Spiritual Warfare 6: HOW FAITH OFFERS FULL PROTECTION

Have you ever been in a snowball fight as a kid or threw little rocks and sticks at each other? It helped to have a trashcan lid to shield and deflect the snowballs or sticks. Maybe you looked for something to hide behind for some relief for a short while until someone found you. In this post, you will learn why you need the shield of faith and when and how to use it.

The problem with spiritual warfare is that we don’t see what is coming in our direction or when it will come. It is safe to assume we will continually fight a spiritual war for our souls. Consequently, we need to stand firm in our faith. Without faith, we are vulnerable to every empty philosophy, temptation, and deception hurled at us. A warrior’s shield is the first layer of protection.

In my last post, I explained that we should expect spiritual war because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1John 5:19b). The Bible says we need the shield of faith to protect us from the fiery arrows the unseen enemy shoots at us. Ephesians 6:16 states, “In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Because you can’t physically see the invisible flaming darts, you need to keep the shield of faith up. Faith protects you from the following:

  • darts of doubts designed to destroy your convictions and knowledge of the truth;
    • arrows of temptation designed to weaken your resolve to die to sin and to be holy as God is holy;
    • missiles of accusation designed to make you feel insecure, rejected, and worthless;
    • flaming arrows of condemnation for things you have done in the past that would keep you in bondage to shame and guilt. Guilt keeps you in despair and makes you ineffective; and
    • thoughts of failure and rejection.

What is faith?

When I think about faith, I think of a warm, secure, peaceful place for my mind to dwell. In that safe place, I have no worries, fears, anger, and so on. I have peace when I trust God has a purpose and is in control. I trust that He will work everything out for my good because I love Him (Romans 8:28). The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I could not see how God would work out all the problems I was facing when I became a single mother. But I decided to put my hope in Him and stay tight with Him through prayer and praise. The other choice was to become depressed and angry about how unfair life was. When I put my trust in God and claimed His promises during my divorce, I saw God do many miracles, which strengthened my faith. You can read my story WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story.

Hebrews 11:6 explains, “And without faith it is impossible to please him [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Though you do not physically see spirits, you can observe the evidence. For example, you can see the destructive force of evil in a person’s life who has yielded to the influence of evil spirits. Peace and life are evidence that a person has yielded their mind and heart to God (Rom. 8:6).

Faith became a shield for me as long as my mind was on the things above where my savior, Jesus Christ, is. Colossians 3:1-2 states, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” When I think about the things on the earth, I become anxious, especially when I watched the news. I feel peaceful and secure when I think of God’s goodness and sovereignty over the affairs of our country and my life.

When I am anxious, I often will recite Psalm 91, then I immediately relax and feel peace, especially at night when my mind can’t stop thinking about life’s worries. You can read the series of posts I wrote on Psalm 91 in Psalm 91 Posts. 2Samuel 22:31, Psalms 18:30, and Proverbs  30:5 states, “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” We take refuge in God through praying, praising, and pondering Scripture.

Faith believes that God will do what He promised He to do. Luke 1:37 states, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Faith is the childlike trust that what God has promised, He will do. You put your spiritual shield of faith into action by claiming God’s faithfulness to keep His promises. See my post about the 15 promises we can trust God to keep. However, the shield of faith is useless if you do not meditate on or memorize God’s Word. As you memorize Scripture and claim God’s promises, you are strengthening your shield of faith so the fiery arrows from the devil cannot penetrate your mind.

Why do we need the shield of faith?

1. The shield of faith protects your mind from deception. Often, people unwittingly put their faith in lies from the devil, such as, “I will never succeed” or “I am not worthy to be loved,” which produces sorrow and many times destructive thoughts. Your faith in Jesus and applying the living water of truth extinguishes the devil’s darts of lies and accusations. The allegations and enticements seem so real that many people believe them and try to build their lives upon them. Satan’s lies are empty and destructive.

