Spiritual Warfare 3: HOW TO BATTLE FOR PEACE

How do you achieve peace with God and peace with those who are nasty individuals? How can you live in harmony with people who irritate you, offend you, or are rude to you? The answer is to own the gospel (good news) of Jesus and what He did on the cross for everyone, not just know it or believe it, but personalize it and tell it to others. Owning something means you can claim it as your own, and you have the authority and power to live in it and share it. But you will have to do spiritual warfare to keep the peace.

The good news is redemption through forgiveness of sins and the victory Jesus Christ bought for everyone by defeating our common enemy, the devil. 1John 3:8b states, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” The devil is called the thief, and he came to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10a). He especially came to steal peace and all the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Look at the evidence around you and in the news. Because Jesus forgave our sins, we can forgive other people for their sins and stay in peace.

Understand that our struggle is not with sinful, self-centered people but with the unseen demonic forces (Ephesians 6:12). Ephesians 6:14-15 explains how to do spiritual battle, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” The gospel of peace is always being ready and prepared to share the good news about how to be at peace with God and with each other.

I explained how to use the belt of truth in Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH? and use the breastplate of righteousness in Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT FALL AWAY. In this post, I will show how to put on the shoes of the gospel of peace and be ready for battle against the unseen demonic world who wants to steal your peace. Proper shoes are a vital part of a warrior’s attire because sturdy shoes help them walk securely and not slip. The spiritual shoes of the gospel of peace is the sure foundation that keeps you from falling into temptation and acting out your sinful nature and pride when you feel insulted. Have you noticed that prideful people do not live in peace, but humble people do? Why do you think that is?

Ready Your Mind to Be at Peace with People

When I humbly live my life through Jesus Christ’s divine life in me (Gal. 2:20 and 2Peter 1:4), I can give grace and forgiveness to the challenging people around me. Ephesians 2:1-2 states, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” The challenging people in your life may be those who are disobedient to God’s command to love and strive for peace. Do you keep God’s instructions in the Bible? When the gospel of Jesus Christ controls our thoughts, we can stand firm and live in peace with each other.

Every day, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11). The spiritual forces of darkness want to steal your peace and cause you to be offended or tempt you to sin so you don’t live in peace with God or those around you.

The Bible says in Romans 12:17-21,Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Our sinful, human nature wants to return evil for evil. When we feel insulted, we think: How dare they say what they said or do what they did, who do they think they are? When you return an insult for insult, what does that say about you? It reveals pride. How does Romans 12:17-21 say we should live in peace with someone who is insulting us? When Jesus was mistreated, how did He react (see 1Peter 2:21-24)?

First, living in peace with other people involves being at peace with yourself and letting God take care of the rest. My short-book on my website will help you find the painful memories that cause you to lose your peace 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories. People can’t steal your peace unless you let them.

Second, strive to live in peace and choose to be holy and not act on your sinful nature to be unloving. Hebrews 12:14 (NIV) states, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men [people] and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Holiness is to be without sin. That does not mean we never sin, but we repent and seek God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1John 1:9). This verse says we won’t see the Lord if we are not holy. So strive to live in peace with everyone as far as it depends on you (Romans 12:18). Living in peace is difficult without the help of Christ Jesus’ divine power in us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:9,  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

How are we to be holy in a sinful world? 2Corinthians 7:1b explains, “Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” We become holy when we daily die to our sinful desires and cleanse ourselves by confessing our sins and asking God for forgiveness. Then we will have peace in our hearts. Fearing God is choosing to revere and obey Him by doing the things that please Him. We please Him by having faith, doing good, and putting off our sinful nature, as explained in the following Scripture passages:

And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (1Thessalonians 4:7).

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1Peter 1:14-16).

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it” (1Peter 3:11).

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).

Do you have holy conduct with those who are offensive? If not, seek to own the gospel of Jesus’ redemption until you can mindfully live above your natural sinful reactions and love everyone as Christ loves them. 2Corinthians 5:14-15 states, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Satan does not want you to live in peace with anyone, let alone be controlled by Christ’s love for them, so he tempts you to be self-centered and prideful. The Gospel of redemption helps you stand firm against this scheme of the devil. When Christ controls us, we can pray for those who hate us or persecute us and not return evil for evil. You may not be persecuted, but you might be frustrated or annoyed with someone irritating you or upset about everything.

How does the gospel of Jesus Christ control your thoughts, so you can stand firm and not sin?

How to be ready to share the gospel message of of peace with God

Always be ready and prepared to share your gospel testimony of God’s power and hope in your life. Where ever you go, be prepared to share how God’s power transformed you and given you hope and peace. 1Peter 3:15 states, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

You can testify that He has redeemed your life from the pit of destruction. Psalm 40:2, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”

Testify how Jesus reconciled you to a holy God through the forgiveness of your sins so you can be at peace with God. 2Corinthians 5:18-19 states, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” Reconciliation means to make right or harmonious again. Before Christ, we are all dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1) and destined for God’s wrath. After we received Christ into our hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17), we were saved and reconciled to God. We also have peace with God by trusting Him to justify us (remove our sin) when we believe. Romans 5:1 tells us, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Explain how you were transferred from darkness to the light when you believed in your heart and confessed Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life. John 8:12 states, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” And John 12:46 Jesus states, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

We have the same calling as the Apostle Paul in Acts 26:18, where Jesus tells Paul that He is sending him, “To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Only God can open their eyes, so we must pray and ask God to remove the blinders from those you share your testimony with. 2Corinthians 4:4 states, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

The gospel of peace also gives them peace of eternal life when they believe. Romans 1:16 also states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” If you are ashamed to share the gospel message, then Jesus will be ashamed of you. Mark 8:38 states, “For whoever is ashamed of me [Jesus] and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” I don’t know about you, but I do not want my Savior to be ashamed of me.

