Psalm 91:2–TRUST FOR HEAVENLY PROTECTION

Psalms 91:2 states, “I will say to the Lord, ‘my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’

Our words have power because words create thoughts; thoughts create feelings and beliefs; beliefs produce behavior that influences our destiny. To proclaim the Lord is your refuge is to claim that He is your protection from danger or difficulty and is a place of safety. A fortress is a secure place that offers protection or a place of defense. So, when we dwell in the shelter of God through prayer, praise, and pondering Scripture, then we will be protected from evil and temptations. God wants us to trust Him by believing and having confidence in His protection.  To know more about trusting God, read these blogs: 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep and Trust God to Keep His Promises

      What keeps us from seeking shelter in God?

One reason we don’t seek the shelter of God is because we are focused on our problems instead of giving our problems to God. Many times, we try to solve our problems without God, which does not work out well. Sometimes we seek the pleasures of this world instead of seeking God.  Also, pride and sinfulness keep many of us from seeking God because we think we don’t need Him. Often, we don’t think to pray and trust God.  And, we think we can take care of our problems or trust in others or the government to help us. My friend, Mary Fisher, shared with me that “Some people let guilt and feelings of unworthiness keep them from seeking God. We need to realize we are never worthy of going before God, even when we think we’ve been good. And we are never un-welcome if we come with humble and repentant hearts. Coming before God honestly is hard because we must face up to our sins. But He wants to forgive us and for us to leave our sins at the cross.”

     What are the benefits of going to God for our protection and trusting Him to help us?

Meditate (think deeply about; reflect; ponder) on the following Scriptures about trusting God. Identify the benefits of trusting Him.

Psalm 9:10 states, “And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Psalm 56:3 states, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.”

Psalm 56:11 states, “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Psalms 62:8 states, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 115:11 states, “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.”  Proverb 14:26 also states, “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.”

Psalm 118:8 states, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”

Psalm 118:9 states, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”

Proverb 3:5 states, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Remember, words have power, so claim the following verses by personalizing them and praying with thankfulness.  If you are keeping a journal then write out two prayers per Scripture passage beginning with “I will say, I…” and “Thank you Lord for….”

Joel 3:10b states, “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong; NIV, a warrior; ESV, a mighty man; NAS.’”

Psalm 27:1 David states, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 142:5 David states, “I cry to You, O LORD; I say;’ You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’”

Isaiah 41:13 states, “For I, the LORD your God, holds your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”

Psalm 46:1 states, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Psalm 18:2 states, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 31:19 states, “Oh, how abundant is Your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear You and worked for those who take refuge in You, …”

Proverb 18:10 states, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and are safe.”

Psalm 124:7,8 states, “We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers (demons); the snare is broken, and we have escaped! Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

    What does it mean to take refuge?

   What would seeking refuge in God look like in your life according to these verses?

   How would the name of the Lord be a strong tower, and what would it mean to run into it and be safe?

   How can a Spirit be a fortress, a strong tower, or a rock in which we can take refuge?

When you think of a fortress you think of something strong that protects you.  We can trust God to protect us from Satan’s unseen schemes, and troubles from demonic forces of darkness because God is stronger and mightier than the devil and demons of this world.  Just think, He parted the Red Sea to save over a million people, who crossed on dry ground to escape the Egyptian army (see Exodus 14:13-31). Archeologists have now discovered Egyptian chariots at the bottom of the Red Sea. Furthermore, God caused the walls of Jericho to fall except the part of the wall where Rahab the harlot lived, because she trusted and believed God would protect her and her family. She also helped the Israelite spies escape and asked God to save her and her family (see Joshua 6:1-27).

God performed hundreds of miracles of protection and deliverance for people just like you and me, which are recorded throughout the Bible. How can we not trust Him? Remember, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (see 1 John 4:4b). I highly recommend reading missionary biographies to see that God continues to do miracles on behalf of those who put their trust in Him. I highly recommend reading George Muller’s biography to see how God miraculously answered his prayers of faith.

    Why do we doubt that God can be our refuge?

By saying, “the Lord is my refuge and fortress,” we are placing our mind and spirits under the protection of the Spirit of God our Lord. When we turn to God to shield and protect us, then the evil spirits flee (see James 4:7). Unless we draw near to God, repent of sin, and continually think of Him and His truths, we will be vulnerable to the lies and temptations that demons use to entrap and harm us.

Read my other related posts:

Four Realities of the Spirit World

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words


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).

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Has this ever happened to you?  My son finished his fourth year of college out of five and it is not cool to talk to his mom.  I find out from my husband that he received two awards, one was for having the highest GPA in Architectural Engineering.  So, I took offense and I thought, well, why didn’t he tell me when I asked what has been happening in his life.  Why wasn’t I invited to the awards ceremony?  Who was invited instead of me?  My thoughts kept going like a fire.  I could not sleep; I woke up depressed.  All my muscles were tense with anxiety.  I had the unhealthy belief that my son did not love me.  I believed he will shut me out of his life, and I will never see my grandchildren.  BOO-HOO.  This example is only a smattering of how my thoughts quickly got out of control.

