8—God Promises to Give You Strength

Do you sometimes think you don’t have the strength to go on? So many things sap our strength, such as illnesses, hardships, depression, stress, disappointments, too many tasks, etc. The solution for enduring troubling issues is easy, but doing it is hard. It is human nature to try to overcome and solve besetting issues in our power, which saps our strength. The solution is to submit to God everything that troubles you. Submitting your troubles to God involves admitting you need God’s help and strength, then letting God take care of your issues, which is hard to do. Psalm 68:35 states, “Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!”

Find Strength in God

Ephesians 6:10 tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” God’s might gives us strength to endure and stand firm against our enemy, who causes most of our troubles. According to 1Chronicals 16:11, you find power when you are in the presence of God through continually praying, praising, and pondering His promises.“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” Also, claim Habakkuk 3:19, which says, “GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” Have you lost hope? Find your strength and hope to scale the mountains in your life through God’s might, not your useless attempts to be strong. Do you find yourself depressed? Pray and seek God to give you hope and strength to endure the issue sapping your energy.

Strength in Waiting

Sometimes we must wait and seek God for the strength to endure the issues we are facing. When you seek Him, the key to receiving power is to give God an offering of thanksgiving and praise, knowing He keeps His promises. Isaiah 40:31 proclaims, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” When you feel weak, especially as you follow, honor, and serve God, trust His promises to strengthen the weak and faint. The hard part is waiting to receive God’s promise. It is equally hard to give thanks in all circumstances, which is God’s will (1Thes 5:18).

Know that you are God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10), and He is shaping you through tough times to reflect His image (Rom. 8:28-29). Also, adversity causes your faith to become stronger so you can have the strength to endure troubles and temptations. God also has a good work planned for each of us, and we all need to go through hardships to strengthen our faith and character. Claim God’s promise in Psalm 46:1-3God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” God is our refuge and strength when we face grief and difficulties. Though it is hard to endure hardship patiently, we know we are being perfected when we patiently persevere (James 1:3-4). 

Trust God to Give You Strength

Trust is hard for us because we need to rely on God to keep His promises. Many of us have painful memories of disappointments when we relied on someone to do something, and they let us down. These painful memories often prevent us from trusting God. Read my short book on my website to learn how to heal painful memories. 2Corinthians 1:20 tells us, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” We can trust God to keep His promises. By faith, we can speak into existence Psalm 28:7, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” If you need strength and have none, you can call it into existence by believing and claiming God’s promises. Ponder the following Scriptures: “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak” (2Corinthians 4:13). Also, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare [proclaim]; before they spring forth, I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:9).

Strength for the Grieving

We lose our strength when grieving a loss or disappointment. Nehemiah 8:10b encourages us to “not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Not only do we find strength in God’s presence, but we also will have joy. Psalm 16:11 explains, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 73:26 states, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” What a wonderful promise.

Fulfilled Promises Bring Him Glory

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 4:20-21 the following, “No unbelief made him [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” The Apostle Peter teaches his readers in 1Peter 4:11, “Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”

Conclusion

We can only attain God’s strength when we seek His help and submit our troubles to Him. You also find strength when you remain in God’s presence through praying, praising, and pondering scriptures. Lastly, God promises to give you strength for His glory. I will end with one of my favorite scripture promises: 2Chronicals 16:9a, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” To achieve a blameless heart, read my post called WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL? and Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

RELATED POSTS

Know Your Purpose

Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to Trust Again.

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

How to Diminish the Distrust Belief to Enlarge Trust

Being Thankful During Hardships

Yet Another Layoff—How to Rise Above Worry, Anger, Insecurity, and Grief

HOPE: How it Motivates and Inspires BUT God’s Sovereignty…


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

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

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

How to Fight Unseen Battles

What are unseen battles? How do you know you are in a battle if you don’t see it?  These questions and many more are answered in my book called Fighting Unseen Battles that you can find on Amazon. If you wish to read my eBook and don’t have a Kindle or a Kindle app on your computer or phone, you can go to GooglePlay and download it for free.

Though there are many books written on Spiritual Warfare by big-name radio hosts and preachers, my book is unique in that it addresses the unseen battles against our minds, hearts, and souls.

How often do you struggle with being offended, worrying, being judgmental, and so on?

Do you realize how often the spirit world interacts with you?