You can testify that salvation gives peace, and you do not fear the wrath of God because your sins are forgiven, and you are justified (Rom.5:1). So, you can testify that Jesus has saved you and will save them if they believe in their heart. 1Theselonians 5:9, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And Romans 10:9-10 states,  “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

Conclusion

Each morning pray: I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace and prepare to sow peace with everyone and in every situation, even when people do not meet my expectations. Through prayer, I put off the spirit of pride and walk as God walks in humility, love, compassion, and respect for others. I will share my testimony of hope and encourage everyone I can to love and trust in Jesus Christ. (Jam. 3:18; Rom. 12:16-18; Col. 3:12-14; 1John2:16; Prov. 16:18; 1Peter 3:8,15.)

Email me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com to get instructions on how to create a three-minute testimony you can share easily and readily anywhere. Revelation 12:11 states, “And they have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

RELATED POSTS:

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Four Realities of the Spirit World

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS


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

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 real person making the request.

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW NOT TO DIE SPIRITUALLY

Why do Christians fall away from their faith? Never forget that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1Peter 5:8). Because we live within the spirit world, we must always be vigilant for demonic attacks. Those attacks can be wrong thoughts, false beliefs, or temptation to sin. Often spiritual attacks are through people who offend us or lead us away from our devotion to God and into worldly activities.

Christians leave the faith because they take off the breastplate of righteousness that protects their heart from the daily temptations to be offended or give in to deceitful desires, which leads to sin. Being offended causes us to be self-focused and prideful, then we say and do unkind things. Righteousness also protects us from God’s wrath for sin by reminding us to do what is good and pleasing in His sight. For example, do you think Christian leaders who fall into sexual sins have on the breastplate of righteousness?

The first step to putting on the breastplate of righteousness is to ask God to forgive your sins so you can then forgive other’s their sins. Next, invite Jesus into your heart and be your savior and Lord because you can’t be righteous without Him. 2Corinthians 5:21 states, “For our sake, he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

God’s righteousness protects your heart when you surrender your life to do His will and obey His instructions. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” And 1Peter 4:2 states, “So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” Also, 1John 2:17 states, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

How do you know if you have on the breastplate of righteousness?

The righteous walk by faith (Habakkuk 2:4b; Romans 1:17b). Galatians 3:11 states, “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” And Hebrews 10:38 states, “But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” Also consider, Hebrews 11:6, which states, “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.”

The righteous die to sin, then practice righteousness. 1John 3:7 states, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” Also, 1John 3:10 states, “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” And 1John 2:29 states, “If you know that he [Jesus] is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” 1Peter 2:24a also states, “He [Jesus] himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

The righteous rejoice in the Lord and gives thanks. Psalm 97:12 states,”Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!” And Psalm 64:10 states, “Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!” Also, Psalm 140:13 states, “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

The righteous are wise and increase in learning. Proverbs 9:9 states, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” And Proverbs 10:31aThe mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.” Also, Psalm 37:30 states, “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

The righteous hates falsehood (Proverbs 13:5a). Proverbs 15:28a states, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer.”

The righteous are not selfish but gives. Psalm 37:21 states, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.” And Proverbs 21:26b states, “The righteous gives and does not hold back.”

The righteous serve God and desires to do His will. Malachi 3:18 states, “Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” And John 9:31 states, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” Also, Isaiah 48:18 states, “Oh, that you had paid attention (listened) to my commandments (instructions)! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

The righteous pursue righteousness. 1Timothy 6:11 states, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” And 2Timothy 2:22 states, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Also, Romans 6:13 states, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

The righteous seek first the kingdom of God and are not anxious. Matthew 6:33-34 states, “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.”

According to what you have just read, do you have on the breastplate of righteousness? From the list above, where do you need to improve?

The best way to practice righteousness is to fear God.

Hebrews 11:7 states, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” God told Noah to build an ark and gather two of every kind of animal to survive a great flood, something they never experienced. Noah faced constant ridicule from the wicked people around him. But he obeyed God out of reverent fear, and because of his faith, he was considered righteous.

The fear of God is to have a deep respect and awe of His judgement, mighty power, and love. We demonstrate reverent fear by obedience to God’s Word and loving Him. Deuteronomy10:12-13 states, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?” Do you fear God, walk in all His ways, love and serve Him, and obey His instructions? The following verses describe what it means to fear God:

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

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

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

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

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. –Psalms 115:11

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

Conclusion

The breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts from becoming offended and the temptation to give in to our fleshly desires that leads to sin. When we seek to please God, we will love those who hurt us, forgive them, and not allow sinful desires to trap us in pleasing ourselves or being unkind. Being righteous requires that we make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives and surrender our will to do His will. The person who has on the breastplate of righteousness will walk by faith, die to sin, rejoice in the Lord, increase in wisdom, hate falsehood, give, serve God, and pursue righteousness. Fearing God helps us keep the breastplate of righteousness on by reminding us to trust Him, shun evil (sin; wickedness), and do what is good and honorable in the sight of God and men. Romans 12:9-10 states, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Pray the following each day: I put on the breastplate of righteousness and receive forgiveness for my sins and forgive others their sins. I will practice righteousness and do God’s will by obeying His instructions. I will please God in reverent fear, knowing I will stand before Him to give an account of the good and evil I do while in the flesh. (Matt. 6:12-15; Acts 10:43; 1John 1:9; 2:29;  John 9:31. 2Cor. 5:9-10)

RELATED POSTS:

Four Realities of the Spirit World

HOW TO PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD AND DEFEAT THE ENEMY WHAT

HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR?