2. The shield of faith will strengthen the faith of others who are struggling. People grieving a loss are the most susceptible to spiritual attack? It could be a loss of health, a job, a loved one, and so on. When you are in a community of believers, they can cover you with their shield of faith through prayer and encourage you to keep your hope in God’s promises. Also, Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” The faith of other believers encourages our faith when we are in a battle because their faith helps us stand firm in our faith. For example, when soldiers stand close together and lock their shields together, it forms a barrier against an attack. Do not forsake going to church. Satan will throw all kinds of offenses at you, so you quit going to church, which will weaken your faith to fight the spiritual battle he wages to take your soul.

In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter denied knowing Jesus three times because he was alone and his faith was weak. God’s Word says that Satan comes before God to accuse us. Read Job 1:6-12 to learn how Satan asked permission to test Job’s resolve to fear God and not sin. We will learn more about the power of prayer in the next post.

3. The shield of faith helps you believe in God’s promises. Trials and temptations will cause you to either have faith in God or doubt His promises and mentally dwell in the pit of despair. When trials test our faith, and we resist the temptation to worry or despair, we will become stronger. James 1:2–4 states, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials [temptations] of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness[endurance, patience]. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Three different words describe what testing of our faith produces: steadfastness, endurance, and patience. All are necessary to be victorious in the unseen spiritual battles. For an example read about Paul’s thorn in the flesh in 2Corinthians 12.

  • Steadfastness means firm, fixed, settled, or established, or constant and not changing.
  • Endurance is the ability to last, continue, or remain, or the ability to stand pain, distress, fatigue, etc.
  • Patience is to bear or endure provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Where do we get faith?

First, you need to get the shield of faith from Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 states, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Second, we get faith from reading the Bible. Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” So, when you study God’s Word and pray daily, your shield of faith is up, and the devil’s arrows bounce off. But when you miss time reading God’s Word and praying, your protection is down, making you vulnerable to Satan’s temptations and lies. You will lose spiritual strength and health when you don’t read your Bible and pray daily.

Conclusion

Daily pray: I take up my shield of faith to block the fiery arrows of condemnation, accusation, temptations, doubts, and flattery of the enemy. I believe that God loves me, cares about me, and is the shield that protects me from evil. I will strengthen my faith by meditating on Scripture day and night. (Eph. 6:16; Rev. 12:9; 1John 3:1; 1Peter 5:7; 2Thes. 3:3; Rom. 10:17)

How To Pray From The Answer

Is there a proven formula to get answers to prayers? I did some research to find out what God’s Word says about prayer and wrote a series of posts which you can read here. In this post you will learn how to claim God’s promises by faith and how God answers these prayers.

Do you struggle with knowing how to pray or what to pray? Prayer is by faith (from our spirit through the Holy Spirit) for what we do not see and to draw close to God, who is the Almighty Spirit. The neatest revelation I discovered is that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, even when we don’t know what to pray. Romans 8:26-27 states, “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” How cool is this revelation?

Praying scriptural prayers keeps me focused and increases my faith because I know scripture is the will of God. Likewise, God’s promises are also His will, and He said in 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him (God), that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” The key is to pray by faith the promises of God from the Word of God. Every time you read your Bible, turn the scripture into a prayer for your life and for other people.

Recently, I have been praying the scriptural prayers in the book called A Watchman’s Guide to Praying God’s Promises by Dick Eastman. You can download a free electronic copy at www.EHC.org. In the introduction on pages 12-14, Dick shares a story about Armin R. Gesswein, Founder of Revival Prayer Fellowship, Inc. Armin met an elderly man who seemed to enter the presence of God every time he prayed. When Armin asked the man to share what his secret was in praying. The man said, “Young man, learn to plead the promises of God!”

Armin writes, “As the old chorus declares, prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door. There must be faith! Where does that faith come from? It comes from hearing…the Word of God.” Romans 10:17 states, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Armin said the elderly man would plead God’s word and promises like a lawyer does his case. He encourages the readers to make the Bible our prayer book.

Dick writes, “Promises predict the answers. They are the molds into which we pour our prayers. They foretell what to expect.  They shape our praying. They motivate, direct, and determine our supplications.” He says, “In a real sense, we pray from the answer…with the answer in mind…this is the way of faith.”