My book explains how we are spirit beings in a physical body living in a physical world and how the unseen spiritual world interacts with our spirit. Read 1John 4:1-6 and underline all “Spirit” references. Here are the first three verses: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”

How many times a day do you have an opportunity to become offended?

This book will help you recognize and overcome offenses. For example, I was helping an inmate fight the unseen battle of deception that generated anger. Because of this unseen battle, she wanted to kill her mother. By the end of our session, she overcame the attack on her mind. At our next session, she reported that all was good with the situation involving her mother that she took offense to.

This book will teach you how to help others fight unseen battles in their lives. Parents will benefit by reading this book, so they can recognize the unseen struggles in their children and help them be victorious. I regret not knowing about unseen battles when I was a parent. I would have been a better parent and better equipped to help my children face the many difficulties in the world.

Do you know where unseen battles come from?

My book reveals the many sources of unseen battles, including the basic tactic of every deception and temptation from:

–Demonic Forces

–Self-centered Pride

–Adversity and Troubles

–Sinful Nature

–Worldliness

–Idolatry

–Unanswered Prayer

You will learn about the biblical authority a believer has to fight against demonic forces and the biblical strategies for victory.

My book is the culmination of the Bible Study materials I prepared for incarcerated women. It is written at a basic, easy-to-understand level with practical how-to applications of God’s truths. I love reading my book because it reminds me of the daily battles we are unaware of and the biblical strategies to be victorious. I know you will be encouraged when you read this book. You will also be equipped to help others and to make disciples as Jesus instructed in Matthew 18:19.

You can find my book on Amazon. I hope you check it out because I know you will be blessed. If you read my book and find it helpful, please leave a review. Also, if you want to do a Bible study with it, email me and ask for a free PDF of the leader’s guide. The PDF will have suggested discussion questions after each section. The scriptures in the endnotes will have quick links, and website links to review supporting material. My contact information is on the Copywrite page.

Thank you to everyone who supports my healing ministry. May God bless you and your family richly in the coming year.

How to Pursue and Achieve Godly Character

Have you admired people who were excellent at what they did and do? How can we achieve excellence of character? The first discipline is to train to be excellent, and the second discipline is to pursue your goals. I have been writing a series of posts on how to achieve the goal of godliness. Why should we pursue the goal of being godly and holy? 2Peter 3:10-11 explains, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.”

The first post in this series covered what being godly was. The second post explained how to train to be godly. The third post described how contentment with godliness increases independence, time, and wealth. The fourth post admonishes us not to seek riches and how being rich distracts us from pursuing the character of God. In this post, you will learn what and how to achieve godliness; God’s divine nature.

Why Should I Pursue Godly Attributes?

To accomplish the objective of being godly, we need to pursue God’s virtues by striving for or seeking to acquire moral excellence, which is right thinking and acting. I want to finish where I started in the last post. 1Timothy 6:10-11 states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. Through this craving, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs [griefs]. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” And In 2Timothy 2:21–22,the Apostle Paul explains, “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the Master, ready for every good work. So, flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” To be a vessel of honor and have a pure heart, you first must pray to put off (repent of) dishonoring lustful passions that contaminate your heart and then pursue and put on righteousness, faith, love, and peace.

  • You pursue righteousness by putting your faith in Jesus Christ’s ability to help you do what is right because He is your righteousness (Rom. 1:17; 3:22).
  • Pursue faith by reading God’s Word and memorizing Scripture (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 13:7).
  • Pursue love by putting off pride and forgiving those who sin against you (Mat. 6:12–14; 1Cor. 13:4–7).
  • Pursue peace by giving all your problems to God, trusting Him, and forgiving. If possible, you are to also live peaceably with everyone (Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14).

How To Pursue and Achieve the Virtues of God

The Apostle Peter’s instructions in the following passage give us hope for achieving godliness, excellence, and holiness. Read 2Peter 1:3–11 slowly and meditate on each prepositional phrase.

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 [lusts].

For this very reason, make every effort [diligently pursue] to supplement [add to]your faith with

virtue [moral excellence; goodness], and virtue with

knowledge [of God and His truth], and knowledge with

self-control [self-rule or self-discipline], and self-control with

steadfastness [perseverance, patience, and endurance], and steadfastness with

godliness [be like 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.