I know all thoughts are within my control.  So, I told myself to STOP thinking those wrong thoughts and taking an offense.  I talked to myself and acknowledged that I was disappointed because my expectations were not met, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of our relationship.   The Bible teaches us to forgive, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and be thankful in everything.  I refocused my thoughts on good thoughts and what I can be thankful for.  I prayed and asked God to take my anxious thoughts and unhealthy beliefs from me and the resulting stress energy.  I felt better immediately.

I decided to text my son to let him know I was disappointed when I was not invited to the awards ceremony and how proud I was of his achievement.  He called me right away and told me (in a funny way) to get over myself and stop my pity party because the awards ceremony was not open to family and friends.  I had a good laugh at myself.  By that time, I accepted that those we love will disappoint us, and we will disappoint them.

So, where did those wrong thoughts originate?  I asked God to show me where those thoughts flowed from.  He showed me that I was feeling insecure about my relationship with my son, and my insecure feelings generated my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs.   Could an unseen evil spirt have planted the thoughts that make me feel insecure?  What is generating your thoughts?  Hurt feelings, insecurity, disappointments, unmet expectations, etc.  My short book on my website helps you to discover the sources of wrong thinking.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

I know the topic of thoughts is vast and mind-boggling, but my research is specific to the influence of unseen spiritual forces that affect our thinking.  Thinking about what controls our thinking and how our thoughts influence us is hard enough, now I have added the unseen spirit world.  The Bible records many instances of how the devil influences people’s thinking.  I use Biblical accounts because the Bible was written by God, as He influenced men’s minds to record His words.  Therefore, the Bible is the authority on spiritual and relational issues.  To learn more about who God is and the unseen spirit forces around us, read my post called, Four Realities of the Spirit World.

The following Biblical account is the first example of planted thoughts, which most of you already know or have heard of it.  God created Adam and Eve in a garden and told them not to eat from the tree in the center of the garden.  Satan (an evil spirit) takes the form of a serpent and climbs the forbidden tree.  He causes Eve to doubt what God told her is the truth about dying.  The devil tempted her to eat the forbidden fruit by enticing her to desire it and then persuaded her that if she eats it, she will be like God, knowing good and evil (see Genesis 3:4).  This thought appealed to her pride.  Interesting, the devil’s sin was pride, because he also wanted to be independent of God, which broke his relationship with God.  The wrong thought then caused Eve to look at the fruit and desire to eat it.  Her desire then compelled her to sin and eat the fruit.  This process shows how unseen wrong thinking led to disobedience and separation from God.

Temptations also create thoughts of offense, which then generate unhealthy, false beliefs.  Satan’s temptation may have caused Eve to think and believe:  “How could a loving God keep such a beautiful piece of fruit from me?” and “Why should Adam and I not know good from evil and be like God?”

??  What were Eve’s mistakes? 

Her first mistake was to reason with the serpent (the devil).  Her second mistake was to consider disobeying God.  The third mistake was to entertain the wrong thought and be enticed to look at and desire the fruit.  And the ultimate mistake was to give into her fleshly desire and disobey God’s good and just command.  The devil still uses the same temptation of living independent of God on all of humanity.

Until we recognize our thoughts and rule over them, they will continually control our beliefs, feelings, behavior, and destiny.  We daily face temptations that appeal to our self-centered desires to live independent of God.  Satan has not changed his tactics since tempting Eve.  All unseen battles begin as a thought that is within our control.  The girls in the prison system were told that if they withstand temptation for seven seconds, they can overcome the temptation.  I encourage them to replace the wrong thought creating the desire for the harmful activity with a healthy thought based on Scriptural truth.

??  How do our thoughts dictate our actions?

My mind used to be controlled by thoughts of fear, which would cause my adrenaline to go up.  Before I could stop it, I was in a panic—over nothing—except thoughts that needed to be taken captive.  And because of all the conflicts from my past, I realized I was constantly in a flight or fight mode, which created stress in my body.  I would sometimes imagine a confrontation with someone that would never happen.  I would get all upset and angry because of wrong thoughts, which needed to be taken captive and loosed from my mind.

To learn more about dealing with unhealthy beliefs read: Identify and Replace False Beliefs.


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).

#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

Let’s explore the reasons people break off a relationship, quite a job, or divorce. When we know a cause then we can find a solution. I was the kind of person that was upset about everything though I wanted peace. I was quick to get angry. Why? After many years of research and thinking deeply of possible causes, I figured out the solution. After trying the solution, I can testify it works.  I chose the picture above as an example of what is destroying relationships today; offenses from political differences.

Think back to a time you were upset about something. Why were you upset? What caused you to get upset?  Does the picture of this post upset you?  In this post I want to challenge you to think deeply about what causes arguments and strife. It is helpful to journal your thoughts concerning causes for strife in your relationships.

Let’s begin our exploration with the following understanding. Most of us are self-centered people, and we live and work with self-centered people, who want our own way.  And, we don’t know how to love well. Would you agree?