In The Last Days, Why The Righteous Will Not Fear

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

Fear God, Not People


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

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 real person making the request.

What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance

The Bible says our heavenly inheritance is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us when we believed in Jesus Christ (read Ephesians 1:13-14.) So, why does the Bible also tell us that we can lose our inheritance. We will explore this apparent dichotomy in the next few posts. In this post, we will explore why idolatry can cause you to lose your inheritance. The reason I am interested in idolatry is because of how much the 2020 quarantine disrupted our lives, and we had to reevaluate our priorities.

My friend is upset at the notion that he could be an idolater. He said; “Don’t tell me I worship idols; I do not worship or bow down to a created image of an animal or anything else. Idol worship was a problem during the Bible times, though I know some religions worship images and offer sacrifices to them.” Todd then asks me to go to the ball game and that a famous band will be playing during the pregame show. Afterward, he invited me to to go to the Tenth Street bar to watch Wrestle Mania. I said, “No thank you.” To me these were idols that Todd did not realize.

You may not know the many types of idols you are worshiping or trusting in to meet your needs, but we all have idols in our lives. The dictionary defines idolatry as having excessive devotion to or reverence for some person or thing other than God. Some people idolize celebrities. Many people idolize money and fame. Other people idolize their children or grandchildren. Your created image may be different than those in Biblical times, but you still have them.

So, why should we conquer the unseen battles with idolatry? The Bible says idolaters will not go to heaven. Yes, I believe we are saved by faith, but the Bible says in Ephesians 5:5, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone …, who is an idolater has no inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

In my last post, I asked if you were a sheep or a goat according to Matthew 25. If you hope to enter heaven, you must be a sheep who is a follower of Jesus. So, make sure you do not have unseen idols in your life that distract you from following Him. Just as you were unaware of worldly thinking, you are equally unaware of the idols in your life. God created us to worship Him as our only savior, provider, healer, helper, etc. Because God is a Spirit, and we cannot see or touch Him, so we think we need to replace Him with something physical. Note, you can’t trust the government to take care of you.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE UNSEEN IDOLATRY.

Many people put their hope for security in the material, temporal things of this world, such as money, jobs, investments, homes, education, etc. Some people put their hope for love and acceptance in people, programs, activities, etc. All the things of the world you put your hope in will disappoint you because the Apostle John says in 1John 5:19-21, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” And, John ends his first book with “keep yourself from idols.” Satan’s unseen temptation is to cause you to doubt God exists and trust idols to meet your needs.

Idolatry is evident throughout the world since the beginning of civilization. The first two commandments of the Ten Commandments make it very clear; we are to have no other gods in our lives, yet we do (read Exodus 20). God is jealous for us because He created us to be in a loving relationship with Him, and He wants us to love Him more than anything or anyone else. Luke 10:27 states, “And he (Jesus) answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.‘” Do you love God as described in this verse? What does that look like in your life? What changes do you need to make?

Many people expect other people or possessions to meet their needs and they value and trust them more than the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, I discovered that I depended on my family to make me happy. And, I depended on my job for security. So, when my children grew up and did their own thing outside my control, I became depressed. And when I was laid off from my job, I felt rejected and became despaired because my identity was in what I did. Have you had similar experiences?

How we make ourselves idols.

I even made an idol of myself and wanted everyone to worship and serve me. Be honest or ask God to show how you too want to be worshiped and served. If you are offended when people don’t agree with you, or does or says something you don’t like, it shows you idolize yourself. We idolize ourselves when we think other people should have greater respect for us. This is pride at its best. Observe the prideful behavior of athletes, celebrities, and musicians. By-the-way, God hates pride, because it will keep you from loving and trusting Him. After all, prideful people trust in themselves and love themselves too much. Do you know someone like this?

I will share more in my next post because I have a lot to contemplate from this post. Ask God to show you your idols because we all have them. Determine to be a sheep and follow Jesus, and do not trust or worship anything else.

Grace and peace to you,

Joyce

RECOGNIZE WORLDLY THINKING AND BE FREE

Our world has many distractions that keep our focus away from the true source of life, peace, and love. We want to fill-up on all the world has to offer, and wonder why we feel empty, anxious, and lonely.

Rick Renner expressed the following belief. Before we received the life of Jesus Christ, we are dominated, manipulated, and mastered by the culture in which we live.1 For example, the news outlets shape our opinions; advertisers influence our desire for things we don’t need; movies and TV shows numb our moral conscience; and social media shapes our attitudes. You will think worldly thoughts when you immerse yourself in worldly activities and around worldly people. 1John 5:19 tells us “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one,” so be wise in how you spend your time and what you put into your mind. The Apostle Paul explains worldliness in his letter to the Ephesian believers. Meditate on each line of the following passage. Ephesians 2:1-3 state,

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,

following the course of this world,

following the prince of the power of the air,

the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,

carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and

were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Did you know an evil spirit works in those who disobey God? Someone told me the “prince of the power of the air” is the devil controlling what comes into our homes via the airwaves, referring to the Internet, TV, and radio. Satan uses any worldly device to wage war in your mind to allure you away from devotion to God. He first blinds your mind so you are not aware of his attractive temptations. In 2Corinthians 4:4, the Apostle Paul states, “In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds….” The god of this world is the devil as described in Revelations 12:9, which states, “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” A person deceived and blinded by the devil will say they are fulfilled and satisfied with worldly activities. However, many people realize the despair and futility of this lifestyle and turn to Jesus Christ, which happened to me.