For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A promise is an assurance we can claim as ours. This passage promises we will never fall if we diligently pursue and practice faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, and love. Verse 8 guarantees that if we possess these qualities, we will not be ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Peter tells us to be diligent, which means to apply ourselves to accomplish something. 2Peter1:3–11 is full of many incredible truths. I encourage you to read a conservative commentary of this passage for a better understanding. Memorize these verses, so you don’t forget to do them because they are vital to being victorious over the unseen battles for your mind. Remember, God has given you His divine power through Jesus Christ, and you can partake of His divine nature through the promises found in the Bible. How fantastic is that!

Conclusion

To be excellent at anything, you need to train yourself to improve and then pursue your goals. Also, pursuing godliness makes us a vessel for honorable use. Thankfully, we have God’s divine power to help us achieve the virtues of God and His divine nature. Achieving godly character and excellence should be our number one priority because one day, we will stand before God and what will He find in you? Will you be ashamed?

RELATED POSTS:

End of Time POSTS


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

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

How to Overcome Situational Depression.

Do you, or someone you know, suffer from depression? I am not an expert, but I do know that everyone experiences depression differently and for different reasons. So, what do I know about depression? I have a strong family history of depression. My great aunt had bipolar depression, which was very debilitating. My mother was depressed all the time because she could not cope with the disappointments in her life. My sisters and I were depressed because of the dysfunction of our home.

Unfortunately, all types of depression have a stigma linked to it, and many people do not want to admit they are depressed because they don’t want to be seen as weak or mentally ill. Often medication is necessary to increase the feel-good chemicals in our brains. But because of the stigma, they do not get the help they need. The worst way to cope with depression is by escaping through drinking alcohol, using drugs, shopping, excessively watching TV and movies, overeating, etc.

Biblical examples of depression.

King David was often depressed. For example, King David wrote in Psalm 31:10; “For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity (sin), and my bones waste away.” Guilt from the wrong things we do causes depression. Repenting and asking for God’s forgiveness and forgiving yourself will help you overcome depression from guilt and shame. And, Psalms 42:5,11; “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Cast down means to grieve and be depressed. How David overcame his depression was to turn to God and hope in Him. God is our hope too, and He will lift us out of our depression when we turn to Him for strength and salvation.

In 2Corinthians 7:6 the Apostle Paul says, God is the comforter of the depressed, and He sent Titus to comfort Paul and his companions. Then Paul was put in prison, which would make me depressed. Many people visited him to encourage him. If you are depressed or are living with someone with depression, find someone who understands and is willing to pray with you and encourage you.

Depression is a normal reaction to loss, pain, or disappointment. We are disappointed by unmet expectations. Depression is not a sin, but it shows where your heart is hurting. The Prophet Jeremiah was known as the lamenting prophet because he was depressed by the coming loss and destruction of the nation of Judah, who refused to repent of their sins.

The Old Testament Patriarch, Job, was depressed for good reason. Satan kills all his children, causes his wealth and possessions to be taken from him, and caused boils to cover his body. He writes in Job 10:15; “If I am guilty, woe to me! If I am in the right, I cannot lift up my head, for I am filled with disgrace and look on my affliction.” Have you ever felt disgraced and your head hung down in sadness? Do the troubles you face cause you to be depressed? Psalm 121:1-3 explains how to overcome depression because of troubles; “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.” When I change my focus from my troubles to God and His promises, then I feel peace and joy again. You can read in http://Trust God to Keep His Promises how God helped me during my divorce and custody battle.

My life with depression and how I overcame it.

I discovered that not feeling valued as a child causes a stronghold of rejection to take hold of your mind. It keeps your focus on the negative events causing the rejection. I believe rejection leads to depression because we all want to be loved and valued. So, when this expectation is not met, I feel betrayed, angry, fearful, anxious, insecure, apathetic, or many times, pathetic. Is this something you have experienced? There is hope. I write in my book on this website about how to be free from the stronghold of rejection and many more strongholds. Begin reading with chapter one to understand the role our memories play in developing strongholds and depression. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

My depression was the worst when I was married to my first-husband who abused me. I did not feel valued, accepted, or loved. Many of my friends said I needed to get on anti-depressants. But instead, I became a raw food vegetarian. What? My sister gave me a book called “God’s Way to Ultimate Health” by Dr. George Malkmus. The book was very compelling, but what sold me was the story of a woman who had severe depression and became free from depression by following the raw food vegetarian diet. My diet was terrible and I had a lot of other health problems, so I went all in. Within six months, I was healed of almost all my health problems, including depression and endometriosis. I found out that the hormones in the meat I was eating caused my endometriosis. I am not a raw-food vegetarian any more but 50-80% of my diet is consistently raw foods. I do eat organic meats a couple times a week.