Whatever the reasons for strife, it always comes down to someone becoming offended, then getting upset. An offense is a resentment, hurt feeling, or displeasure from unfairness, mistreatment, disrespect, betrayal, being ignored or not getting what they want.  Becoming offended can happen many times a day, especially when you have to share the road with other drivers or space with another person or watching the news. So, be mindful of the times you are annoyed, angry, miffed, irritated, frustrated, etc. Why? Really think about why. Why do you think you got offended?

A major cause of strife is pride. Pride caused me to be offended most of the time.  I would think the following thoughts: “How dare someone (fill in the blank).”  “They had no right to do that.”  “Who do they think they are?”  If you were honest as to why you get upset, you too would recognize a pride issue.  Please read my post on pride to learn more: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

Another cause for strife is when someone says something hurtful that creates an offense in our hearts. Often words hurt our pride. A person’s words reveal the condition of their heart.  Therefore, the person saying the hurtful words is also hurting from offenses they have stored in their hearts. Read the following posts for a better understanding:  WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words  and WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

Another cause for strife is unrealistic expectations. For example, I became upset with my husband because he did not take care of me when I was sick like his father takes care of his mother. This is an unrealistic expectation because my husband is not like his father, and it is not reasonable for me to expect him to be. Once I realized why I was offended, then I could deal with it rationally. But before I rationally thought through why I was irritated with my husband, I said a hurtful things to him. My hurtful words caused him to become offended, then he said hurtful things back. Do you see how this situation could escalate quickly and dissolve the relationship?

Unresolved negative issues also cause strife. For example, I became offended by the words on an anniversary card my wonderful husband gave me.  The card reminded me of an unresolved painful issue with my first husband.  Unfortunately, I allowed the offense to get into my heart and control my feelings, and I became miserable and said hurtful things.  When I dealt with the negative issue with my first husband that caused me to be offended, then I could resolve my offense and live in peace. To become free from the control of our past negative heart issues and painful memories, I invite you to visit my website and read my short book: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

As soon as we recognize we do not have peace, we should ask if we are offended.  When we become offended, we enter the fight-or-flight mode. The fight-or-flight stress response stimulates the lower brain and we enter survival mode. Survival mode stops us from thinking rationally about the situation, which is why relationships dissolve quickly. You know you are in survival mode when you become upset when a goal or expectation is not met.  If you see yourself losing control of your emotions, walk back your emotions and ask, why am I upset? Why is this important to me? What is my part in this disagreement or unexpected negative situation? What solution do I need for a win/win? What am I willing or not willing to do?  Consider if the concern causing you to lose peace is within your circle of influence.  If it is not, then let it go or pray about it.  These are only suggested questions to help you think rationally and not reactively. 

Think about the last argument you were in or the last time you were frustrated. Using the definition of an offense, which is a resentment, hurt feeling, or displeasure from (fill in the blank), can you identify what you or the other person was offended about? As you may have already figured out, being offended is the single most destructive force in any relationship. But once you discover the cause of the offense then you can work to solve it. My short book called “Hope for Complete Healing” on my website identifies many causes for offense and the solution. I encourage you to read it so you can love well and have stronger relationships.

Follow these seven actions for a great relationship, or eight for SUPER GREAT!

1) Always stay in forgiveness and do not hold grudges. Expect that your partner/spouse/friend will let you down and may not meet your expectations from time to time. Being offended blocks love, kindness, peace, joy, and patience.
2) Be thankful for strengths and abilities and focus on these. It is easy to focus on what you don’t like and tell them about it.
3) Be committed. Genuine commitment is to be wholly focused on what is best and what will strengthen the relationship.
4) Communicate complete thoughts.  Don’t assume the other person heard you or understands. Have a respectful discussion to help you convey your meaning and expectations.  Don’t mind read and make assumptions.  Seek to understand what the other person is thinking without being critical.
5) Resolve conflicts using the “pen method.” The person holding the pen explains their perspective and logic. Then hand the pen to the other person, and they reflect on what they heard you say and explains their perspective and rationale. Go back and forth until you come to a win/win for both people.
6) Create a relationship vision or mission statement. Ask yourself and each other this question: “How do I want our relationship to be in 5, 10, 15, or 30 years. Write out a plan to accomplish your vision or mission.
7) Work through past issues, so your reactions and expectations are not controlled by your past.
8) Make the Lord and the Word of God a priority in your life and relationships.  The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so if you want to be wise, then God needs to be your source.

If you ever get a chance, go to a Mark Gungor marriage seminar called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.”  He is funny and to the point. Go to https://markgungor.com/.  On this website is a test that determines what motivates you the most.  He calls it the Flag Page, because it determines what country you are from: Control, Perfect, Peace, or Fun.  Finding out what motivated me was very helpful to understand why I do what I do.  It was also very helpful to know what motivates my husband.

To learn healthy behaviors for a healthy relationship, I encourage you to read the adapted summary of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People


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).