The following questions are tough, but an honest answer is necessary for you to have victory over the unseen battles with temptations to love worldliness more than God.

??- Do you dress in the latest fashions, act like the world, talk like the world, and be controlled by worldly activities, such as drinking, tattooing, gambling, video gaming, sexual immorality, etc.?

??-Do you put into your mind evil images of death and lust in the form of pornography, ungodly TV shows, magazines, books, and movies?

??-Do you often skip church to go to a sporting or recreational events?

??-Do your favorite activities distract you from reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying, or spending time with fellow believers?

You might be thinking two things right now: first, none of these questions mean I’m worldly; second, I can still do these things and still love God. Now imagine if you lost all your possessions, beauty, prestige, and successes, would you still love God and be thankful? Or what if your favorite team or activity disappeared, would you feel depressed and lost? Because of this pandemic, I miss doing many activities I use to do, which has caused me to evaluate my priorities. Is this pandemic causing you to become depressed or re-evaluate your priorities?

The Bible does not say doing or having enjoyable things is wrong? But when you love and value them more than God, this is loving the world. 1John 2:15-17 explains, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Why does God tell us not to love the world or the things in the world? Do you think God knew mankind would worship and serve what they can see and touch and what appeals to their pride and pleasures of their sinful nature? One of His Ten commandments found in Exodus 20 was not to worship or serve anything created by man because God is jealous. God created us and wants us to love and serve Him only.

Examples of the lust of the flesh in 1John 2:16 could be our appetites, cravings, and desires for alcohol, drugs, sugar products, over-eating, sexual immorality, gambling, and greediness. The lust of the eyes includes those things we specifically see and covet, which may spark our lustful desires and appetites. Examples are pornography or wanting what someone else has, such as possessions, achievements, and advantages. The boastful pride of life refers to anything that promotes or elevates a sense of independence from God.

Independent thinking causes us to believe we can do our own thing, live a self-serving life, and have it our way. For instance, the pride of life is anything giving you the right to boast and may include gaining possessions to show a certain status; gambling to hopefully win big; success to show you are someone, or wealth to be admired. All of these are passing away, then you will spend eternity with God or in hell. So, if you don’t want to be devoted to God while on the earth, then why should He want to let you in His heaven?

The Bible warns against being enslaved or taken captive by elementary principles or spirits of the world, Galatians 4:3 states, “In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.” Colossians 2:8 states, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” And, Colossians 2:20 states, “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations.” These Scripture passages tell us, we can be enslaved to the elementary principles of the world, but in Christ, we have died to these elemental allurements. Now, these worldly spirits do not control us anymore. Being aware of your thoughts will prevent you from being taken captive by the evil spirits of the world. Memorizing the truths in God’s Word will help you distinguish between elementary principles of the world and godly principles.

Reflections and Application:

How were you dominated, manipulated, and mastered by the culture of this world?

Further Study/Footnotes:

1. Renner, Rick, (2007), Dressed to kill. Published by Teach the Nations, Tulsa, OK

RELATED POSTS:

How To Overcome Legalism And Judgmentalism

What Controls Your Thoughts?

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Bondage to Unseen Controls

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?


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 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).

Unanswered Prayers? Are You Turning God Off?

Have you ever wanted something you thought you had to have and you wanted it right away? We are the microwave society that wants instant results. When I was a teenager, I wanted a guitar so I could be cool like my friend Kelly.  I asked my Mom to give me one for Christmas, but I got a six-hole flute instead, go figure. I was so disappointed.  I now understand that my divorced mother was poor, and she could not afford to buy me a guitar. But, instead of telling me that, she said if I could playing the flute she would get me a guitar the next Christmas. Well, I practiced a lot of songs and gave her an audition, but still no guitar. Have you been disappointed when you didn’t get something you wanted? Many times, God does not give us the things we want right away.

James 4:3 states, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” Passion is a strong desire for what gives you pleasure. A passion is not always because of selfish pride. If the passion is for self-centered reasons, then it could be motivated by pride.  If the passion is zeal to do good and be God-centered or other-centered, then your motive is good. So, what is your motivation for asking God to give you what you desire? My motivation to play the guitar was from self-centered pride.  I bought a guitar many years later, and I had no musical ability to play it. God knew that, but I didn’t.

Reason 7: Pride Turns God Off.

Humble prayers are the prayers God answers. James 4:6b states, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” And, 1John 3:21-23 states, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22) and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23) And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.”

The sin of pride blocks your prayers because pride keeps you from obeying God and loving others. To know if you have a self-centered pride issue, ask God to search your heart and examine your mind.  Jeremiah 17:9-10 explains, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it? 10) I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” And, Psalm 139:23 states, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Also, Obadiah 1:3a states, “The pride (arrogance) of your heart has deceived you, …”

Billy Graham believes, our motive for petitioning God must be humble. Suppose your prayer is self-centered and only concerned for the gratification of your own pleasures and passions. In that case, God cannot, in faithfulness, grant your requests.1 Another way our pride turns God off is how our pride wants immediate results and does not want to wait, but sometimes we have to wait for God’s perfect timing.