I have written several posts about how I have prayed the promises of God and seen incredible answers. Many times, the answer did not come right away, sometimes several years later. Keep praying God’s promise. Read Jehoshaphat’s Prayer in 2Chronicles 20 to learn how God heard Jehoshophat’s prayer because he claimed God’s promises. Claim God’s promises in Psalms 23 and 91 often. I encourage you to visit my scriptural prayer page to begin your journey of praying God’s promises.

One word of caution. God has given us a free will. We cannot pray for God to change the will of another person. But keep praying God’s promises over them until they choose to submit to God. Claim the promise that God can do immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). And claim His promise that His word will not return empty but will accomplish His desires and purposes (Isaiah 55:11).

Second word of caution. Make sure you have repented of your sin of doubt and any other areas where you are disobeying God’s instructions. James 4:8 states, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” And, 1 John 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.” If you do not confess your sins and receive forgiveness, God will not listen to you. Read Psalms 66:18 and Isaiah 59:1-2.

The prayer promise, I am claiming for our world is that God opens the heavens and rains down His righteousness on the earth, and salvation and righteousness will spout up and bear much fruit on the earth (Isaiah 45:8).

I claim the promise by faith for the lost souls of this world that God’s light shines in their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

As far as who will be the leader of our country, the Bible says in Psalm 75:7, “But God is the judge; He puts down one and sets up another.”

Related Posts:

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

Trust God to Keep His Promises

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

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

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

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

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

Context of This Verse

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

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

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

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

Interpretation Based on Context

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

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

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

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

Know for Certain You Will Enter The Kingdom Of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RELATED POSTS

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Psalm 91 Posts

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

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? Why?

We all have experienced times when we ask, plead, and beg God for something and do not get what we asked for. I have requests that I am still waiting for God to give me. I struggle spiritually in the area of prayer and why my prayers sometimes do not get answered. Are you sometimes not sure how you should pray? Do you wonder why God does not answer your prayers?  I studied what the Bible says about prayer and why God sometimes does not answer our prayers the way we want. Over the next several posts, I will explain from God’s Word the seven reasons why He sometimes does not answer our prayers.

The Bible says, He will give us what we ask for, so why doesn’t He? Matthew 7:7, 8 states, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Jesus spoke these words during His sermon on the mount.  Verses 7 and 8 are clarified in verse 11, where Jesus explains, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” This verse identifies two reasons why God does not give what we ask for in prayer.

Reason One: Is God your Father?

Some people say that everyone is a child of God because He created us in His image.  Being made in God’s image does not make us children of God. The next three verses explain who the children of God really are:

John 1:12 states, “But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Did you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the Spirit of God to be your Lord and Savior and believe in Jesus’s name?

Romans 8:14,16 explains, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 16) The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Are you led by the Spirit of God and do what is pleasing to Him?

1 John 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.” Do you practice right thinking and behavior and do you love your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus?

If you know that God is your father, do you believe He would give you something that is not good for you? Did your earthly parents give you the things you asked, and did you become offended when you didn’t get what you asked? I did. It is natural to be upset when you don’t get what you want.

Reason 2: Is your request something good?

James 1:17 tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  You may want something you think is good, but you don’t know the potential problems. Because God knows all things, including the future, you can trust Him to give you good things, not always what you want. Isaiah 46:10 states, “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times to things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’”  God has a good purpose for you and your future. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” What you are asking for may not be part of the perfect plan God has for you. So, you need to do what Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Do you trust the LORD with all your heart and are willing to accept the better plan He has for you, though you do not understand?  For instance, I prayed for God’s favor with my boss, so she does not lay me off. I may not know why God did not answer my prayer, but I trust He has a good purpose for my layoff and directs my steps.

You may say, but Psalm  37:4 and 5 says “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5) Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”  Are you delighting in the Lord? What does it mean to delight in the Lord?  Have you committed your way to the LORD and yielded every part of your life to Him? Do you desire to please God by being thankful even when you don’t understand his plan for your life?

