CAUTION – HOW TO GET OUT OF THE PIT

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

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

How do you dig a pit of despair?

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

Why do you fall into the pit of despair?

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

How do you avoid the pit of despair?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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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.

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Read my posts on Psalm 91 found in Psalm 91 Posts

Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to trust again.

Have you been betrayed by someone you thought you could trust?  Have you experienced being forsaken by someone you love?  I have. God is the only one who will always be faithful and loyal to you, then your dog and maybe UPS delivery would be next.

I am offended by those who disregarded me, so how can I trust again?  You are disregarded when you are ignored, neglected, and not treated with respect. I will share later how to take those thoughts captive, so you are no longer controlled by the offenses. Each offense is like a brick in a wall. You build the wall with one offense after another to protect your heart from being hurt and disappointed again.  The wall also keeps you from experiencing the benefits of trusting and loving other people.  When you don’t trust you will live in fear that something bad will happen to you.  Fear erodes your relationships.  So, in this post, I will explain how to tear down your wall, one offense at a time so you can live in freedom and have peace and joy.  See my last post for an explanation of how to have peace and joy all the time in your life.  How to experience a heavenly life on earth.

For example, I trusted my father to love and cherish me, but he abused me then forsook me at 15 when he left and never contacted me again.  I trusted my mother to nurture and affirm me, but she was angry and dismissive.  I trusted my sisters to have my back and support me, but they were angry, violent, and self-centered.  I trusted my friends at school to be loyal and encouraging, but they humiliated me.  I trusted teachers and church leaders to protect me, but they looked the other way.  I trusted my first husband to love and protect me, but he abused me instead. Everyone has a story of betrayal and why they can’t trust.  Maybe a spouse had an affair.  A co-worker lied and gossiped about you.  A boss or supervisor harassed you and did not like you.  The painful memories of being forsaken control how you respond to those around you today.  Because of the antitrust wall around my heart, I could not give warmth and love to my family and friends.

Every human will fail you at one point or another because we all are sinners who fall short. You will fail someone who trusted you. Maybe you can’t be trusted because of the things you have done to hurt those around you.  You may not have been faithful to protect the ones you were supposed to love. God wants to make you whole and trustworthy again.  I will explain how to have hope for the restoration of your relationships. But first, you must STOP discounting yourself by reducing your value and thinking you don’t deserve better. You are valuable to God, and He wants to restore you and prosper you (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:17-18).

Do you have unrealistic expectations of the people in your life?  Maybe you have unstated expectations, and you think they should know, so you wonder why they let you down.  You may have specified your expectations, but the other person has not agreed to do what you expect.  Unmet expectations lead to frustration, anger, and feeling disregarded, which then create painful memories. You then believe the person cannot be trusted, so you close your heart to them and everyone else. Is this something you can relate to?  Read my short book to learn how to heal these painful memories: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Trust issues affect every living soul, and the painful memories need to be healed for the fruit of trust and faithfulness to grow in your life through the Holy Spirit.  Only God can heal your heart and memories, so first, ask God to remove your pride and any deceptive spirits from you.  I ask God to remove my pride because it always justifies why I shouldn’t trust and why I should be offended.  Then, I ask God to remove deceptive spirits because they will convince you that you don’t have a problem and it is no big deal. Next, ask God to show you if you have the following unhealthy beliefs or something similar:

  • I cannot trust; no one can be trusted
  • I am awful; I have done awful things and thought awful thoughts. I can’t trust in anything except the coming punishment that I deserve.
  • I don’t know what it means to feel trust and probably never will.
  • I can’t trust anyone after what I have experienced, after what I have done, and after what I have seen.
  • If I trust that things will work out and get better, then the coming pain is just that much more upsetting.
  • I trust what I have in my own hands, in my bank account, what I own, and what I control.
  • It is better to realize that everyone is out for himself, including me.
  • I am trustworthy. The only time I do bad things is when it’s justified.

Write down the unhealthy beliefs you have relating to your trust issues.  They may be some of the ones above or they may be different.  Next, ask God to show you the painful memory or memories that created the unhealthy belief.  Identify the vows you have made.  For example, I vowed to never trust a man because they are self-centered.  But, guess what, I was self-centered too. Go through the following prayer model to remove the offenses and the related unhealthy beliefs/vows.