I wonder if my depression was cured because I was no longer eating preserved junk foods and sugar products. Sugar affects the chemical balance in your brain and causes inflammation. To learn more, research how sugar affects the brain. Physical activity stimulates the release of dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood.

Having a happy place helps with some types of depression because it is a distraction from the situation that is distressing you. Your happy place could be pictures, a pet, comedy shows, music, reading the Bible, etc. At the beginning of the quarantine, I got bantam chicks to help with my depression.

Another cure for depression is forgiving. For instance, I became depressed when my son would not make plans to visit with me when he came back for a wedding. Both my husband and I invited him and his wife several times for a visit, but they made up excuses. They stayed with her parents, who lived five minutes away. I let my thoughts go to every dark corner to gather up as much self-pity as my mind could find. I went to God and my happy places and could find peace or joy. Then I forgave him. Immediately the depression was gone. After calling him to see what he was up-to, I let him know how I felt (minus the self-pity) and that making time to visit would be nice. He and his wife did come over the next day before going back to their home state.

This last way to overcome depression is harder than forgiving, and that is being thankful. The Bible encourages us to always be thankful and to rejoice. I write about this in my post called http://A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER, I encourage you to read it.

Conclusion:

Depression is different for each of us, but it often occurs when you focus on your hurt and loss. To overcome, change your focus by doing things that make you happy and finding things to be thankful for, like focusing on Jesus. Depression from the guilt of sin can be remedied by repentance and forgiveness. When you feel no hope, hope in the promises of God. Overcome depression from rejection by forgiving those who reject you and healing painful memories, which I describe how in my book. Correct depression from brain chemistry imbalance by eating a Mediterranean diet, eliminating sugar products, and exercising. But also consider an anti-depressant to correct the brain’s chemical imbalance, and that is okay. Because my depression is situational and short-term, I would take Saint Johns Wort and 5HTP to help me get through a difficult time. Whatever type of depression you have, there is hope to not let it keep you down in the pit and steal your joy.

If you know someone who is struggling, come alongside them and comfort them as Titus did for Paul. Also, learn the signs of suicide and be willing to intervene for the severely depressed person.

Please leave a comment, I would like to hear what your happy place is or how you overcome when you feel depressed.

RELATED POSTS:

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

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control

Are Your Relationships Improving Your Well-Being?

Healthy Boundaries for Toxic Emotions and People

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

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

HOPE: How it Motivates and Inspires BUT God’s Sovereignty…

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

If you find my posts and website helpful, please send a link to your friends and family. Hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and may not be reproduced without permission from Joyce Hanscom.  You can contact me by emailing hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com.  P.S., seeing lasting change your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

What Is Required to Stand Before God?

What matters at the end of your life? What will God say to you when you stand before Him? What if God says, ‘I never knew you; depart from me.’ (Matt. 7:23)? The subject of this post is heavy, but necessary to ponder because we all will stand before Him someday, maybe today. Will He say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:21,23)?

Jesus said in His first sermon in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” What is the will of God? The will of God is to obey His instructions in the Bible and do what we know He has called us to do. God has called each of us to invest what He has given us into other people and not hide it.

Disclaimer: Our salvation and eternal destiny with God are not because of what we do or by our works but is by the grace of God. Ephesians 2:8-10 states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Once we have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit seals us, and then we must work out our salvation by renewing our minds and doing His will.  See the blog posts called Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One) and Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).

What does God require of us?

Moses, the first leader of Israel, writes the requirements from God in Deuteronomy 10:12-13:

1. To fear God

2. To walk in all His ways

3. To love Him

4. To serve Him with all our heart and with all our soul

5. To keep the commandments of the Lord and His statues for OUR GOOD.

Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

At the end of King Solomon’s life, he said in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. King Solomon did not always fear God or keep God’s commandments because he married foreign wives who led him to worship their foreign gods. In the end, King Solomon realized his error.