________________________________________

Reason eight: Sometimes we have to wait?

God wants us to grow in our faith and character more than give us our desires.  Trials of temptations and adversity are necessary, so we can become stronger in our faith and character. Lamentations 3:25–26  states, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait on the Lord quietly.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones believes that God sometimes delays His answer to deal with selfishness or things in our lives that should not be there.2

Isaac Breese believes that too often we look to prayer to solve all of our problems instead of focusing on meditation. We always feel the need to voice our concerns to God constantly telling him what we need forgetting that he already knows.3

Conclusion:

God hears the prayers of those who are humble and accepts a “no” or “wait” answer. A humble person waits patiently for His response. Often, we ask God for things that may not be good for us at the time or is His will for us. This post is the last in the series of why prayers go unanswered. To know all the reasons why God may not answer you prayers, read my previous posts:

Unanswered Prayer? Why?

Unanswered Prayer? Are You Connected?

Unanswered Prayer? Are You Presentable?

Unanswered Prayer? Doubt or Faith.

Unanswered Prayer? Asking For God’s Will or Your Will?

HOW TO PRAY USING THE LORD’S PRAYER AS A MODEL

________________________________________

1. billygraham.org

2. Page 16, Lloyd-Jones D. M., (1987), Faith: tried & triumphant.  Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI

3. “It’s Not That God Didn’t Answer Your Prayers, It’s That You Didn’t Get The Response You Wanted” https://medium.com/publishous/its-not-that-god-didn-t-answer-your-prayers-it-s-that-you-didn-t-get-the-response-you-wanted-1b0bf4be9c24

________________________________________

RELATED POSTS:

How I became free from pride:  The Core Negative Heart Issue

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

Freedom from Impatience and Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

________________________________________

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 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).

Unanswered Prayer? Are You Presentable?

If you were to appear before a King or Ruler of a Nation and given the chance to ask him or her to do something, how would you dress and act? Take a moment and visualize it. Would you be humbled, cleaned up, neat, polite, be conscious of customs as not to offend, etc.? Now, how is that different than coming before the King of the Universe in prayer? Do you think you can go before Him in pride and with an unrepentant, filthy heart and demand Him to give you what you want?

To continue the simple illustration of electricity. Suppose prayer is the power cord, and faith is the action of plugging into the power source. In that case, hope is the expectation the power source will deliver results. If a lamp is plugged in but does not turn on, you need to look for the reason. Prayer connects you to God through the Holy Spirit that dwells in you when we believe in Jesus Christ and receives forgiveness for our sins. Unrepentant sin short-circuits the power of your prayers.

Reason Four: Unrepentant Sin short-circuits our prayers.

We cannot approach a Holy God in prayer if we are not presentable by having unrepentant sin in our lives. What is sin? Sin is disobedience to God’s instructions to love Him by keeping His commands and loving one another. Sin is knowing the right thing to do and not doing it (James 4:17). The following verses explain why unrepentant sin prevents your prayers from being answered.

Psalms 66:18 states, “If I regard wickedness (sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear;”

Isaiah 59:1,2 states, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.  2) But your iniquities (sin) have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.

1Peter 3:12 also says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Psalms 34:14-18 explains, “Turn away from evil (to harm) and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15) The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. 16) The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17) When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18) The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Unrepentant sin includes not forgiving those who sinned against you because God instructs us to forgive. Matthew 5:23, 24, states, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” If you struggle forgiving those who did evil against you, please read my post on why we should forgive.

Wayne Jackson writes in “6 Reasons Why Some Prayers Are Never Answered” on ChristianCourier.com. “If you know that someone has a legitimate grievance against you, how can you sincerely approach God in prayer? Uncorrected problems with brethren are extremely detrimental. Peter certainly stressed that discordant home relationships could hinder prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). Where domestic wrangling and bitterness prevail, prayer can never be effective.” What do you think? Would you agree?

Solve the problem of sin through repentance and the work of Christ on the cross.

1John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Pastor Darryl Baker writes in “Abiding in the Word” blog, “Because of what Christ did in bearing our sin and the punishment of our sin, we no longer need to live fearful of approaching our heavenly Father. The sin that separated us is gone and we can now approach God with complete confidence. So as a believer we should daily draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. Don’t ever run from God, run to Him. If you have sinned repent, and run back to the Father for He awaits with arms open wide to help you get back on your feet again.” And he writes, “It is the devil who tries to keep us from approaching God by making us afraid to do so through wrong thoughts. Scripture teaches us to come boldly to the throne of grace, to find grace and help in our time of need. God is waiting to help us overcome whatever we may be dealing with in life, but we must draw near to Him to get that help. The door is open so don’t ever run from Him. He is your answer, He is your deliverer, He wants to help you; and most importantly He wants you to know Him.”  I agree, but we need to come before Him with a repentant and humble spirit.

Hebrews 4:14-16 states, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 

16) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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

These verses are the theme verses for my county jail Bible study. I have the women memorize them. One inmate return because her roommate had alcohol in the apartment which meant she broke her probation. When she came to the Bible Study, she was excited to still be able to quote the verses above from memory. I encourage you to memorize Hebrews 4:14-16 and James 4:6-8.

Conclusion:

God is loving, merciful, gracious, and slow to anger. Psalm 103:8 states, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” He is also Holy and Just; Isaiah 5:16 says, “But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows Himself holy in righteousness.” So, we need to approach Him with humility and with repentance if we want him to hear our petitions.

