunctional patterns.
  • Eliminate oppressive energy or spirits associated with the painful memories which perpetuate the offenses.

Further explanations of these specific prayers are found on my website called hopeforcompletehealing.com. Because God transformed my heart and painful memories, my marriage, family relationships, and work relationships are also transformed. Now I look in the mirror and see a happy, emotionally healthy, and content woman; not a hurting, lonely, and unlovable little girl. When you view yourself in the mirror what do you see? 

7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1)

Having gone through much suffering myself, I can make seven suggestions on how to suffer well since suffering is inevitable.

1.  Accept that suffering happens to everyone in the world, and we can’t control when, how, or what happens to us.  We can only control how we react to it, so acceptance is the first step to suffering well. The reason for suffering is that we live in an imperfect and unpredictable world with imperfect people. Often we cause our own suffering from wrong choices we make.  Suffering can be called a trial, a tribulation, or an affliction.  

1 Peter 4:12-14 states, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery (painful; NIV) trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13) But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.

2. Allow suffering to strengthen you and to make you more compassionate. For instance, when you endure afflictions well, then you can support and comfort others. For example, others, who had been through similar difficulties as I have, supported, encouraged, and helped me. Their encouragement helped me to become stronger and to then be able to comfort and support others who were going through similar suffering.

3.  Don’t take it personally. Embrace suffering as the part of life that reveals your personality or character flaws.  Personality flaws are often the result of painful memories, which generates unhealthy beliefs, that then controls your negative reactions.  My website, hopeforcompletehealing.com, explains how to discover, transform, and reprogram painful memories and unhealthy beliefs, so you can deal with difficulties in a healthy way.

4. Forgiving is the key to suffering well. Forgiving those who cause or have caused your suffering is the only way to keep your peace and joy. When you don’t forgive, then you become angry, bitter, or resentful because you are self-absorbed and focused on the injustice of the suffering. For example, I could have resented my ex-husband for allowing my son to go down the wrong path but, I realize my son is responsible for the wrong choices he makes. I could have resented my son for making wrong choices, and bring embarrassment and shame to the family but, I realize I am no one special and I am not alone. My point is to not take offense, because of another person’s weakness or sin. Be quick to forgive and practice the truths in the Word of God. Refer to my post on forgiveness or visit my website for a better explanation.

5. Turn your suffering over to God and allow Him to work in your life. Difficulties perfect you, strengthen your faith, and increases your ability to endure. Submit the outcome of the trial or difficulty to God and don’t lose His peace and joy. Remember, you cannot control what, when, or how difficulties happen but you can control what you do when they come.

James 1:2-4 – Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces1 steadfastness2 [endurance (NAS); patience (MKJV)]. 4) And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect3 and complete4, lacking in nothing. (ESV)

** 1) Produce means to bring forth; create; bear (as a plant bears fruit and seed); etc..

** 2) Steadfastness means firm, fixed, settled, or established. 2. Constant; not changing.

** 3) Perfect means complete in all respects; without defect.

** 4) Complete means lacking none of the parts; to make entire, thorough, or perfect

** 5) Endurance means the ability to last, continue, or remain b) ability to stand pain, distress, fatigue, etc.

** 6) Patience means the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation.

?? Why is it important to test our faith?

Testing our faith reveals what we really believe. Testing also strengthens and purifies our faith. Trials and suffering give us the opportunity to practice the truths in God’s Word, which strengthen our faith and transform our thinking, attitudes, and character.

Romans 5:2-4 states, Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3) Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” (ESV)

6. Stay focused on the truths and promises of God’s Word and do what it says.  When we do this then we avoid depression that often accompanies suffering.  Grief is healthy but depression is not. Depression is inner anger, caused by focusing on what you don’t want. Looking up and finding the rainbow, and maintaining a positive view, helps you suffer well. The Bible says to be thankful in everything, pray without ceasing, and rejoice always (1 Thes. 5:16-18). This sounds hard to do but with God’s help all things are possible.

Philippians 4:6-7 states, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And, 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

7. Stay humble. Suffering will often lead to pride because we think we didn’t or don’t deserve it. So suffering well is to humble ourselves and seek God’s help and strength to endure and overcome. Remember, Satan also causes afflictions to draw us away from God, read the story of Job. Satan wants us to become angry and depressed, which is why we need to resist him and draw near to God.

James 4:6-8 states, But he gives more grace. Therefore it states, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ 7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

None of us likes suffering, but it happens. What you do during times of suffering will either make you stronger or miserable; it is your choice to suffer well or not. Also, keep suffering in proper perspective. I often say, “This too shall pass.”

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

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