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the contributors for each issue (problem, concern) such as the painful memory or memories of painful experiences or sin.
    • Painful experiences could be from a trauma, a word curse, unmet expectations, betrayal, poor choices, or rejection.
    • You may get an answer right away or you may have to wait a few days.
    • Be conscious of the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit speaking within your soul.
    • All painful memories have a negative stress-energy that needs to be removed from your mind and cells of your body.
    • Sin has negative spirit attachments that need to be removed by putting them off in Jesus’ name (see John 14:13 and 16:24).
    • Sin is anything you do that is not loving and valuing others or loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
  1. Forgive those who sinned against you including yourself if necessary (see Matthew 6:14:15, Colossians 3:13, and Ephesians 4:32).  WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE
    • The first step in trusting others is forgiving those who broke your trust because we are all sinners in need of a savior and forgiveness.
    • When you forgive, it breaks the power the offense has on your mind.
    • Do not dwell on the painful memories but be quick to forgive, though you may need to grieve a loss, which is healing.
    • Forgiveness releases you from the emotional control of the painful memories contributing to the issue needing healing.
    • If you have a hard time forgiving, ask God to give you His grace to forgive others for their sins against you as He has forgiven your sins (see Matthew 6:12-15).

PRAY: “Dear Lord, I forgive (name of the person or persons) for causing the pain of __________.”

  1. Replace unhealthy beliefs with truth.
    • Write down the lies or unhealthy beliefs the Holy Spirit reveals that are associated with the heart issue needing transforming by the truth.
    • Next, write the truths to replace the unhealthy beliefs.
    • For example, you may believe, “I don’t know what it means to feel trust and probably never will.” Replace this lie with this truth, “I can trust those who are trustworthy but understand they could let me down.  I know I can trust God and He will help me to forgive and be patient with those who let me down including myself.”
    • To understand how to use your authority in prayer read; Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

PRAY: “Dear Lord, I loose the unhealthy belief of __________, and bind in the truth that ________, in Jesus’ name.”

  1. Repent of sins.
    • List the sins you committed because of your wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs and decisions related to the issue needing healing.
    • Confess them to God and ask His forgiveness and to take all your guilt and resentment away (see 1 John 1:9) in Jesus’ name.
  1. Last, write out a thank you to God for something He did to protect, provide for, or comfort you. For painful memories to heal, they need to be replaced by a positive memory.

There is hope for complete healing of trust as you tear down the wall around your heart by taking each brick of offense out of the wall.  Choose to love others well knowing they are hurting people with walls and may choose to reject you.  Jesus was rejected and still is.

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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.

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Self-control and Maturity

What happens when an undisciplined child does not get what they want? Yep, they throw a temper-tantrum. How many adults are still throwing tempter-tantrums? Why? In this post, I will share the why, what, where, and how concerning self-control. Often, people think self-control is self-discipline to eat right and exercise, but it is more than that. I want to go deeper and focus on healing the reason why we lack self-control.

Why can’t I control my emotions?

I asked God why because He knows everything (see Psalm 139:1-3). Several days later as I was writing this post, I realized I was still reacting to disappointment the same way I did when I was a child.  God led me to the following transformational truths. 1Corinthians 13:11 states, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became [an adult,] I gave up childish ways.” And, 1 Corinthians 14:20 states, “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” Most of our self-control issues stem from immaturity. Maturity is to be fully developed, perfected, and able to control our thoughts, emotions, and desires. To be mature, we must put away our childish thinking and childish ways.  I will explain how to do this in my next post.

What is self-control?

Synonyms for self-control are temperance, sound mind, and discipline. The Greek meaning for self-control is “power over yourself or strength to govern yourself.” Self-control is our source of power over our will and not will-power. When we have self-control, we have the power to control our thoughts, emotions, and desires.

What is the consequence of not having self-control?