RELATED POSTS

HOW TO PRAY USING THE LORD’S PRAYER AS A MODEL

Reasons One and Two Why Prayer Is Not Answered

Unanswered Prayer—Reason Three

How to Recognize and Eliminate Emotional Cancer


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 prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

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

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

What should you fear? What is fear? Fear is a thought that controls your beliefs and decisions.  We mostly fear the unknown. If you are afraid of germs or the virus, then you will protect yourself.  If you are afraid of snakes, spiders, or mice, then you will scream and run away or try to kill them.  There are many fears a person can have, and some are irrational fears.  Have you seen the movie “What About Bob?” starring Bill Murry and Richard Dreyfus?  This movie depicts how irrational fear controls the life of Bob, played by Bill Murry.

Irrational Fears.

Many fears are irrational thoughts that can be overwhelming but can be overcome. Most fears usually originate from a bad experience, your imagination, or from what you watch on TV (i.e. news) or in the movies, and what you read.  For the life of me, I do not understand how people can watch horror shows. Fearful images remain in your memory and cause stress in your body, which leads to illnesses.  Traumatic memories that trigger fears can be healed so the fear no longer controls you.  To heal traumatic memories read my short book.

For example, irrational fear controls people who are preparing for the worst disasters that may never happen. Of all things, we are experiencing a pandemic and are told to stay in isolation, so everyone is buying up all the toilet paper, cleaners, hand sanitizers, etc. You should have at least 1-3 months of necessities on hand to help you get through  most difficult times.  I am glad I have three months of toilet paper in my what-if storage shelf because we can’t find it anywhere.

You can transform fear into peace, by replacing the fearful thoughts with reassuring thoughts of protection.  Read through all the Psalms and note every passage related to protection, deliverance from troubles, and God as your refuge. Write key verses out that help you feel peaceful and review them. This exercise will greatly encourage you and strengthen your faith.  Read my blog series on Psalm 91 – Psalm 91 Posts

What should you fear?

You should fear God.  Not in an irrational way but because you want to stay in a right relationship with Him by not sinning. The fear of God is a combination of being in awe of His mighty power and love and His judgment, which causes you to turn away from doing evil. When you sin you do evil because evil is disobeying God and doing and saying things to harm or cause trouble for other people (Webster dictionary also see Romans 6). Proverbs 3:7 states, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.” And Proverbs 8:13 states, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” Believe and know, God strongly supports you when your heart is completely His and you are submitted to Him. 2Chronicals 16:9 states, “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.

Pride keeps you in fear of the wrong things, like the fear of man instead of God.  Fear of rejection causes you to do anything to not be rejected, even if it is sin.  Pride keeps you from being in awe of God and submitting to His authority and turning from your sin. Proverbs 22:4 states, “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” Is this something you would like? Read “How Pride Destroys

What are the benefits of fearing God?

  1. God’s angel protects you, and you will be blessed, and you will lack nothing. Psalms 34:7-9 states, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8) Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9) Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
  2. God will help you and shield you from all harm. Psalm 115:11 states, “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.Proverbs 19:23The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
  3. You will have confidence and you will feel safe. Proverb 14:26 states, “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.
  4. You will have wisdom and know what to do. Psalms 111:10 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.
  5. You will have a long life. Proverbs 10:27The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.

Conclusion:

Being fearful is our natural inclination.  But it is better to fear God and be under His protection and provision than to fear the things going on around you or to fear people and what they may do or think.  To keep your peace and not be afraid, claim the promises in your Bible, especially the Psalms, and stay away from the things that put fear into your mind. If you have an irrational fear that is controlling your life, please seek help or read my short book on my website.

I hope this post has helped you, and I am praying for you.

RELATED POSTS:

How to Embrace the Challenge of Change with Grace

Bondage to Unseen Controls

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

What Controls Your Thoughts?

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

TRUST Leads to PEACE


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).

How Patience is a Sign of Maturity

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

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

When we can’t be patient.

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

Why be Patient?

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

How to be Patient.

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

RELATED POSTS:

7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1)

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

Patience — Freedom from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness


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

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

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

The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control

We are told to be self-controlled and disciplined. But why can’t we? What blocks us from being self-controlled and disciplined? As I pondered this question and reflected on my own self-control issues, God showed me it is because of my pride and resentment.

In the last post, I wrote of our need to give up childish thinking, which includes childhood resentments. So, how do we know if our thinking is childish? Children are emotionally reactive when they don’t get what they want. In fact, we are born with a prideful, self-centered, sin nature, that causes us to focus on our own wants and needs. To have a base understand for this post please read my last post Self-control and Maturity

What does healthy emotional self-control look like?

People who have emotional self-control do not over-react, but are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (see James 1:19). In the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, he describes what it means to be a principle-centered person and not reactive. Instead of being reactive self-controlled people are proactive. Principle-centered people stand apart from the emotion of the situation and from other factors that would act on them, and they evaluate the options.

Besides the Bible, this book was the next best book to helped me transform my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs.  Covey’s book describes how a healthy person should think and act. I wrote thought transforming truth statements for each chapter of Covey’s book and put them on my website called, Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

What is resentment and how do we develop it?