God’s timetable is not the same as ours. He knows better than we do when the best time is for our prayers to be answered. Hebrews 6:13-15 explain how we may have to be patient and wait. In the story of Abraham, God promised a son to Abraham. But Abraham became impatient when Sarah didn‘t bear him a son, so she gave him her servant to be his wife. Abraham and Sarah tried to fulfill the promise of God themselves, and the result was disastrous. We are still seeing the devastating impact of their not waiting for God. Fifteen years after God promised them a son, He fulfilled the promise when He saw it was best.  Will you trust God today with the desires of your heart and wait for Him, even if it takes fifteen years or more?

From billygraham.org:

Q: Why doesn’t God seem to answer my prayers?

A: So often we are inclined to think that the only answer God can give our prayers is “yes.” We need to remember that “no” is an answer also. “No” is certainly an answer of love on the part of our Heavenly Father when we ask Him for things which are not really for our good or for His glory. God does not always give us what we want; He gives us what we need. Just as a good parent does not grant all the requests of his child, God does not answer every request in the way we desire.

Conclusion:

The first two reasons why our prayers may go unanswered are that God may not be your Father and what you are asking is not good to God, who gives the best. First, make sure God is your Father by believing in His Son and receive the forgiveness of your sins that was purchased by Jesus on the cross. Invite Jesus into your heart and to be Lord of your life.  Second, accept that no answer is also an answer, and God sometimes does not give us what we ask because it was not good in His sight.

RELATED POSTS:

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

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

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

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

Why does terrible news suck the life out of you?

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

Three positive ways to respond to tragic news.

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Being Thankful During Hardships

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

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

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

Conclusion:

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

Photo by nikko macaspac


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

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

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

RELATED POSTS

How the Devil Causes Hardships

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

How to Embrace the Challenge of Change with Grace

CAUTION – HOW TO GET OUT OF THE PIT

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

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

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

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

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

You can know God will never forsake you, though you may sometimes feel God has forsaken you because of unanswered prayers and sinful behavior. Psalm 9:9-10  states,

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,

a stronghold in times of trouble.

Those who know Your name trust in You,

for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.

We know because this promise is for those who seek Him. How do you seek God? You seek Him through continual prayer. This isn’t just on your knees praying, it is a conversation with God throughout the day wherever you may be. When you seek Him, you want to be close to Him and when you are close to Him, you won’t be afraid.

Why should we trust God? 

We live in uncertain times and we have a lot to be afraid of. If we do not trust God then we will give in to fear and anxiety. Deuteronomy 31:6&8 states, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them (enemy or the unknown), for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Verse 8 states, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  This promise comes with the command to be strong and courageous and to not fear or be dismayed. I will be honest, not being afraid or dismayed is hard to do during times of uncertainty. I know I am not afraid when my focus is on God’s words of truth and not on my circumstances. When you seek God in prayer, you turn your focus on Him for help and comfort. Therefore, God’s Word says to pray without ceasing in 1Theselonians 5:17. Read through the Psalms and mark all the verses that encourage you to trust God’s promises for protection and help and turn them into a prayer.

To be honest, I did not trust God because of the painful memories of being forsaken by my parents. I had to heal those painful memories before I could trust God. You may have similar painful experiences, so I encourage you to read my short book on my website. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

But I feel God forsook me when He did not answer my prayers.

When God does not give us what we pray for, we feel forsaken. Understand, God’s ways are higher than our ways and He knows the future. God did not answer my prayer to heal my first marriage. I felt forsaken, afraid, and despaired as I faced divorce. I don’t know why He did not answer my prayers, but I know that my first husband would not humbly submit to God, so how could God change our situation.

I was angry with God for many years and did not believe He loved me. When I felt abandoned by God, I poured my heart out to Him and told Him I wanted to walk away from my faith in Him. And God answered, “What is the alternative?” I thought about it and knew that Satan would love to destroy me. So, I stayed tight with God through prayer, praise, and pondering scripture, and I experienced many miracles, which I share in the post called, Trust God to Keep His Promises. I continued to seek God, and He was with me.

How can we not be afraid?

When you are close to God in prayer, then you are confident He is with you and will help you. Isaiah 41:10 states,

fear not, for I am with you;

be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you,

I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Memorize this verse, so when something bad happens, you can remind yourself of these promises, and not be afraid. Also, memorize Psalm 23, 103, and 139.  Hebrews 13:6 states, “So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?