Proverb 25:28 (ESV) “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Modern King James states, “He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a broken-down city without a wall.” The William MacDonald commentary explains Proverbs 25:28 as “A man who has never learned to discipline his life is like an undefended city, open to every kind of attack, exposed to every temptation.”  The Matthew Henry commentary says, someone with self-control rules their thoughts, their desires, their inclinations, their resentments, and keeps them all in good order. If they lack self-control, they are exposed to the temptations of Satan and will have many troubles. The key word is “rules.” To rule is to exercise authority over it. I explain how to do this in Bondage to Unseen Controls and ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

James 1:14,15 state, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15) Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. We must rule our desires and put-up boundaries to protect our vulnerable hearts against temptations and attacks. A boundary that keeps us from sinning could be a truth statement or a command such as “do not get drunk” (Ephesians 5:18). We know that those who give in to the temptation to get drunk make themselves vulnerable to many other temptations, troubles, or even death. With this boundary, we can choose not to drink alcohol or exercise self-control or temperance and not get drunk. In my Fruit of the Spirit Characteristics worksheets on my website, I define many truths that can be used as boundaries around your heart and mind. With the truth of God’s Word and His divine power, you can govern how you will properly conduct ourselves instead of giving in to your desires. For those who lose their tempers, you need to first give up to God your desire to control everyone or everything other than yourself.

Where does self-control come from?

Self-control is produced by the Spirit of God as explained in Galatians 5:23. A fruit grows from branches that are part of a main vine. For Christians to produce fruit, they need to abide in the true vine, Jesus Christ, for life and nourishment (John 15:5).  John 15:1-2 states, I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” So, if you struggle with self-control, yield to the Father’s pruning in your life.  Childish ways and thinking need to be pruned and removed from your mind.  I explain how to do this in my short-book on my website.

After we have pruned our childish thinking, we then need to rely on Jesus for our strength and righteousness and keep our minds focused on His truths.  When we rely on Jesus, we can draw from His divine power to produce spiritual fruit in our lives. The fruit of the Spirit are the characteristics or virtues of God, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. So, the more we transform our childish thinking with the truth of God’s Word, then we will exhibit more of these virtues of God. And, as we draw divine power from the life of Jesus in us through prayer, we will become partakers of His divine nature, and then we can rule our desires with self-control. The more we gain Jesus’s divine nature, the more spiritual fruit we will have to give to others. We will have more love to give, more patience, kindness, joy, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

2Peter 1:3-8 state, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5) For this very reason, make every effort to supplement (add to) your faith with virtue (moral excellence), and virtue with knowledge (of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word), and knowledge with self-control (self-rule and self-discipline), and self-control with steadfastness (patience and endurance), and steadfastness with godliness (devotion to God), and godliness with brotherly affection (kindness), and brotherly affection with love. 8) For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Faith in God’s promises, moral excellence, knowledge of God’s truths, self-control, patience, devotion to God, kindness, and love, grows within us when we hear the Word of God preached and read our Bibles to transform childish thinking.

How do we put-away childish ways and rule with self-control?

When you were a child, what did your parents do to help you mature and learn self-control? They disciplined you? The Webster dictionary defines discipline as training that develops self-control, character, and proper conduct, which sometimes involves punishment. God also disciplines us when we do not practice self-control and then disobey Him (see Hebrews 12:7,11). Hebrews 12:11 states, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Note to parents, if you don’t correct self-control issues in your child, the lack of self-control will negatively affect every aspect of their adult lives. Disappointment is a fact of life and will happen daily. So, if you teach your children how to accept and process disappointment, then they won’t develop resentment and become emotionally handicap.

So, if there is an area in your life you lack self-control, ask God to show you the childish thinking you need to put away. We then must loose/put off self-centered desires to please ourselves or to control others. I explain this in detail in my short book called “Hope for Complete Healing.”

My next post will delve deeper into why we lack self-control and why we can’t rule our spirits and how to overcome.

There is hope for maturity and to be self-controlled as we transform childish thinking into Godly thinking.

RELATED POSTS:

Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

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

HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, how do we submit to God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other related posts:

Freedom from Anxiety and strongholds of worry and fear

POSTS on Thoughts

Posts on Trusting God

Bondage to Unseen Controls

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

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

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

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

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

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