The dictionary defines resent as feeling or showing displeasure and indignation at (some act, remark, insult, etc.) or toward a person, from a sense of being injured or offended. A person who has resentment will show anger and ill will for any real or perceived wrong or injury, which they believe is unfair. If you remain resentful, you will become bitter, which will keep you self-focused and prevent you from maturing. The dictionary defines bitter as causing or showing sorrow, discomfort, or pain, and bitterness is feeling or showing hate or resentment. When people are prevented from getting what they want, they will show anger and resentment in how they respond. Resentment will control your reactions when triggered, as I explain later in this post.

Watch how you react to disappointment.

When we become depressed and pouty, or angry and unkind, it is because we have become offended by a disappointment. Disappointment creates an offense when there is a real or perceived sense of unfairness, and you feel wounded. Dealing with disappointment in a healthy way will prevent becoming offended and resentful. So, if you currently become offended by disappointment when someone or something does not do what you want, it shows self-centered immaturity. To learn more, read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.

I recommend the following actions to handle disappointment in a healthy way. First, capture (acknowledge) offended thoughts.  Offended thoughts are evident when you do not feel peace and joy. Once you acknowledge you are offended, then ask what disappointed me? Next, forgive the person who has disappointed you or accept the situation you are disappointed by.

For example, if you did not get a raise, or was demoted. You may feel disappointed or you may feel it was unfair and become offended and resentful. If you were honest, you will first feel depressed, angry, and resentful, which is very destructive. Remove yourself from the emotional response and seek to understand and learn why, then either develop a plan to do better, or accept it and move on to another job you can excel at.

A personal example. I was disappointed when my husband could not help me with a garden project that I wanted to get done that day. It so happened, my husband had lost his driver’s license, so he was focused on finding his license, then getting it replaced. Instead of understanding his situation, I became offended and let wrong thoughts control my emotions and spoke hurtful things in revenge for disappointing me. I know I am not the only one with this problem, and therefore, I am writing about self-control right now.

I began to capture my wrong thinking and loose them from my mind, next, I asked God’s forgiveness, and then replaced my wrong thoughts with truthful thoughts of thankfulness, see my post A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER. But I did not gain full self-controlled until I accepted my disappointment and loosed the false beliefs concerning my husband that controlled my destructive behavior. I have a great husband and I should be thankful. I repented and asked my husband for forgiveness. My husband put Proverbs 25:18 on the bathroom mirror, and I have been pondering that verse ever since. To understand how false beliefs control our emotions, read UNHEALTHY BELIEFS: What are they and where do they come from?

God showed me how my wrong thoughts were created by painful memories of resentment. When I was a teen, my mother made my sisters and me do all the chores, including laundry, cooking, and hand-washing dishes for five people. I developed resentment because I perceived my sisters did not do their part, and I felt this was unfair and became resentful. My mother had just divorced my father, and went off to college, so she was focused on getting her education and did not help either. I never saw my father again, which created a host of issues.  So, I did not have parental guidance to learn how to handle disappointments and the resulting resentment.

I went through the five steps to heal my heart and purify my soul to heal these resentments.  See; Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul. God also showed me I had current resentment toward my husband for not meeting other expectations when I needed help. I took those resentful thoughts captive and loosed them and then asked God to forgive me and asked my husband to forgive me.

Put away resentments so you can mature.

The bible says in Ephesians 4:31,32  “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32)  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” To put something away is to no longer be emotionally invested in the negative or painful memory. Putting away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice involves asking God to reveal painful childhood memories that caused you to become resentful of a real or perceived wrong done to you. Many adults have subconscious bitterness that keep them stuck in self-focused childish thinking. To find these subconscious memories, begin reading my book here 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories to understanding the why and how for healing past issues to mature and love well.

After you put away any wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice from your heart, then bind in kindness and forgiveness to your heart.  See my post called; Relationship and World Changing Kindness and WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.

There is hope for maturity and self-control as we put off resentfulness from disappointments we perceived as unfair. When we put off resentfulness and accept disappointment then we can be self-controlled.

Related Posts:

SELF-CONTROL Issues

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Patience — Freedom from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds


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

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

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

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

Do you wake-up grumpy or maybe dread going to work? Are you upset by what people do? Are you depressed and worried? Do you want to be joyful and positive? Our mood reflects the level we are offended by unmet expectations. The more offended we are the more despaired or angry our mood is. You may have a good reason to be upset, like when you go through an ugly fight, a divorce, or job loss. I’ve been there, I know. But, allowing those negative thoughts to control your life is not healthy, nor is it good for other relationships. The number one way to change your negative thoughts and negative mood is to be thankful.

You may be thinking, no way, I can’t do that.  Being thankful may be hard and sometimes impossible but with God all things are possible. Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Also read Mark 9:23 and Mark 10:27. And, 2Corinthians 15:57 states, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Also read 2Corinthians 2:14.

How thankfulness changes a negative mood

When someone says thank you or doesn’t say thank you, how does that make you feel? If someone sends you a thank-you card, or you send a thank-you card. Do you feel positive or negative? The act of being thankful takes the focus off yourself and onto something positive. Have you noticed the more you focus on yourself, the more miserable you feel? My last post describes how sub-conscious negative thoughts affect our relationships and how to change your relationships and the world with one simple act. You can read it here if you haven’t read it yet: Relationship and World Changing Kindness

I was a depressed, miserable, angry, anxious person for a long time before I discovered the power of forgiveness, transforming painful memories, and being thankful. I discovered in my research that every thought has a life energy (positive) and a death energy (negative). Being thankful transforms a negative mindset into a positive mindset. A positive mindset makes you feel happy and at peace with yourself and your world. It is amazing how powerful thankfulness is in your life or circumstance. Being thankful is difficult to do at times because we tend to gravitate toward misery and resentment for some strange reason. I struggled being thankful my whole life.