Why do we sometimes feel God has forsaken us?

The Bible says our unconfessed sins block God from hearing our prayers. Isaiah 59:2 states, “but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” You may feel forsaken by God when you sin because sin separates you from Him.  Psalm 107:9-17 states,

9) For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

10) Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

12) So, he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help.

13) Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

14) He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.

15) Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!

16) For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.

17) Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;

What did you learn from this scripture passage?  I learned that God is merciful, but He requires obedience. God wants to help you, but first, you must confess your sins and seek the Lord for forgiveness.  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.

Conclusion:

We know God promises to not forsake those who seek and trust Him.  We know we don’t have to be afraid or dismayed during an uncertain future because God promises to go with us and help us. We know God may not answer our prayers the way we want, but we know He loves us and will be with us and be our refuge and stronghold in times of trouble. We know that sin separates us from God, but when we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us and to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). Seek God and trust Him to keep His promises.


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

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

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

RELATED POSTS

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

CAUTION – HOW TO GET OUT OF THE PIT

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

County Jail Study on Psalms 103

Psalm 91 Posts

CAUTION – HOW TO GET OUT OF THE PIT

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

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

How do you dig a pit of despair?

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

Why do you fall into the pit of despair?

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

How do you avoid the pit of despair?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

RELATED POSTS:

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

How to experience a heavenly life on earth.

Are you in control of your life?

Being Thankful During Hardships


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

―Are you afraid?

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

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

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

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

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

What do the following phrases mean?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

RELATED POSTS

Read my posts on Psalm 91 found in Psalm 91 Posts


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

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

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

Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One)

People are like an iceberg, there is so much more under the surface than what you see.  I knew I was forgiven and saved, but I struggled with wrong thinking for most of my life.  I never had victory over my thoughts and emotions until I learned how to renew my mind and take my thoughts captive and heal my painful memories.  Unfortunately, most people who receive forgiveness and salvation do not live in victory over their sinful thoughts, so they are hypocrites to the rest of the world who then don’t want to be forgiven and saved.  In this post you will learn how to be victorious over your thoughts and sinful behavior, so you can be holy and righteous.

The following two promises define what being forgiven and saved are.  God forgives all your sins and cleanses you from all unrighteousness when you confess your sins (Psalms 103:3 and 1John 1:9).  And, you have salvation from sin and death and have the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ (John 10:27, 14:6; 28; 3:16 – Romans 5:12; 6:23; 8:2; 10:9 – Ephesians 2:8 – Titus 3:4-7 – 1 John 5:13).

So, what is sin?

Webster’s dictionary defines sin as the disobedience of the moral principles of the Bible, primarily through a willful act. The definition of moral is to know the distinction between right and wrong conduct or action.  The truths in Deuteronomy 9:18, 1Kings 16:19, 1 Samuel 15:23, and 2Chronicals 12:14 explain that we do evil when we do not seek the LORD with our whole heart.  Evil is to harm or destroy someone.  Evil people are also called wicked and depraved.  When we don’t seek the LORD with our whole heart then we too will do evil.  Some of the sins listed in the Bible are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, evil desires, covetousness, greediness, witchcraft and sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, factions and divisions, dissensions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and orgies, outbursts of anger, hate, resentment, lying,  stealing, and idolatry.

What is salvation?

Romans 3:23-24 explains salvation.

  • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and
  • are justified by His grace as a gift, (see Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 2:8,9)
    • Justified– just as if I did not sin.  Grace – getting what I do not deserve.
  • through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
    • Redemption –payment to restore a right relationship and to transform
  • whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood,
    • Propitiation– to pay a penalty to appease and make right again (reconciliation).
  • to be received by faith.
    • Faith is choosing to believe and trust that what God said He would do, He will do.  Webster dictionary defines faith as believing something is true, real, etc., and to have confidence in a statement or promise.  Though we did not see Jesus die to pay the penalty for our sins, we also do not see our justification by His grace.  But by faith, we are confident we have it.  We believe what is written by the Apostles because they went through the experience and witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  They saw the curtain in the temple Holy of Holies being ripped in two and the great earthquake when Jesus died for us.  Then over 500 people saw Jesus ascension into heaven, where he is now making intercession for us (see Hebrews 7:25).