What does it mean to fear God? 

The Bible says in 2Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

The fear of God is to have deep respect, love, and awe that we demonstrate by doing good and obeying His instructions (Deuteronomy 6:2; 10:12; and 1 Samuel 12:14). The following verses describe how we are to fear God and the benefits:

Psalms 22:23 states ”You who fear the Lord, praise Him! …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, …”

1 Samuel 12:24 states, “Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.”

Proverbs 3:7-8 states, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh (body) and refreshment to your bones.”

Proverbs 28:14 states, “Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity (the pit).”

Psalms 115:11 also states; “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.”

Psalms 34:9 states, “Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack!

Fearing God is easy when you keep your mind focused on seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  See the blog post called How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? for more details.

How can I be assured God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The Apostle Peter’s instructions in the next passage give us hope. Peter tells us to be diligent, which means to apply ourselves to accomplish something. Meditate on the words of 2Peter 1:3-11:

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 (lusts).

5) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, virtue (moral excellence; right action and thinking; goodness of character), knowledge, self-control, steadfastness (perseverance), godliness, brotherly affection (kindness), and love. (my paraphrase)

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.

9) For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

10) Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.

11) For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A promise is an assurance we depend on. Verse 10 promises we will never fall if we practice faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, and love. Verse 11 promises we will enter the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ. Verse 8 promises if we have these qualities we will not be ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. How fantastic is this!

Conclusion:

Our life on earth is but a blink or breath compared to eternity (Ps. 144:4). So, being mindful of the day of judgment and what God will say to us, should be considered. In this post you learned that you are eternally secure when you do the will of God, fear Him, and diligently seek to add to your faith; moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

RELATED POSTS:

Self-control and Maturity

How Patience is a Sign of Maturity

Are you in control of your life?

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

Love From a Pure Heart


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

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

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

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

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

Context of This Verse

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

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

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

Matthew 6:25-34 is Jesus’s explanation why we should not be anxious but instead seek the kingdom of God first.  In Matthew 6:25 Jesus identifies the problem, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”  Then, Jesus explains the solution in verses 32-34, “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” 33) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  34) “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” The Apostle Paul told the Philippian church in Philippians 4:6-7: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication (requests) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Based on these verses, it is safe to say that being anxious is a natural reaction of our flesh when we don’t trust God.  Not trusting God is a sin because being anxious is not faith in God’s ability to help us.

Interpretation Based on Context

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

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

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

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

Know for Certain You Will Enter The Kingdom Of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RELATED POSTS

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Psalm 91 Posts

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

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

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

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

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

Unanswered Prayer? Doubt or Faith.

Why are some prayers answered, but some are not? The Bible promises in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” James 1:6-8 states, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7) For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord 8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

  • Do you doubt God answers prayer?  If yes, then ask God to show you any painful memories of disappointment that is causing you to doubt. Forgive the person who caused the pain or disappointed you, and then ask God to take the resulting resentment. Next, find something to be thankful for concerning that disappointment to transform the memory. Read chapter five of my book called, 5–Finding Painful Memories and Healing Issues.
  • Are you disappointed because of unanswered prayers? If yes, then ask God to show you what His best is for you and accept His sovereign will for you. Next, mentally submit your plans and requests to God and trust He has a good purpose for your life in His timing. Many of King David’s Psalms reveal his disappointment and submission to God’s sovereignty in his life.  See my post called Know Your Purpose? .
  • Do you feel you are not worthy and that God does not love you?  This unhealthy belief is from a painful memory, so let God reveal it and heal it. To understand how this works, read my book on my website.
    • Even if you don’t feel God cares, the truth is, He does. 1Peter 5:7 says, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” And when you commit your problems to God in faith, you will have peace. Believe that “He causes all things to work together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  Do you believe?

Reason Five: Do you doubt God in any way?

First, what is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And Romans 8:24 tells us that “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” Faith believes God will do what He has promised, so I pray the promises of God over situations in my life.