What prevents a thankful heart?

First, PRIDE prevents us from being thankful people because a prideful person is only focused on getting their needs and expectations met! I was so focused on myself and having my expectations met, I couldn’t be thankful.  Not appreciating the things my husband did put a strain on our marriage.  Every person wants to be appreciated.  I wrote about how I became free from this roadblock to happiness in my blog called The Core Negative Heart Issue.

Second, painful memories prevent a thankful heart. Conscious and sub-conscious painful memories dictate our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, behaviors, and destiny. Read the following post to learn more: HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR. Growing up in an abusive and dysfunctional home created a host of negative issues in my life. Read my post on how I transformed these painful memories: WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story.  I also wrote a post on how I overcame the negative effects of a sadistic divorce and job loss: Trust God to Keep His Promises.

And third, unforgiveness keeps our mind focused on the negative, hurtful action that offended us and prevents us from being thankful. To learn why and how to forgive read: WHY MUST I FORGIVE.

How to be thankful

My husband heard we should think of two things we can be thankful for when annoyed or frustrated. Thinking a thankful thought instantly changes a negative mood. Try it. Think of something that is irritating you right now. Now think of two things related to the situation you can be thankful for. For example, if you are having issues with your co-worker. Think of two positive things about your co-worker and think thankful thoughts about those positives. Keep in mind, everyone has negative issues and trash thoughts that spills out of their mouth, that comes from painful memories or focusing on self-interests. If slow traffic annoys you, be thankful you don’t have to walk, you are comfortable, and you have extra time to pray and worship God. Upset with your partner? Find two to three positive traits or actions and be thankful for them.

(Take a few minutes and try this exercise.) How do you feel?  Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself to be thankful and for what.

Be sure to tell your partner or co-worker what the positive things you are thankful for in them. Telling someone what you are thankful for will powerfully and positively change attitudes. For a while my husband and I kept a little note pad around and we randomly wrote thankful or kind things about the other person. It was so much fun to see what my husband wrote, and I enjoyed writing thankful and kind things about him. It powerfully and positively changed our marriage. Try it.  It was recommended to keep the thankfulness notepad in the bathroom, so they can read it before going to bed.

Scriptural command to be thankful

The following are Scripture texts commanding us to be thankful and give thanks. Remember, when you disobey God’s commands, you are in sin and will suffer the consequences of unthankfulness, which allows misery and despair.  God knew focusing only on ourselves was self-destructive. He commands us to be thankful so we can experience joy and peace.

Ephesians 5:20-21 state, “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21) submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” How would your life, marriage/partnership, friendships, and work environment change if you gave thanks all the time and for everything? 1Theselonians 5:18 states, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Giving thanks in all circumstances is difficult, especially if you are diagnosed with cancer. The people who can find something to thank God for, are the most content and joyful people.  I heard a missionary to China say how joyful the Chinese Christians are despite risking the loss of their homes and being put in prison.

Ephesians 5:4 states, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” Does the conversation at your family get-togethers digresses into gossip, foolish talk, and so on?  Next time, ask them what they are thankful for.  Other ways you can prompt wholesome conversations can be found in this post: Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Philippians 4:6 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When I am thankful for God’s love, provision, mercy, and grace and trust Him to take care of my problems, I feel peace and joy. When I begin to focus on the negative issue, I became anxious and stressed again.

Colossians 3:15, 16 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” When I memorize Scripture, then I can teach and encourage others, and I can use those Scriptures to give thanks in my prayers. See my post on the things we can thank God for in Psalms 103: County Jail Study on Psalms 103. Also read, Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers Colossians 4:2 also states, Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

The Old Testament gives us other reasons to give thanks to God:

1Chronicals 16:34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (Also see, 1Chronicals 16:41; 2Chronicals 7:3,6; 20:21, Ezra 3:11; Psalm 106:1; 107:1,8; 118:1,29; 136:1-3.)

Psalm 9:1 A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” (Also see Psalm 86:12; Psalm 105:1.) Many times, I was so angry with a situation that the only thing I could be thankful for was the wonderful things God did for me in the past and will do in my current situation. By keeping my mind focused on Him, I was not focused on the negative situation or circumstance.

Psalm 116:17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.” (Also see Ps. 50:14, 23; 107:22; Amos 4:5.) Sometimes we must give a sacrifice of thanksgiving even when we don’t feel like it. God is pleased with this sacrifice and will give you joy instead of misery.

Conclusion

Thankfulness is like guardrails that prevents your car from going over a cliff. So, thankfulness prevents your mind from crashing down the cliff of despair. Now, God commands us to be thankful so when we are not, we sin. Ask Him to help you be thankful when it is hard, and He will help you. You can be more than a conquer over negative issues in your life (see Romans 8:31-39), these verses also produce a thankful heart.

I wrote a short book called “Hope for Complete Healing.”  I describe how to transform negative issues in your life by taking the offending thoughts captive and loosing them from your mind.  Then to transform the associated negative, painful memories with truth to render them powerless. Transforming painful memories involves thankfulness to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  I describe this process in my book and in this blog post: Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul. I made this book available on my website and I can send you a paper copy. If you want me to send a copy of my booklet, please contact me and let me know.

There is hope to change a negative mood into a positive mood through thankfulness.

Other Related Posts:

POSTS Related to Relationships

POSTS on Thoughts


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

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

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