2Thesolonians 2:13b states you are, “saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” (The Holy Spirit is truth, see John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; and 1John 5:6).  To be sanctified is to be made holy and consecrated through belief in Jesus Christ and the truth (see John 17:17).  1Corinthians 6:11 explains that you will be “washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Now what?

Though you are forgiven, saved, and sanctified you now must renew your thinking to be victorious over sin.  All sin begins in your mind as a temptation.  Temptations are enticements based on lies that generate unhealthy, false beliefs and create thoughts of offense. So, your mind needs renewing and transformed every day by the truth of God’s Word. Romans 12:2 states to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” and Ephesians 4:23 states we are “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds.”  Titus 3:5 states, “he [Jesus] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” and 2Corinthians 4:16 states, “our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Renewing your mind is removing sinful, evil desires and lusts by putting off these thoughts through prayer, then putting on the things of the Spirit; truthful thoughts found in the Bible.  Ephesians 4:22-24 explains we are, “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (lusts), and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Corrupt in this passage means perverted, which deviates from what is right, natural, or true.  Deceit is the act of representing as true what you know to be false; a lie; a trick.  Lust is an intense desire to gratify the senses; bodily appetite or pleasure.

Next week I will explain three exercises to renew your mind and transform your life.

There is hope to be victorious over wrong thinking and out-of-control emotions.

RELATED TOPICS:

Free from Anger–County Jail Testimony and Teaching

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Bondage to Unseen Controls

Victorious Thinking to Live a Successful Life

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy?


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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).

Abolish New Year’s Resolutions

Every year we resolve to change our eating style, exercise more, lose weight, get in shape, declutter the house, etc. and every year we last maybe a month or two at the most.  There will be advise on how to be intentional and set goals and anything in between.  There is nothing wrong with New Year’s resolutions except we don’t have the strength nor the will to see them through.  I found I need God’s help to accomplish my goals.

Instead of resolutions, I can’t resolve to keep, I pick a Bible passage with a spiritual principle I want my life to reflect.  Then I pray for that principle in to my life each day or at least once a week.  My co-worker chooses a word to focus on like, “endure” or “revive,” etc.  Dayle’s blog, called One Word, explains this well.

This past year, I picked 2 Corinthians 5:14a,15b, which states, “For the love of Christ controls us, … those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”  I chose this passage because I struggle with loving people enough to sacrifice my desires and give preference to their desires.  So, I prayed I will be controlled by the love of Christ and not to live for myself but for Jesus.  So, throughout the year, I prayed to be controlled by the love of Jesus.  Then, I imagined being controlled by His love and what Jesus would do.  Christ’s love reached out to the lost, and He had compassion for people.

So, how did I do this past year with this prayer?  I could have done better.  When I prayed this scripture into my life, God led me to repent of my pride and of self-centered living so His love could control me.  Then, God led me to repent of self-control issues so His love can control my reactions.  You can read my transformation testimonies throughout this year in the following posts.

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE (anxiety disorder is gone, YEA!)

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

Self-control and Maturity

The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control

I will continue to practice being controlled by the love of Christ and the previous year’s verses to rejoice always, pray continually, and be thankful in everything (1Theselonians 5:16-18).  In the coming year, I want to pray for God to help me memorize scripture. So, I will focus on praying Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, so that I might not sin against You.”  Knowing God’s Word is vital to fight against the unseen evil forces of the world.  I will hopefully write about the many battles we fight each day and the scriptures we can use to be victorious.  Plus, as I memorize scripture, I am developing right thinking which then creates healthy beliefs and behavior. According to Joshua 1:8, when I meditate on Scripture then I will be prosperous and I will have good success.  Joshua 1:8 states, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

There is hope for complete healing and transforming negative heart issues.  May God bless you richly in the coming year as you abide with Him and meditate on His Word.