Matthew 9:29Then he touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith, be it done to you.’” This verse is most concerning because what we receive will be according to our faith. So, if we have a little faith then we will get a little.  2Kings 4 tells the story of the widow who met Elisha and asked him how she can pay her debt so that she and her son would not get sold into slavery to pay the debt. When he asked her what she had, she said she only had a jar of oil.  He told her to gather as many empty vessels from her neighbor as she could. Then pour the oil she had into those empty vessels. She could have doubted that such a thing could be done, but she gathered all the empty vessels she could find according to her faith. Then she filled every jar from that one jar of oil. The oil stopped when she finished filling all the containers. If she only got a few jars, then that was all the oil she would have gotten. It is the same with our faith. The moral of the story is that faith requires absolute obedience to experience answers to prayer.

Another example of great faith was when Jesus was walking on water, and Peter said in Matthew 14:28, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “come,” and Peter got out and began to walk on the rough waves towards Jesus. WOW, could your faith be that great? He was doing great until he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the waves. When he realized what he was doing, he became afraid and began to sink. Matthew 14:31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” The moral of the story; keep your eyes on Jesus, not your circumstances.

Matthew 16:8 states, “But Jesus, aware of this, said, ‘O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread?’” The disciples witnessed Jesus taking five loves of bread and two fish to feed 5000 people, then seven loaves to feed 4000 people. In this verse, the disciples were concerned about not bringing food with them for the journey. Did they forget how Jesus multiplied the food he had to feed thousands of people? The moral of the story; Jesus will do miracles to provide what you need according to your faith.

Matthew 17:20 states, “He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’” In this story, the disciples could not cast out a demon from a young boy.  When Jesus cast the demon out, the disciples asked Him why they could not.  Now, Jesus does not mean to move a literal mountain; otherwise, there would be no mountains.  The mountains represent the impossible things in our lives. 

My faith was tested when I needed to find another home for my children and me. My first husband was throwing us out of our home due to the divorce. I prayed for weeks for God to show me where to go, but the only income I had was child support. A friend suggested I start a sewing business. My business provided enough to put food on the table and pay the bills. But I did not make enough money to pay rent in my community. I found a cheap house that needed fixing up. So I went to a banker in my church about getting a mortgage, and he said I could not get a mortgage because I did not have a steady income. I continued to pray, and then God did a miracle and moved my mountain. I got a call that a small bank in another county was willing to give me a small mortgage. WOW!!! I bought the fixer-upper house, and God increased my business so I could pay the mortgage and all my other expenses, plus fix the place up. The moral of the story; God still does miracles and moves mountains to meet our needs.

Mark 5:34 states, “And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.’” The story behind this verse is of a woman who went to every physician, and they could not help her.  Her only hope was for Jesus to heal her, so by faith, she approached Jesus through the crowd of people around Him so she could touch His garment. Jesus felt power leave Him, so He turned to see who had touched Him. She confessed that she touched Him. Her faith brought the healing she hoped for. The moral of the story; faith connects to the power of God. Why are many not healed when they pray by faith and believe God will heal them? Read, How the Devil Causes Trouble and my other posts on why prayers are not answered.

When you doubt, you are not trusting God.

Are you consumed by worry or anger? When we worry and are angry, we doubt God can help us. Our emotions become like the waves of the sea described in James 1:6 because our negative thoughts act as the wind to whip-up our emotions. When we worry, we fear the worst will happen, and we are not trusting in God.  Don’t expect He will help you if you are not asking and trusting Him.  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.” Anger demands justice and retribution for an unfair wrong done against you.  God will patiently wait for you to turn the issue to Him before He acts on your behalf.

Proverbs 3:5-10 explains how to trust God.

5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding

            Does your heart reflect trust?

6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths

            Do you acknowledge Him in all your plans?

7) Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones

            Are you humble? Do you fear God and repent when you sin and do evil?

9) Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10) then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine

            Do you tithe?

Conclusion

The greater your faith, the greater the miracles.  The greater the doubt, the more you worry and become angry. Faith looks to God in hope and expects Him to provide excellent things.  Doubt looks to the distressing circumstances and sees no hope that things can be better.  God is waiting for us to come to Him in faith and receive the good things He has for us.

RELATED POSTS:

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

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

Unanswered Prayer? Why?

Unanswered Prayer—Are You Connected?

Unanswered Prayer—Are You Presentable?

Yet Another Layoff—How to Rise Above Worry, Anger, Insecurity, and Grief

Tragic news sucks the life out of you, so how do you accept it and move on in hopes of a better future?

I am getting laid off because of the COVID19 pandemic. My husband found out, he is now furloughed with no guarantee he will return to work. Am I concerned, yes. Concern though is another word for worry and fear, but it sounds more sophisticated. Worry and fear are a trap, and when you get caught in it, it’s hard to get free. Grieving and anger are also a trap that keeps you longer than you want, and may even cripple you emotionally and spiritually. Since I have been through two other layoffs, I know God is faithful and will provide for all my needs.

Why does terrible news suck the life out of you?

You can’t help but worry, be fearful of the future, be angry, feel insecure, and grieve the loss. When you receive unpleasant news, your mind goes in every direction but on God’s promises. And if you are like me, you crave consistency, security, and routine. I hate change, especially losing relationships. And if our identity is in what we do, then we will become insecure. Losing a job is humbling, for some, humiliating. Layoffs take a mental, emotional, and physical toll in our lives and sap our strength when our minds focus on negative thinking. It is okay to not be okay when your world is changed.  It is natural to grieve a loss or losses and be angry at those who caused your loss. But if you stay there you will lose your life of peace and joy.  To change negative thoughts into positive thoughts, do the following three things.

Three positive ways to respond to tragic news.

First, recount God’s past miracles. God was faithful and helped me through many difficult days. My last lay off was no fault on my part but was because my new supervisor did not like me and wanted a staff change. I was devastated because I was the only one working full time and my son would lose his tuition break, plus I carried the health benefits. But God miraculously changed my husband’s job from part-time to full-time by the first day of the semester so my son could get the tuition break and to provide health benefits. Praise the Lord. Now, I need to practice my life verses in 1Theselonians 5:16-18 to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

Second, forgive those who caused your loss, even if it you are not at fault, you still get angry and offended for one reason or another. I may need to forgive China for not controlling the virus in their country and for letting their citizens fly to other countries to spread the virus, which caused my hardships and resulting layoff. Forgiveness releases the power of the offense you feel and prevents it from controlling your beliefs and actions.

For example, I woke up in the middle of the night ruminating over the fact that the Department Head assured everyone that no one would lose their job and the department is okay financially. She said she cared about everyone in her department and that everyone mattered. So, why am I being laid-off? Did she lie? My husband gently reminded me to forgive her. When I forgave her and took the negative thoughts captive and put them out of my mind, then I could go back to sleep. I woke up the next morning with the thought that I am a child of the King of the Universe. Why do I need to be concerned? John 16:33 Jesus says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Third, trust God to keep His promises. Promise five of the 15 Promises post is God’s plans for you are for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). I have written many blog posts on keeping your thoughts on the things of God so you can have peace and joy. To be honest, I was taking the anger and worry bait but reminded myself to take my negative thoughts captive and think about those things that are true and good, etc. Read these posts to learn more:

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

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Being Thankful During Hardships

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Hope will help you get to the other side of awful news?

God wants to give you a future and a hope. 2Chronicles 16:9a tells us, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” God wants to support us through the sad times, but we have to trust and obey Him. Also, an often-quoted verse that comforts us during hard times is Romans 8:28. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” When we put our hope in God’s promises and purpose, then we will have strength, peace, and joy. The Webster dictionary says hope is a feeling that what is wanted will happen; desire accompanied by anticipation or expectation. Hope in God’s promises. The Bible says faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (see Hebrews 11:1). I have written a post on hope that goes well with this post, you can read it here and Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory.

Conclusion:

You can choose to think negative thoughts and allow awful news to suck the life out of you, or you can turn your thoughts toward the promises of God and have peace and joy. There is hope only in God’s promises. Choose a promise and hold on to it and remind yourself of it and stay in peace and joy.  When I was going through my divorce I held onto the promises in Isaiah 61:7, “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy. ” God fulfilled this promise in my life. He will be faithful to his promises you hope in as well.

Photo by nikko macaspac


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

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

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

RELATED POSTS

How the Devil Causes Hardships

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

How to Embrace the Challenge of Change with Grace

CAUTION – HOW TO GET OUT OF THE PIT

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

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

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

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

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

RELATED POSTS:

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

How to experience a heavenly life on earth.

Are you in control of your life?

Being Thankful During Hardships


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

―Are you afraid?

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

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

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

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

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

What do the following phrases mean?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

RELATED POSTS

Read my posts on Psalm 91 found in Psalm 91 Posts


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

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

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